There was a lot of action online this past weekend, highlighted by the start of the 2011 Party Poker Poker Fest. The tournament series kicked off on Sunday and runs all the way through November 6th. There will be plenty of big events with millions of dollars guaranteed. The series culminates on the 6th with the $640 buy-in, $1,000,000 guaranteed, Main Event. The first event of the series  was a $200+$15 buy-in, $300,000 Guaranteed event.

The tournament needed 1,500 players to reach its guarantee, and it easily surpassed that mark. With 1,657 players in the field the prize pool swelled to more than $330,000 leaving over $50,000 for the winner. Unfortunately that number was not quite reached as the final three contestants decided to chop the remaining $112,000 in the prize pool.  Taking home the biggest piece of the pie was Polish pro “Kaeresen” who earned $47,248 after the deal.  The mid five-figure score was easily the biggest of his career on Party Poker, besting a win in the Super Stack $10k earlier this year for just $1,919.

Be sure to check back here each weekend for more results from the 2011 Poker Fest.

Party Poker Poker Fest Event #1
1,657 Entrants; $331,400 prize pool
*3-way chop

1. Kaeresen $47,248
2. kenstraden $38,815
3. outofindia $36,719
4. notljohn $17,564
5. cooftbechor6 $14,250
6. LETS_GAMBLE $10,936
7. RasA86 $8,450
8. fukushima $5,799
9. LaliTournier $4,308

One of Party Poker’s biggest rivals, iPoker, continues to run their Sunday $200k Guaranteed without much success. For a while, the tournament was doing quite well, easily surpassing the 1,000 needed entrants to hit its guarantee. However, over the past month, the tournament has seen a large drop-off forcing iPoker to pay out thousands of dollars in overlay.  This past weekend was no different as just 953 players entered the event, forcing iPoker to pay nearly $10,000 in overlay. While this is a nice bonus for those involved, it can unfortunately lead to the lowering of the guarantee if not corrected. Hopefully iPoker can create more entries through freerolls, satellites, and other promotions.  The title went to “megustastu” who took home a nice $42,000 payday for outlasting 952 other players. This big cash was certainly the biggest score of his/her career on iPoker, besting a $471 cash in the $25k double stack last week.  Perhaps the best player at the final table, “JohnnyBux”, was the first to bust at the final table. The top-15 ranked MTT professional has more than $3,000,000 in career cashes including wins in the $109r, Sunday Brawl, $55r, and the $50k Guaranteed on PokerStars.

iPoker Sunday $200k Guaranteed
953 Entrants; $200,000 prize pool

1. megustastu $42,000
2. Swippy01 $22,000
3. TSOLAS $16,000
4. fisk26 $12,000
5. pi11owbiter $10,000
6. Dexmex $8,000
7. paul0971 $6,000
8. r4ndomr4gs $4,000
9. donwongoeswild $2,800
10. JohnnyBux $2,000

With Party Poker taking a lot of the weekend’s attention with their Poker Fest, it might be easy to assume PokerStars would see a drop-off.  However, after their double-vision promotion last week, it seems PokerStars has again found a way to manufacture more participation in their Sunday majors.  Their three biggest events, the Warm-Up, Million, and Sunday500 all saw big numbers as they soared past their respective guarantees.

The day kicked off with the $500,000 guaranteed Sunday Warm-Up. The appropriately-named major gives all tournament grinders a chance to kick their day off on the right foot.  With more than $675,000 in the prize pool there were going to be a bunch of happy campers once things were said and done.  Once play became three-handed a chop was quickly agreed upon.  Interestingly enough, one of the best tournament players in the world was involved in the chop. Typically when funds are divided up it is because players are worried about losing. However, with someone like Casey “bigdogpckt5s” Jarzabek on hand, one might assume it was going to be a fight to the finish.  With more than $4,000,000 in career cashes online, Jarzabek is widely considered one of the best online tournament players ever.  His $83,000 score here just barely cracks his top-5 career cashes which is highlighted by a $277,929 win in FTOPS Event #9 back in 2008.

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up $500k Guaranteed
3,395 Entrants; $679,000 prize pool
*3-way chop

1. bigdogpckt5s $83,000
2. TTycho $82,063
3. 4betUr3bet $77,000
4. aleksandr274 $39,042
5. Mr. OPW $28,857
6. FRAMEKINGS $22,067
7. wulko333 $15,277
8. punkrott $8,487
9. BeSje $5,432

The biggest event of the day was once again the Sunday Million.  The $1,000,000 guaranteed major easily surpassed its seven-figure mark as 6,585 players entered the $200+$15 event. With $1,317,000 in the middle there were hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line at the final table.  Much like the Warm-Up, the Million ended rather abruptly as the final two players decided to chop the remaining prize pool. Still, rules dictate that $20,000 be left in the middle, so there was still plenty to play for between “Spyver” and “GoldenOne306”.  Taking home the biggest piece of the chip-chop pie was Spyver who earned $190,459 after winning the heads-up battle.  The six-figure score was the biggest of his career, besting a $10,336 cash in a $55 event earlier this year. Runner-up GoldenOne306 was a bit more seasoned but was unable to win during heads-up play. He had a handful of five-figure cashes to his name including a win in a $55 event for $11,950 and a runner-up finish in the mega $11 buy-in event last year for $17,273,

PokerStars Sunday $1,000,000 Guaranteed
6,585 Entrants; $1,317,000 prize pool
*2-way chop

1. Spyver $190,459
2. GoldenOne306 $158,019
3. agovque69 $105,360
4. 777taxist777 $72,435
5. nobbit $55,314
6. radek0444 $42,144
7. karlson666 $28,974
8. makemyday000 $15,804
9. westy1983 $10,206

Wrapping up another strong day of online tournaments was the quarter-million dollar guaranteed Sunday500. Once a $500k event, the $500+$30 buy-in major was hit hard by online poker’s Black Friday back in April. The tournament has rebounded as of late, with more than 700 players typically entered the day’s highest buy-in event.  What’s great about the Sunday500 is it tends to have the strongest field of all the Sunday majors. With a higher buy-in and deeper structure, it tends to weed out a lot of recreational players who would rather spend their money on re-buys and the Sunday Million.  The 500 was won by Dean “dean23price” Price, a poker professional hailing from the UK.  The high-stakes grinder is no stranger to success on PokerStars having nearly won the Sunday Million and Warm-Up in the past. He also has a SCOOP title to his name, taking down event 26 earlier this year for more than $68,000.  Runner-up “AlexKP” won the Million last year for $257,000 but could not muster enough to beat Price for the title.

PokerStars Sunday500 $250k Guaranteed
712 Entrants; $356,000 prize pool

1. dean23price $64,436
2. AlexKP $46,280
3. Run dat Game $34,710
4. Rybin sergey $25,988
5. Momo J5 $18,334
6. uaredead lol $14,774
7. Big_Nemo $11,214
8. d-mon-d $7,867
9. Gmelkonyan $4,556