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A big day is in the books, as both PokerStars and FullTilt continued their impressive runs towards the end of 2009. Both sites have seen huge boosts in participation over the past few months, which is a great sign for the new year. Couple this with some encouraging UIGEA news, and there is a lot to be thankful for heading into 2010. One tournament which appears to have no ceiling is the Sunday Warm-Up on PokerStars. Currently the Warm-Up ranks as the 2nd biggest weekly tournament in all of online poker, only behind PokerStars’ biggest event, the Sunday Million.

The final table had a few big names on hand, including “rivermanl” and “floes”, two highly successful tournament professionals. Floes is no stranger to success on PokerStars, having nearly hit the $1,000,000 in total cashes. His biggest score was a win in the Sunday500 in July for $92,820. Rivermanl is a top-50 ranked pro with ten $20,000+ scores to his name. It seems every week his name can be found in this report, as it was in October for winning the $500k and in April for winning the Sunday $215r. He is approaching quite a crazy milestone on PokerStars, as he is closing in on the $2,000,000 mark in tournament cashes.

Even with two big names in poker making the final table, the tournament still came down to two relatively unknown players. “angevert” and “Mr. Shanish” were set to battle it out for a $145,210 first place check. Before yesterday, neither player had a five-figure score to his/her name on PokerStars. That was all about to change as each were guaranteed a six-figure sum at the start of heads-up play. In the end it was Mr. Shanish who shipped the title and a life-changing amount of money.

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up $750k Guaranteed
4,628 Entrants; $925,600 prize pool

1. Mr. Shanish $145,210
2. angevert $107,832
3. $saxo$ $76,362
4. rivermanl $52,296
5. cspdealer $39,338
6. CruSader1981 $30,082
7. Bahneyyy $20,826
8. floes $11,570
9. melano26 $7,405

For the first time in a while, a PokerStars Professional made the final table of the Sunday Million. Rail birds could not have picked a bigger name, as Johnny Lodden was on hand, vying for a $259,244 first place prize. For those unaware, Lodden is a young European professional who is best known for the prop bet bonanza “what Lodden thinks”, first popularized by Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak on Poker After Dark. Lodden is also well known for blowing his entire bankroll playing nosebleed online games before they were truly popular. Even before the days of Durrrr and Patrick Antonius, Lodden was playing for millions of dollars in the world’s biggest games. Now backed by the world’s largest poker site, Lodden has found a resurgence of late, winning some smaller live events as well as placing highly in a few $10,000 buy-in tournaments. While he is used to playing for millions, Lodden had to settle for 5th place and $72,616 yesterday.

Sunday Million winner “caio_pimenta” is a top-50 ranked tournament professional. The nice thing about such a highly-ranked player making it deep in the Million is that the tournament is guaranteed not to be chopped. Pimenta has had plenty of success on Stars before this win, including six other $30k+ scores. His biggest previous cash was a win in the Super Tuesday in May for $68,250. He also had a near miss in the Sunday500 that very month for $64,250. The $259,243 score took him over the $1,000,000 mark in career cashes on PokerStars alone.

PokerStars Sunday Million $1.5M Guaranteed
9,077 Entrants; $1,815,400 prize pool

1. caio_pimenta $259,244
2. KillerMendez $190,617
3. floriverboy $135,157
4. joaoMathias $90,770
5. johnnylodden $72,616
6. buddahead9 $54,462
7. LAPINKY $36,308
8. BRzRoll $19,969
9. bo0ort $12,708

As always, the Sunday500 delivered one of the best final tables of the day. This week the $500 buy-in event attracted just enough players to pass its guarantee, as 1,033 entrants created a $516,500 prize pool. Three of the final five players were well known tourney players including 5th place finisher “Takanapotin” who took home the 15th five-figure score of his career for his 5th place finish. In fourth place was “JBurleson”, who took home the biggest score of his career, $35,948. “Blue Knight1” might have been the most experienced player at the final table; however, his previous success on PokerStars (a win in the Second Chance for $47k) did not help him much, as he fell to “liuta.s” during heads-up play.

PokerStars Sunday $500k Guaranteed
1,033 Entrants; $516,500 prize pool

1. liutas.a $89,148
2. Blue Knight1 $64,563
3. SENORSEXY $49,068
4. JBurleson $35,948
5. Taknapotin $25,567
6. JERRRY $20,402
7. aylinka18 $15,237
8. EMakers9186 $10,072
9. hitthehole $5,682

If there was ever such a thing as a “too loaded” final table, yesterday’s $215 re-buy might be able to claim it. In fact, the final six might have been the sickest collection of tournament players ever. Between the last six remaining players there was nearly $8,000,000 in earnings on PokerStars alone! Spear-heading the effort was all-world professional Steve “gboro780” Gross, who has shipped nearly $4,000,000 in tournament cashes during his online career. Joining Gross was Matt “Ch0ppy” Kay, another highly-ranked pro whose biggest score was a 3rd place finish in April’s SCOOP for $128,227. Eventual winner Mike “SirWatts” Watson, who shipped the WPT Bellagio Cup IV Championship for $163,770, took home a bracelet, taking down David Benyamine in the process. Watson was able to outlast “PokerSavage1” for the title and a $37,023 payday.

