With FTOPS XIX in the rear view mirror and 2011 SCOOP off in the far distance there is a bit of a lull in online tournaments between major series.  Still, online tournaments were feeling the effects of FTOPS XIX as attendance remained up across the board yesterday. While tournaments like the Warm-Up and Million did not quite sustain the epic numbers put up last week they still were well ahead of their past averages.

Last week the Warm-Up eclipsed the $1,000,000 prize pool mark and yesterday it made a valiant effort of doing so in back to back weeks.  The day’s earliest major eventually fell just 11 players short of the $1M mark but still produced the second biggest tournament prize pool of the day. With more than $156,000 on the line for the winner the final table was full of players looking for a career best score.  Some of the air was let out of the Warm-Ups tires as the final four players decided upon a chip chop guaranteeing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishers $87,500 and handing eventual champion “Maethis” $138,526. There was still $10,000 up for grabs which came down to Maethis and “kubuzkuz”. In the end it was Maethis who took down the extra change and a $148,526 payday. The six-figure sum was the second massive score of his career, backing up a win in the $750k just two months ago.

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up $750k Guaranteed
4,989 Entrants; $997,800 prize pool
*4-way chop

1. Maethi $148,526
2. kubuzkuz $87,500
3. Hallrmonky2 $87,500
4. linzy69 $87,500
5. Speddie $42,407
6. prallimall $32,429
7. Amfan*Dexx $22,451
8. Gabrici_wolf $12,473
9. bertotraste $7,982

The Sunday Million also failed to reach heights seen last week but with more than 9,100 players there was $261,243 slated for the winner.  The final table was solid with a handful of online grinders vying for the quarter-million dollar plus first place check. Some of the more well known players included Christopher “BonesMaster” Bonita, Griffin “Flush_Entity” Benger,  and Bradley “Baza88” Bower. All three highly ranked players could not muster up enough to find their way to heads up but did take home nice paydays.

Unlike the Warm-Up before it, the Million did not fall victim to the chip-chop bug as “JustPushIt” and “WinnersClub” passed up on the opportunity to lock up some guaranteed money.  Interestingly enough neither player had seen much success on PokerStars in the past which makes it truly a gamble to go for the big prize. Perhaps neither knew about the possibility of a chop but it ended up only affecting “WinnersClub” as he fell heads-up to JustPushIt for a near $70,000 difference.

PokerStars Sunday Million $1.5M Guaranteed
9,147 Enrants; $1,829,400 prize pool

1. JustPushIt $261,243
2. WinnersClub $192,087
3. SoulMaster7 $136,199
4. BaZa88 $91,470
5. kenmrvegas $73,176
6. csacsi111 $54,882
7. G6Dragon $36,588
8. Flush_Entity $20,123
9. BonesMaster $12,806

As always the Sunday $500k had plenty of great players reaching its final table. With a $500+$30 entry fee the tournament tends to weed out the smaller stakes players who would rather take a shot at the Million or Warm-Up and their bigger prize pools.  Making yet another appearance at a major final table was Kenny “SpaceyFCB” Hallaert who seems to be on quite the run lately.  His 8th place finish here for just $10,296 pales in comparison to past results which include a win in the Warm-Up on Stars and the $300k on Party Poker. In 2011 he has already made the $200k GTD final table on UB as well as the Second Chance on Stars.

Runner-up “caecilius” took home $66,000 for his efforts.  The big score appears to be the best of his career surpassing a 2nd place finish in the $1k Monday on FullTilt last year for $60,160.  Taking home the title was Alex “ags104” Santiago who earned $91,133 for the win.  Alex won last year’s SCOOP $2,100 NLHE 2-day Championship for $387,720 and made another SCOOP final table just two days later. He is one of the biggest winners on PokerStars over the past twelve months and with another SCOOP on the horizon will be looking to add to his totals.

PokerStars Sunday $500k Guaranteed
1,056 Entrants; $528,000 prize pool

1. ags104 $91,133
2. caecilius $66,000
3. flpro157 $50,160
4. gipsy74 $36,749
5. Phoenician88 $26,136
6. WiLDmAn75 $20,856
7. ProXimaVez $15,576
8. SpaceyFCB $10,296
9. JRD312 $5,808

Much like the Sunday500 the $215r also turned in a solid final table full of high stakes professionals. Ninth place finisher Ryan “ryanbluf” Karp is a top-3o ranked online professional who is off to a decent start in 2011 having already won the $33k on FullTilt for $24,875 as well as finishing 2nd in the $109r on Stars for $27,468. Finishing one spot better was Matt “schnizeltoe” Keikon, who is a high stakes cash game professional mainly on PokerStars. Runner-up Fabrizio “SixthSenSe19” Gonzalez earned $24,893 for his deep run which rates well behind his top-5 scores which includes a win in the WCOOP Heads-Up Championship for $120,000 as well as as 2nd place in another WCOOP event for $94,975, both last year.  Gonzalez was unable to beat *$lim* who took home the biggest score of his career on PokerStars, a $34,529 payday. Previously he was finished 6th in the Million back in 2006 for $26,795 and had won the $55r three times which clearly translated to his victory here.

