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February was a great month for high-stakes tournament action.  With FTOPS XI providing the online world a huge boost as well as PokerStars 25 billionth hand promotion, the tournament world saw a huge boost in participation.  Looking to grow off the momentum, PokerStars announced an intriguing tournament series called SCOOP. The series won’t start until the beginning of April, so let’s hope that March does not see too big of a drop in tournament attendance.

Getting the day going as usual was the PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up.   The Warm-Up is a $750,000 guaranteed event starting just after Noon EST on Sundays.  This week over 4400 participants nearly created a $900,000 prize pool. All in all, first place was worth $114,000 and change as “frtk” battled with “dippedydawg” for the title and a bundle of cash. Eventually frtk proved to be too much as he won the final flip after holding more than a 5:1 chip lead:

Seat 5: dippedydawg (7318180 in chips)
Seat 7: frtk (37411820 in chips)
dippedydawg: posts small blind 150000
frtk: posts big blind 300000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
dippedydawg: raises 600000 to 900000
frtk: raises 6300000 to 7200000
dippedydawg: raises 88180 to 7288180 and is all-in
frtk: calls 88180
*** FLOP *** [Ac Qd Qs]
*** TURN *** [Ac Qd Qs] [6d]
*** RIVER *** [Ac Qd Qs 6d] [Ts]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
frtk: shows [Js Qc] (three of a kind, Queens)
dippedydawg: shows [7c 7h] (two pair, Queens and Sevens)
frtk collected 14636360 from pot

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up $750k Guaranteed
4473 Entrants; $894,600 prize pool

1. frtk $114,508.80
2. dippedydawg $80,066.70
3. and217 $53,318.16
4. SpotLIGHT19 $44,730
5. tikk $35,784
6. unhOoKed $26,838
7. Carelo $17,892
8. papijuno $10,735.20
9. lephiloufou $6,977.88

FullTilt’s effort to keep up with PokerStars has been noticeable.  However, it seems their site just cannot attract as many players as their main competitor.  For the time being they will have to settle for 2nd best, which is still a nice consolation prize.  Kicking off a big Sunday for FullTilt was the Sunday Brawl, a $240+$16 knock-out event, which pays $40 to a player every time he/she busts another competitor. 27 FullTilt sponsored professionals attempted to take home the title and the $100,000+ first-place check.  Among the “red-pros” were Ram Vaswani, Scott Fischman, and WSOP Main Event champion Huck Seed. Heads-Up play came down to “utreg” and “rkwlrkwlgofk.” It was not easy to find much information on either player. Eventual runner up rkwlrkwlgofk had only one other five-figure score to his name before this tournament, while it seems utreg has had a bit more success.  Once again a tournament came down to a flip, with utreg flopping top-pair and holding on for the victory:

Seat 1: rkwlrkwlgofk (1,874,195)
Seat 8: utreg (5,601,805)
utreg posts the small blind of 40,000
rkwlrkwlgofk posts the big blind of 80,000
The button is in seat #8
*** HOLE CARDS ***
utreg raises to 200,000
rkwlrkwlgofk raises to 1,864,195, and is all in
utreg calls 1,664,195
rkwlrkwlgofk shows [4s 4d]
utreg shows [8h As]
*** FLOP *** [6d 5h Ad]
*** TURN *** [6d 5h Ad] [3s]
*** RIVER *** [6d 5h Ad 3s] [Jd]
rkwlrkwlgofk shows a pair of Fours
utreg shows a pair of Aces
utreg wins the pot (3,748,390) with a pair of Aces

FullTilt Sunday Brawl $350k Guaranteed
2,492 Entrants; $498,400 prize pool

1. utreg $101,648.68
2. rkwlrkwlgofk $65,788.80
3. bankrollme87 $48,843.20
4. lostpuppy90 $36,881.60
5. ziodeme $25,916.80
6. GrindedDown $16,945.60
7. jobealist $11,463.20
8. 4us0306 $7,974.40
9. dmiller $5,980.80

The Sunday Million continues to see some nice growth in attendance.  The tournament, which had been struggling at the end of 2008, has been easily reaching its guarantee every week this year.  This Sunday, 8,664 players took their shot at the $200,000+ first place prize.  A troubling trend occurring in the Million has been the early final-table chip-chop.  This week was no exception as the tournament was chopped with four players left.  The trouble with chopping is that it kills the final table action.  Players are no longer playing for a difference of $70,000 for first, it is merely $30,000.  Also, the difference between 2nd and 3rd is $45,000, nothing to scoff at either.  Below are the 8 bust-out hands from the final table and the top-9 pay outs:

Seat 1: IRENE666 (10793697 in chips)
Seat 2: Vincent Eley (2361820 in chips)
Seat 3: StefanProdan (8945052 in chips)
Seat 4: jbrown04 (10702952 in chips)
Seat 5: Princess480 (9117726 in chips)
Seat 6: wywrotX (14815950 in chips)
Seat 7: G6Dragon (5584071 in chips)
Seat 8: Bob Vitis (16889023 in chips)
Seat 9: WlkRambo (7429709 in chips)
StefanProdan: posts small blind 200000
jbrown04: posts big blind 400000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Princess480: folds
wywrotX: folds
G6Dragon: folds
Bob Vitis: folds
WlkRambo: folds
IRENE666: folds
Vincent Eley: raises 1921820 to 2321820 and is all-in
StefanProdan: folds
jbrown04: calls 1921820
*** FLOP *** [Qc 5d Tc]
*** TURN *** [Qc 5d Tc] [2h]
*** RIVER *** [Qc 5d Tc 2h] [As]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
jbrown04: shows [8h Ac] (a pair of Aces)
Vincent Eley: shows [4d Ad] (a pair of Aces – lower kicker)
jbrown04 collected 5203640 from pot