PokerStars Sunday $215r $150k Guaranteed
272 Entrants; $180,600 prize pool

1. SirWatts $37,023
2. PokerSavage1 $27,090
3. gboro780 $20,407.80
4. goodvibe1 $15,351
5. anfo500 $10,655.40
6. ch0ppy $8,127
7. Elektrikas $6,321
8. kleath $4,515
9. ryanghall $3,160.50

Anthony “holdplz” Spinella took down the Sunday Second Chance yesterday, earning $49,613 in the process. While this score might be big for some, for Spinella it is just another day at the office. In fact, this was only the 4th biggest score of his career on PokerStars, way behind a $96,120 cash for finishing 2nd in the Million a few years ago. Spinella is just another top-50 ranked professional who had a huge day yesterday, as he joined many other online greats in finding big cashes.

PokerStars Sunday Second Chance $200k Guaranteed
1,366 Entrants; $273,200 prize pool

1. holdplz $49,613.12
2. Squirrely1 $36,062.40
3. akat11 $27,320
4. parksy1066 $20,490
5. bbs99 $14,343
6. anakinso $11,611
7. The Mooks $8,879
8. SpotLIGHT19 $6,147
9. JLizard $3,824.80

FullTilt’s Sunday tournament schedule started with a bang yesterday as the Sunday Brawl once again broke the half million dollar prize pool mark. Since the tournament raised its guarantee last month, the Brawl has seen a steady rise in participation. 21 FullTilt sponsored professionals played in the event including Mike “timex” McDonald, Allen Cunningham, and Lee Watkinson. Johan Brolenius was the only professional to make the top 100, busting in 93rd place. Andy “BKiCe” Seth was one of the bigger names making the final table. Seth took home nearly $19,000 for his 6th place finish, the 2nd biggest score of his career behind a 5th place finish in the Sunday500 on PokerStars. Joining Seth was Michael “YrrsiNN” Huber, who took down over $72,000 after a 3-way deal. This was his 4th $20k+ score of his career, eclipsing a previous career high of $37,858 earned for winning the $55r on Stars. Former Brawl winner “Snusarn1” received the same amount as Huber, just over $72,000. His victory in the Brawl in June earned him about $10,000 more.

FullTilt Sunday Brawl $400k Guaranteed
2,794 Entrants; $558,800 prize pool

1. mikkelstrack $96,010
2. YrrsiNN $72,202
3. Snusarn1 $72,631
4. SpazIsPlusEV $40,792
5. Jotagran49 $28,499
6. BKiCe $18,999
7. PrishChips31 $12,852
8. uzzyking $8,941
9. dadoudinet $6,706

The $750k continues to grow each week. The tournament is closing in on a consistent $900,000 prize pool, which would give the Sunday Warm-Up on PokerStars a run for its money. Clint “Beat Man” Brotherman took 3rd place for over $61,000, easily the biggest score of his career. 8th place finisher “Pot Odds 3” was one of the biggest names at the final table, earning $15,721 for his efforts. This was merely the 5th biggest cash of his career, well behind a win in the $1K Monday on FullTilt in March for $89,000.

Over 30 FullTilt “Red Pros” played the $750k including Ivy-league educated Brandon Adams, David Benyamine’s love interest Erica Schoenberg, and former WSOP ME Champion Huck Seed.

FullTilt Sunday $750k Guaranteed
4,367 Entrants; $873,400 prize pool

1. WooohSaaah $154,234
2. Hand Banana7 $93,366
3. Beat Man $61,138
4. jesseja777 $48,037
5. city17 $36,071
6. sweepybreedy $26,726
7. based $20,088
8. Pot Odds 3 $15,721
9. i use 5cards $11,704

Rounding out a successful day of tournaments on FullTilt was the appropriately-named Sunday Mulligan. The $200,000 guaranteed event busted through the quarter-million mark yesterday, as nearly 1,300 players created a $258,200 prize pool. Many of FullTilt’s finest were on hand including multiple WSOP bracelet holder Jeff Madsen, David “The Dragon” Pham, and Stuart Paterson.

One of the biggest names in poker found his way to the final table. Adam “Roothlus” Levy, a tournament professional well known for a few battles with Phil Hellmuth at last year’s WSOP, finished in 7th place. Levy is a big force in both live and online poker, having made the final 100 in the 2008 WSOP Main Event as well as making the Festa Al Lago WPT Table the month prior. Levy has more than $600,000 in live cashes, and even more online. In February he nearly won FTOPS Event #22, a $5,000 buy-in high-roller event, taking home second place and $387,500.

Jeremiah “Believer8219” Vinsant almost shipped the second Sunday major of his career, falling in heads-up play to “DrAction”. Vinsant is one of the best online tournament players in the world, having won the Sunday500 on Stars in June as well as the $1K Monday on FullTilt twice this year. Overall, Vinsant has more than $2,000,000 in earnings to his name between PokerStars and FullTilt.

FullTilt Sunday Mulligan $200k Guaranteed
1,291 Entrants; $258,200 prize pool

1. DrAction $56,804
2. Believer8219 $36,148
3. WMACHINE $26,595
4. CalBandGreat $20,979
5. Longhorne $16,138
6. JOLTEDPOKER $11,619
7. Roothlus $7,746
8. Red_Nuggets $5,810
9. cuzitsdelicious $4,131