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A HUGE day of online tournaments took play yesterday as PokerStars was determined to end 2008 with a a bang.  Not only did Stars add $1,000,000 to its Sunday Million Prizepool, run their end of the month Turbo Takedown, but they also attempted (and succeeded) to break the world record for the biggest poker tournament ever.  The $500,000 gtd $10+$1 tournament had a cap at 35,000 entrants, meaning PokerStars guaranteed $150,000 in overlay, which is huge for an $11 tournament.  Yours truly played in the world record tourney and the $2.5M, but was left in the cold just after the 2nd break in each.  Over 16,000 people played in the Sunday Million, crushing the $2,500,000 guarantee, and, once again, setting a record for participants in the event.  PokerStars ran a lot of satellites, both cash and FPPs, throughout the week to ensure they would reach the mark.

Getting the day going was the bolstered Sunday Warm-Up.  This tournament, typically a $750,000 guarantee, was turned into a $1,000,000 for the last Sunday of the month.   Famous internet pro “Andy MCLEOD” was the chip leader entering the final table, and as always, would be a force to be reckoned with.  MCLEOD, who won a WCOOP PLO tournament in September, has now made nearly $350,000 in 2008.  Here are the stacks and the final hand, won by “Mr_Herman” who took down an epic HU battle against Andy MCLEOD. I believe there was a chop.  However, I have been unable to find any information on the deal.

Seat 1: Andy McLEOD (13573358 in chips)
Seat 2: Hr_Herman (3975211 in chips)
Seat 3: zmeyer (4242287 in chips)
Seat 4: groengras (3943729 in chips)
Seat 5: Tehanu (7989306 in chips)
Seat 6: KKgeoroAA (2646560 in chips)
Seat 7: totaloser (10787241 in chips)
Seat 8: Iceman1278 (4573710 in chips)
Seat 9: 69CANA69 (6628598 in chips)

Seat 1: Andy McLEOD (2910160 in chips)
Seat 2: Hr_Herman (55449840 in chips)
Andy McLEOD: posts small blind 400000
Hr_Herman: posts big blind 800000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Hr_Herman said, “u2”
Andy McLEOD: raises 2030160 to 2830160 and is all-in
Hr_Herman: calls 2030160
*** FLOP *** [3h 6c 9d]
*** TURN *** [3h 6c 9d] [Ts]
*** RIVER *** [3h 6c 9d Ts] [Ks]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Hr_Herman: shows [4s Tc] (a pair of Tens)
Andy McLEOD: shows [Js 6h] (a pair of Sixes)
Hr_Herman collected 5820320 from pot

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up $1M Guaranteed
5836 Entrants; $1,167,200 prize pool

1. Hr_Herman $147,067.20
2. Andy McLEOD $101,546.40
3. totaloser $68,864.80
4. Iceman1278 $57,192.80
5. zmeyer $45,520.80
6. Tehanu $33,848.80
7. 69CANA69 $22,176.80
8. groengras $14,006.40
9. KKgeoroAA $8,170.40

Full Tilt could not compete with PokerStars this past weekend, however, they still ran their 3 majors.  First up was the Sunday Brawl.  The $240+$16, knock-out tournament,  attracted 2,057 entrants, creating a prizepool of $411,400.  A lot of eyes were on “PetjeXL,” a player who, according to all reports, placed his entire bankroll on the line in a series of 4-5 Sunday Majors.  This tournament represented his deepest run as he busted in 27th place for just over $1200.  With about 36 players remaining he took a nasty beat losing QQ vs JJ for a top-5 chipstack and just could not recover.  The most recognizable name at the final table was “USCphildo,” a high-stakes MTT pro. His 3rd place finish in the brawl would bring him to over $250,000 in winnings in 2008 on Full Tilt alone.  Here are the stacks and the final hand:

Seat 1: DG101 (298,720)
Seat 2: jedsampson20 (345,608)
Seat 3: KAFFEPUNCH (720,675)
Seat 4: Griffendore (2,218,480)
Seat 5: USCphildo (989,092)
Seat 6: luckyshades (165,700)
Seat 7: Kameleont (886,482)
Seat 8: XavierCalcada (297,193)
Seat 9: joenguyenn (249,050)

Seat 4: Griffendore (5,161,675)
Seat 6: luckyshades (1,009,325)
luckyshades posts the small blind of 30,000
Griffendore posts the big blind of 60,000
The button is in seat #6
*** HOLE CARDS ***
luckyshades raises to 155,555
Griffendore raises to 251,110
luckyshades has 15 seconds left to act
luckyshades raises to 1,001,825, and is all in
Griffendore calls 750,715
luckyshades shows [Kh Js]
Griffendore shows [As Ad]
*** FLOP *** [8d 2c 8s]
*** TURN *** [8d 2c 8s] [3s]
*** RIVER *** [8d 2c 8s 3s] [Jh]
luckyshades shows two pair, Jacks and Eights
Griffendore shows two pair, Aces and Eights
Griffendore wins the pot (2,018,650) with two pair, Aces and Eights

