It has been several years since Full Tilt became one of the largest poker sites on the internet. When their popularity first began to grow the highest no-limit stakes that you could find were $50/$100 and occasionally $100/$200.
Around this time, Mike Matusow was one of the staples in the high stakes poker game. John Juanda was also one of the most frequent players at the tables.
As the limits at Full Tilt began to climb, the players in the games changed right along with them. Next the $200/$400 games were introduced and soon after that; the $300/$600 games were brought into play. Now players could sit down with as much as $60,000 at the Hold ‘Em tables.
The games began to get taken over by players like “Yukon” Brad Booth. At the time, Brad was living in a suite at the Bellagio on a permanent basis. He estimated his monthly living expenses after tips etc. at about $30,000, but said it was well worth it for the convenience of playing in the big game and never having to leave the building.
Right around the height of the popularity of the $300/$600 NL tables, Brian Townsend (SBrugby) became the dominant player in the game. He took the place of Brad Booth, who is still around these days, but not playing for stakes anywhere near as high as he was playing at back when the games first started to grow.
Townsend had a good run at the high stakes tables for about a 1 year period. After a heavy loss he started to tone down his stakes and he has also started to play in a few live tournaments. Right around the time that SBrugby was raking in his winnings, Tom “Durrr” Dwan was starting to be seen more often at the bigger limits. He hadn’t become the player that he is today quite yet, but he was certainly beating most of the high limit games.
Now the biggest NL tables that you will find on Full Tilt have $500/$1000 blinds. The popularity of these games has fluctuated over the last year. On occasion the games would be full for several days at a time. Most of the money fueling these games has come from Guy Laliberte who is the creator and owner of Cirque de Soleil. His reported losses in these high stakes games are rumored to be more than $10 million in the last year.
Texas Hold ‘Em is no longer the game of choice in the high stakes games either. Now the majority of players are sitting at the pot-limit Omaha tables, and they are usually playing at least 2 tables at a time.
Tom “Durrr” Dwan is one of the biggest winners in these games and he also is probably the player you will see on this poker site most often. Patrick Antonius is also a frequent player at the highest stakes. Patrick and Durrr have a challenge to play 50,000 hands of heads-up poker, in which they have a side bet where Durrr has put up $1.5 million against Patrick’s $500,000. This will all go to whoever has the most money after 50,000K hands, in addition to whatever money has changed hands throughout the series of matches.
Phil Ivey is one of the few players who has always played at the highest stakes on Full Tilt and has always beaten the games. Some of the other pros have come and gone while sort of maintaining a minimal presence in the big games. John Juanda has always done ok on the site, but you won’t see him sitting down too often in the big games anymore.
David Benyamine is also a player who has stuck around over the past few years. He has had his fair share of big nights on Full Tilt poker site. The rumor is that he lost some money in the Hold em games over this past year, but he has been a big winner in the Omaha games.
Written by Mark from Big Edge Poker Sites.