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This weekend marked the start of the 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event.  With more than 6,500 players entering the $10,000 buy-in championship it seems poker may not be dying as much as those in the US government would like.  Even with many of the world’s best on hand in Las Vegas there was still plenty of Sunday action to be had online.

The most interesting tournament played on Sunday was the $200,000 guaranteed on Party. It wasn’t because of big names making the final table or a massive prize pool, but it was the first time the $200k fell under Party’s new no-fee promotion.  This ground-breaking concept from Party Poker is one designed to save players anywhere from $1 to $100 on tournament fees in the future.  The $200+$15 $200k turned into a $215+$0 making the prize pool about $17,000 larger than it normally would be.

The tournament itself attracted 1,116 players with ten of them making the final table. With a $239,940 prize pool the first-place check swelled to more than $50,000 for the first time since the event dropped its guarantee $50,000.  Taking home the title was “baron_23” who earned the biggest score of his career. The high-stakes grinder also won the $50k Big-100 on PokerStars just a month ago for more than $30,000 making the past 5 weeks or so quite profitable.

Party Poker Sunday $200k Guaranteed
1,116 Entrants; $239,940 prize pool

1. baron_23 $50,388
2. kingbrink $28,793
3. BudnikovDP $17,396
4. jasonpags $13,797
5. TobyMaguire $11,397
6. SoftRabbit $8,998
7. DcHustler7 $6,838
8. Kronk888 $4,559
9. As550 $3,479
10. extremistan $2,399

Perhaps Titan Poker should look at Party when attempting to boost their Sunday tournaments because their majors have been struggling lately. The highlight of iPoker’s weekly schedule, the Sunday $200k, failed yet again to hit its guarantee this past weekend. With just 929 players in the field the world’s 4th biggest Network was forced to pay out more than $14,000 in overlay.  This provides great value for those involved but is not exactly a great sign for overall site health and traffic. With the pot sweetened those at the final table were all battling for the $42,000 first place prize.  After eight players busted the heads-up match came down to “sonicdeep23” and “SunriseBelief” for a $20,000 difference.  In the end SunriseBelief was able to take down the title and score one of the biggest paydays of his career.

Titan Poker Sunday $200k Guaranteed
929 Entrants; $200,000 prize pool

1. SunriseBelief $42,000
2. sonicdeep23 $22,000
3. dctobbee1 $16,000
4. BLACHAA $12,000
5. lauchon33 $10,000
6. Solik00007 $8,000
7. DiCaruzzo $6,000
8. Pa3be6y $4,000
9. MartinusBlom $2,800
10. NutsiMikel $2,000

PokerStars has made it out of Black Friday with just a few scrapes and bruises.  Still firmly planted as the world’s #1 online poker site they also boast the most diverse Sunday tournament schedule. Stars has also begun to dominate the Saturday tournament scene as well with their Saturday Line-Up, a smaller-stakes series of events highlighted by a $3 re-buy and $33 Turbo.

While most players enjoy playing these smaller events they still love watching the big three on Stars.  The $500k Warm-Up, Sunday Million, and $250k Sunday500 comprise the biggest trio of online poker tournaments found anywhere.  Yesterday all three of these events had strong showings including the Warm-Up which kicked things off on the right foot with more than 2,900 players.  The $584,000 prize pool made the Warm-Up the 2nd biggest event of the day by a wide margin.

Seventh-place finisher “davianvalek” was one of the more experienced players at the final table but was unable to gain much traction on his way to a $13,432 score.  This was his second major final table of the year and it fell well short of his 5th place finish in the Million back in March for more than $82,000.  Once play became four-handed the remaining quartet decided to chop up the quarter million or so left in the middle.  Taking home the biggest piece of the pie was “PRK_b777” who outlasted “KUDUZ” during heads-up play.

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up $500k Guaranteed
2,920 Entrants’ $584,000 prize pool
*4-way chop

1. Pkr_b777 $85,908
2. KUDUZ $52,888
3. breckster79 $46,160
4. MVDC111 $57,123
5. 5damage $25,112
6. Sasuke234 $19,272
7. davianvalek $13,432
8. Juliane $7,592
9. Goldenboys $4,672

The Sunday Million continues to roll on. Seemingly unaffected by April 15th, the world’s biggest online poker tournament has been cruising past its guarantee as of late. With nearly 6,000 players in the Million the tournament almost hit the $1,200,000 prize pool mark.  There were life-changing amounts of money on the line at the final table and for once the event was not chopped! This might have been the first time since Black Friday where the Million came to an actual conclusion.  Those to thank include winner “On The Mac” and runner-up “rizih” who threw caution to the wind and battled for a difference of more than $46,000 between first and second place.  It was easily the biggest score of the winner’s career and perhaps the biggest non-SCOOP, non-FTOPS score online since April 15th.

PokerStars Sunday Million $1M Guaranteed
5,976 Entrants; $1,159,200 prize pool

1. On The Mac $179,679
2. rizih $133,308
3. BOKINHA $93,895
4. WuzThat $65,089
5. marcley1969 $48,686
6. pellompogos $37,094
7. Flyboys007 $25,502
8. lllothup $14,490
9. Stu-Shami $9,042

The final event of the Big Three was the higher buy-in Sunday500.  The $250,000 guaranteed event just snuck past the quarter-million dollar mark as a lot of those typically involved were busy at the WSOP. Still, with 527 of the world’s best online tournament grinders on hand there were plenty of big names for the rail to watch. Taking home the title was Toby “810ofclubs” Lewis, a poker professional from the UK, who nearly won the SCOOP Main Event last month before falling in 6th place for more than $167,000. Since then he has shown no signs of slowing down, winning both the Sunday500 and the $100k Bigger162. Overall Lewis is one of the more deserving players of a Sunday crown and was finally able to breakthrough once he defeated “eShaMeister” for the Sunday500 crown.

PokerStars Sunday500 $250k Guaranteed
527 Entrants; $263,500 prize pool

1. 810ofclubs $49,538
2. eShaMeister $36,100
3. donkno2 $26,614
4. PapaGreggio $20,026
5. House of Hor $14,071
6. “OPIGGYBANK” $11,199
7. Miss Baxter $8,564
8. dal_elama $5,929
9. xxmcxx-1984 $3,953

One event making up a little ground on the field was the $100k on Merge. The world’s fastest growing poker network is home to sites such as Lock, RPM, and Carbon Poker.  Unfortunately the $100k has been coming up well short of its guarantee and yesterday was no different, except the tournament did have about 100 more players than last week’s event.  Still, with just 864 entrants in the field the Merge Network was forced to pay up more than $13,000 in overlay.  This gave some nice value to those who paid the $100+$9 entry fee including eventual winner “ddavid8” who won $20,000 for outlasting just 863 players.  Much like the Bodog $100k this tournament is a great value-added event because of all the overlay.

Merge Poker Sunday $100k Guaranteed
864 Entrants; $100,000 prize pool

1. ddavid8 $20,000
2. RobotOnAcid $12,000
3. rEctumdAmnEarkilDer $6,500
4. Crackerontilt $5,000
5. KillTyven $4,250
6. G4rrincha7 $3,500
7. summer889 $2,750
8. JanJank $2,250
9. lunasfrog $1,750
10. rivermen123 $1,500