PokerStars Sunday $215r $150k Guaranteed
231 Entrants; $160,600 prize pool

1. *$lim* $34,529
2. SixthSenSe19 $24,893
3. JMaster130 $18,871
4. smokrokflock $14,053
5. $hark2u $9,636
6. psuNYY51 $8,030
7. Arnie_D $6,424
8. schnizeltoe $4,818
9. ryanbluf $3,212

A solid day on PokerStars culminated with the $250,000 Guaranteed Second Chance.  The prize pool fell just under the $300,000 mark as 1,459 players competed for a nice $52,641 first place prize. Ben “bfineman” Fineman headlined a solid final table full of players hoping to turn around a day full of online grinding disappointments.  Fineman eventually found himself heads-up with another highly-ranked professional, “flashdisastr”.  Both players are no strangers to online success with Fineman having won $300,000 in a $1,060 buy-in event on FullTilt and flashdisastr shipping a WCOOP major last year for $85,872. The two had a nice heads-up battle but the final pot went flashdisastr’s way as he took down the Second Chance crown and a nice $52,641 payday.

PokerStars Sunday Second Chance $250k Guaranteed
1,459 Entrants; $291,800 prize pool

1. flashdisastr $52,641
2. bfineman $38,080
3. youaremelon $29,180
4. Bdbeatslayer $21,885
5. Dowgh-Santos $15,320
6. BBZocker47 $12,402
7. ubon1 $9,484
8. $hark2u $6,566
9. weHAVEaPROB $4,085

FullTilt, still feeling the lingering effects of FTOPS XIX, saw some decent participation in their three major events on Sunday. Attendance was up across the board in the $400k Brawl, $750k Guaranteed, and $200k Mulligan.  The day kicked off with the Sunday Brawl, a $240+$16 buy-in event which pays $40 to a player every time he/she eliminates a fellow competitor. This “knock out” style of poker is becoming quite popular with FullTilt leading the way. Over 3,000 players entered the first major of the day on FullTilt including more than 20 FullTilt sponsored professionals. Some of the more notable pros on hand were Scott Clements, Ryan Daut, and David Pham who mincashed in 296th place.

The Brawl title came down to “wasonTwentyTwos” and “PreshaDroppa” who took out all of the drama by deciding upon a chip chop.  After the numbers were agreed upon it was wasonTwentyTwos who took down the biggest piece of the pie.  The $101,539 score was the biggest of his career by a wide margin. In fact, it appears he was quite new to FullTilt having only recorded cashes for just a handful of months.  It just goes to show that anything and everything can and will happen in online poker tournaments.

FullTilt Sunday Brawl $400k Guaranteed
3,015 Entrants; $603,000 prize pool
*2-way chop

1. wasonTwentyTwos $101,539
2. PreshaDroppa $96,245
3. amarkf $57,285
4. brockage22 $42,813
5. ZiZaZeppo $30,150
6. Iva-lakcko $19,899
7. mik272727 $13,266
8. ComeOnPhish1 $9,045
9. ryanbluf $6,633

Nearly 40 FullTilt professionals showed up for the day’s biggest major, the $750,000 guaranteed. In the past the $750k had been struggling a bit but coming off of a successful FTOPS the prize pool swelled to over $860,000.  With more than $152,000 on the line for the winner there were plenty of players on hand at the final table looking for a career best score.  One of the more notable names was Anthony “holdplz” Spinella who eventually fell in 5th place for $35,708. Spinella, a high stakes professional, won this very event back in 2008 for $132,787 and the very next month shipped a $1k event on FullTilt for $100,250.  Heads-up play came down to Kyle “weekesy” Weekes and “Athied87” who decided to chop the prize pool based on chip counts. Weekes settled for $109,612 which was $17,000 more than he would have earned for finishing second.

FullTilt Sunday $750k Guaranteed
4,323 Entrants; $864,800 prize pool
*2-way chop

1. Athied87 $135,494
2. weekesy333 $109,612
3. pat4ak2 $60,522
4. albis72 $47,553
5. holdplz $35,708
6. ONLYAAORFOLD $26,457
7. xROUNDER12x $19,886
8. MrBrown420 $15,563
9. mr roshan $11,586

Wrapping up another big day in online tournaments was the $200,000 guaranteed Sunday Mulligan on FullTilt. The latest starting major on the world’s 2nd biggest poker site nearly reached the quarter million prize pool mark as 1,244 players vied for a $54,736 prize.  FullTilt professional Jordan Morgan nearly took down the Mulligan before busting in 4th place for $20,215. Morgan’s deep run was certainly one of the best finishes for a FTP Pro this year in the Sunday majors.  The title would go to “Avril Sharapova”, a top-50 ranked online MTT professional who received $54,736 for his win. The $50k+ score was just one of nearly a dozen on a resume that includes wins in the Super Tuesday, $200k Guaranteed, and in this very event back in 2008. Avril Sharapova also just final tabled FTOPS Event 27 two weeks ago where he took 6th place for $78,914.

FullTilt Sunday Mulligan $200k Guaranteed
1,244 Entrants; $248,800 prize pool

1. Avril Sharapova $54,736
2. Kissmyassob $34,832
3. highlandfox $25,191
4. Jordan Morgan $20,215
5. oldjp3 $15,251
6. hustla16 $11,196
7. Grand Player11 $7,215
8. Tyren0 $5,225
9. -StAr3K- $3,732