Full Tilt Sunday Brawl $350k Guaranteed
2057 Entrants; $411,400 prize pool

1. Griffendore – $83,905
2. luckyshades – $54,305
3. USCphildo – $40,317
4. DG101 – $30,444
5. KAFFEPUNCH – $21,393
6. Kameleont – $13,988
7. jedsampson20 – $9,462
8. XavierCalcada – $6,582
9. joenguyenn – $4,937

The $750k on FullTilt is typically the 2nd biggest even on Sunday.  However, yesterday, it definitely took a back seat to PokerStars majors.  The tournament, which had been struggling to reach its guarantee, finally had a big day.  3905 entrants created a nice $781,000 prize pool.  $138,000 of that prize pool wold go to eventual champion “jochee.”  This is his 3rd cash over $10,000 in his career and by far and away his biggest score ever.

Full Tilt $750 Guaranteed
3905 Entrants; $781,000 prize pool

1. jochee – $138,276
2. KipsterDK – $83,567
3. Tulsa Tony – $54,670
4. TheTotalPkg – $43,111
5. Jasonrisc – $32,333
6. Wonky – $34,977
7. mc4chess – $17,963
8. NewBornBaby – $14,058
9. StarMaker – $10,465

Rounding of Full Tilt’s Sunday Trio of big buy-in MTTs is the Sunday Mulligan, the latest starting of the bunch.   The $200+$16 buy-in, $200,000 guaranteed tournament has been easily surpassing its guaranteed as of late.  This week was no exception, as 1,170 players created a $234,000 prize pool and $52,650 for first.  Thirteen Full Tilt Red Pros participated in the event, with “Bruce Buffer” and “Steve Wong” the only 2 to make the money.  In the end Ezmann was able to outlast “Vortex2099” for the win. “Postflopaction” is a high-stakes MTT and cash-game pro, playing NL up to $100/$200 on Full Tilt.

Full Tilt Sunday Mulligan $200k Guaranteed
1170 Entrants; 234,000 prize pool

1. Ezmann – $52,650
2. Vortex2099 – $33,345
3. drunk mashimaro – $24,687
4. this is punny – $19,305
5. DarkHorse19 – $14,625
6. CzarBushov – $10,530
7. PostflopAction – $7,020
8. uuhhhicall – $5,265
9. KUZZ11 – $3,744

The Turbo Takedown on PokerStars is a special once-a-month tournament that can only be entered by players earning enough Frequent Player Points (FPPs), 5,000 FPPs to be exact.  The tournament has a shallow pay out structure and is always a $1,000,000 prizepool, with $100,000 going to first.  9532 players would play, meaning 5,000 FPPs were roughly worth a $105 buy-in.  To compare, it takes over 10,000 FPPs as a SilverStars to clear $100 in bonuses.  In the end, “Perky264” would take home the title.  One notable player “krissyb24” would make the final table.  Here are the final table starting chip stacks and final results:

Seat 1: pezi2000 (5844901 in chips)
Seat 2: BigDennys (2745539 in chips)
Seat 3: plattsburgh (1939168 in chips)
Seat 4: krissyb24 (3374825 in chips)
Seat 5: lexwilly (865053 in chips)
Seat 6: Shogu (3359768 in chips)
Seat 7: joehenry (1779972 in chips)
Seat 8: perky264 (5434185 in chips)
Seat 9: GKnight00001 (3252589 in chips)

PokerStars Turbo Takedown $1M Guaranteed
9532 Entrants; $1,000,000 prize pool

1. perky264 $100,000
2. Shogu $60,000
3. GKnight00001 $40,000
4. krissyb24 $32,500
5. pezi2000 $25,000
6. BigDennys $20,000
7. joehenry $15,000
8. plattsburgh $10,000
9. lexwilly $5,500

Next up was the World Record Tournament.  PokerStars wanted to host the largest tournament ever and it succeeded with its $10+$1 $500k guaranteed tournament capped at 35,000 entrants.  The tournament would fill up on Saturday, meaning PokerStars could have easily reach 40,000+ players.  However, not wanting the tournament to take a week to complete, Stars decided to cap it at 35,000 players and leave $150,000 in overlay for its players.  It was quite a shallow structure, with 8750 players getting paid and 1st place only garnering 6% of the total prize pool.  The final results are below:

PokerStars Guiness World Record Attempt $500k Guaranteed
35,000 Entrants; $500,000 prizepool 

