High stakes poker players have always been associated with being pure gamblers at heart, and for good reason. This showed more than ever with the introduction of the infamous ‘Full Tilt Flips.’ To understand why the flips occurred and still do occur, we should understand what they are. A well known Full Tilt Red Pro sat at the $200/$400 sanghoki Limit Omaha tables and introduced the now infamous idea of these controlled gambles. As a signed Full Tilt Pro, the players receive 100% rakeback as well as $35 for every hour they play on the site.
This is the bases of the flips. What this player proposed was that if the players moved all in dark every single hand before the flop, and committing themselves to reach a certain cap on every single hand, regardless of their cards. Why would anyone do this, you ask? Simply put, the player had an elaborate idea that based on if the players did these flips over a period of time, they should, in theory, break even. However, over this period of time, they would lose no rakeback and would receive their $35 an hour, which would add up. The theory is that if the players do this continuous flipping hands, they will not lose money at all due to the rakeback deal with the site, and they would roll in the $35 an hour they would make from the website.
The arguments here are often debated as if the strategy carries positive expectation value (+EV) or not. It is hard to argue against this system, although it would need to be played a number of times to even hope to break exactly even over time.
Most people attribute the willingness of these pros to ‘flip’ to their pure, degenerative nature. Even pros such as Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan have agreed to these flips, without being a signed Full Tilt Pro, meaning he has no edge over the game and even over time would lose money due to the rake taken out of every pot
The original flips took place on Capped $200/$400 Pot Limit Omaha games, capped at $16,000. The players would cap the game preflop on every single hand. Meaning, the players agreed to risk $16,000 every hand without looking at their cards. This immediately, of course, garned a ton of attention from railbirds. The word of these flips spread quickly, and soon players from Dwan to Oppenheim to Juanda were taking part in these flips. The games also varried with the players. Sometimes the games happened at No Limit tables where the cap was upped to $20,000. Also, players who weren’t naturally a part of these games joined in on the fun.
Tuesday night saw players not known to many sit in and request to flip. Of course, with the unusual nature of these flips, unusual things were bound to happen when they were going on. For instance, as Tom Dwan, David Oppenheim, and John Juanda were flipping for $16,000 each at a Capped Pot Limit Omaha hand when a new player sat in the game and requested to flip.
As all of the nature of the flips relied on the players honesty to pot and repot until the cap was hit regardless of the cards, the player unknown to all was rejected: Dwan said that since he was unfamiliar with the player, he was not comfortable potting it to $1400 not trusting that the new player would reraise the pot regardless of his whole cards. The player had a solution to the problem: as a ransom in case of angle shooting, the player transfered $8000 from his account to Dwan’s, to be split amongst the players if the player used any sort of dishonest angle shooting.
All went well, and the players continued their gambling until another player sat in and requested to flip, except this time, only for $8000. Oppenheim, Juanda, Dwan, and the newcomer agreed to do this. Again, however, new problems were presented to the players, the table cap remained at $16,000. This meant that every pot was raised to $1400, then raised to $3400, allowing one player to reraise to $8000 even. Every player called, and would check the flop, turn, and river regardless of their cards. This was just another twist to the legend that is growing, known as the Full Tilt Poker High Stakes Flips. The Flips are no where close to ending, at least one would think not, with the gambling nature that the players have shown us up until now. In order to see these flips take place live and in person, be sure to browse the $200/$400 Pot Limit Omaha games on Full Tilt Poker.