1. stan34powa $30,000
2. meiky777 $20,000
3. rumred14 $15,000
4. Goldman007 $10,000
5. Nekochan48 $7,500
6. gustave44 $5,000
7. n0ideahh $3,500
8. alepolice $2,500
9. ONE_TIMEE $2,000
10. FuFish $1,500

Next up was the PokerStars Sunday 500.  This tournament, a $500+$35 buy-in always seems to attract a very solid field. This Sunday 1168 players created a $584,000 prize pool, by far the largest since the tournament started a few months ago.  This week, a familiar face, “All_in_at420” took down the title and the $105,353 first place check.  Another famous MTT Pro “johnnyBax” would make the final table but would bust in 5th place, earning just over $30,000.  Final table bubble boy Shaundeeb pretty much wrapped up the TLB championship earlier in the week.

PokerStars Sunday 500 $500k Guaranteed
1168 Entrants; $584,000 prize pool

1. All_in_at420 – $105,354
2. bboooommmmmm – $76,212
3. PurpleHazze – $58,400
4. livin4bball – $43,800
5. JohnnyBax – $30,660
6. ragen70 – $24,820
7. GotURead – $18,980
8. dmoney696969 – $13,140
9. TorontoToro – $8,176

Just like the 500, the $215 re-buy always delivers with a final table full of solid-MTT winners. Runner-up “gator93” has nearly won $100,000 in MTTs on PokerStars this year.  Eventual champion “Lenny” actually has won over $100,000 this year on Stars including a $320 buy-in event in January.

PokerStars Sunday $215 Re-buy $200k Guaranteed
349 Entrants; $235,000 prize pool

1. Lenny $45,825
2. gator93 $34,622.50
3. Bdbeatslayer $25,850
4. SixthSenSe19 $19,740
5. The-Toilet 0 $13,512.50
6. BreakRibs $10,575
7. firas71 $8,225
8. Mr Neverquit $5,875
9. ImAmazingg $4,112.50

Two PokerStars tournaments remain, and one needs no introduction.  It’s the Sunday $2,500,000 Guaranteed.  This week Stars broke its own record, with a $3,252,000 prize pool and 16260 entrants.  The huge prize pool had a large $331,387 first place check awaiting its winner.  A few FTR member would make the money, including “dthrone04” and “meeloche” who made a deep run, only to bow out in 24th place for over $6,000.  Other big names making nice runs were “pokersnoopy”and “twirlpro.”

Here are the final table stacks

Seat 1: lp_SakiSaki (309405955 in chips)
Seat 2: manifest23 (13908936 in chips)
Seat 3: kharak (14643069 in chips)
Seat 4: MauryFishant (2944989 in chips)
Seat 5: salmor (26352162 in chips)
Seat 6: Beufford (13892416 in chips)
Seat 7: La_Alvarado (12286663 in chips)
Seat 8: AAmerican (35907574 in chips)
Seat 9: k0rt (9458236 in chips)

The final three would come down to “lp_SakiSaki”, “beufford”, and “MauryFishant”.  Maury would be first to go when his 33 failed to outrun lp_SakiSaki’s KK. This would give lp_SakiSaki a better than 3:1 chip lead entering heads-up play, and he would soon be victorious when his flopped-full house would hold up against Beufford’s top pair. Here are the final payouts:

PokerStars Sunday Million $2.5M Guaranteed
16260 Entrants; $3,252,000 prize pool

1. lp_SakiSaki $331,378.80
2. Beufford $227,640
3. MauryFishant $162,600
4. k0rt $130,080
5. manifest23 $97,560
6. salmor $73,170
7. AAmerican $50,406
8. La_Alvarado $32,520
9. kharak $22,764

Rounding out the day on PokerStars was the Sunday Second Chance.   The biggest name to make the final table had to be “sweetluvin7,” a high-stakes cash-game player who plays up to $25/$50 6max and Heads-Up on PokerStars.  Unfortunately for him he would go out in 5th for just under $17,000. Heads-up play would come down to “Patrolman35” and “FangdenRaab,” with patrolman35 eventually taking home the title and $57,780 for first place.  The event saw a huge turn out, with over 1605 entrants easily surpassing the $250,000 guaranteed prize pool.

PokerStars Sunday Second Chance $250k Guaranteed

1605 Entrants, $321,000 prize pool

1. Patrolman35 – $57,780
2. FangdenRaab – $41,730
3. hookembaby83 – $32,100
4. markysals11 – $24,075
5. sweetluvin7 – $16,853
6. 1BigAceHole – $13,643
7. machado28 – $10,433
8. evamarie777 – $7,223
9. droniko – $4,494

With all the huge tournaments this week, hopefully online tournaments have built some momentum going into 2009 and we can all see more records broken and huge prize pools and guarantees continue. Good luck at the table in 2009 everyone!