Seat 1: IRENE666 (10673697 in chips)
Seat 3: StefanProdan (7684702 in chips)
Seat 4: jbrown04 (15125122 in chips)
Seat 5: Princess480 (8197726 in chips)
Seat 6: wywrotX (15415950 in chips)
Seat 7: G6Dragon (5464071 in chips)
Seat 8: Bob Vitis (16769023 in chips)
Seat 9: WlkRambo (7309709 in chips)
wywrotX: posts small blind 250000
G6Dragon: posts big blind 500000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Bob Vitis: folds
WlkRambo: folds
IRENE666: raises 1000000 to 1500000
StefanProdan: folds
jbrown04: folds
Princess480: folds
wywrotX: folds
G6Dragon: raises 3914071 to 5414071 and is all-in
IRENE666: calls 3914071
*** FLOP *** [9c 4s 7c]
*** TURN *** [9c 4s 7c] [2h]
*** RIVER *** [9c 4s 7c 2h] [Js]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
G6Dragon: shows [Ad Td] (high card Ace)
IRENE666: shows [Ac Qh] (high card Ace – Queen kicker)
IRENE666 collected 11478142 from pot

Seat 1: IRENE666 (7351752 in chips)
Seat 3: StefanProdan (6413902 in chips)
Seat 4: jbrown04 (27724368 in chips)
Seat 5: Princess480 (1726034 in chips)
Seat 6: wywrotX (11977933 in chips)
Seat 8: Bob Vitis (17525793 in chips)
Seat 9: WlkRambo (13920218 in chips)
IRENE666: posts small blind 250000
StefanProdan: posts big blind 500000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
jbrown04: folds
Princess480: raises 1176034 to 1676034 and is all-in
wywrotX: folds
Bob Vitis: folds
WlkRambo: folds
IRENE666: folds
StefanProdan: calls 1176034
*** FLOP *** [Tc 2h As]
*** TURN *** [Tc 2h As] [5c]
*** RIVER *** [Tc 2h As 5c] [7d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
StefanProdan: shows [Td Kc] (a pair of Tens)
Princess480: shows [Jh Ts] (a pair of Tens – lower kicker)
StefanProdan collected 3952068 from pot

Seat 1: IRENE666 (5811752 in chips)
Seat 3: StefanProdan (8709936 in chips)
Seat 4: jbrown04 (27634368 in chips)
Seat 6: wywrotX (10787933 in chips)
Seat 8: Bob Vitis (19955793 in chips)
Seat 9: WlkRambo (13740218 in chips)
StefanProdan: posts small blind 300000
jbrown04: posts big blind 600000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
wywrotX: folds
Bob Vitis: folds
WlkRambo: folds
IRENE666: raises 5151752 to 5751752 and is all-in
StefanProdan: folds
jbrown04: calls 5151752
*** FLOP *** [8s Jc 7d]
*** TURN *** [8s Jc 7d] [Ad]
*** RIVER *** [8s Jc 7d Ad] [3h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
jbrown04: shows [4c 4d] (a pair of Fours)
IRENE666: shows [Qs Kd] (high card Ace)
jbrown04 collected 12163504 from pot

Seat 3: StefanProdan (30950154 in chips)
Seat 4: jbrown04 (35286120 in chips)
Seat 6: wywrotX (8172933 in chips)
Seat 8: Bob Vitis (12230793 in chips)
StefanProdan: posts small blind 400000
jbrown04: posts big blind 800000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
wywrotX: raises 7292933 to 8092933 and is all-in
Bob Vitis: folds
StefanProdan: folds
jbrown04: calls 7292933
*** FLOP *** [6s 4s 7c]
*** TURN *** [6s 4s 7c] [Jd]
*** RIVER *** [6s 4s 7c Jd] [Tc]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
jbrown04: shows [Ac Qh] (high card Ace)
wywrotX: shows [Qd 2d] (high card Queen)
jbrown04 collected 16905866 from pot

Seat 3: StefanProdan (30470154 in chips)
Seat 4: jbrown04 (44019053 in chips)
Seat 8: Bob Vitis (12150793 in chips)
jbrown04: posts small blind 400000
Bob Vitis: posts big blind 800000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
StefanProdan: folds
jbrown04: raises 43139053 to 43939053 and is all-in
Bob Vitis: calls 11270793 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (31868260) returned to jbrown04
*** FLOP *** [7c Qc 3d]
*** TURN *** [7c Qc 3d] [Tc]
*** RIVER *** [7c Qc 3d Tc] [2h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
jbrown04: shows [Ac 8c] (a flush, Ace high)
Bob Vitis: shows [Kd Qd] (a pair of Queens)
jbrown04 collected 24381586 from pot

Table ‘142787448 392’ 9-max Seat #4 is the button
Seat 3: StefanProdan (71590308 in chips)
Seat 4: jbrown04 (15049692 in chips)
jbrown04: posts small blind 500000
StefanProdan: posts big blind 1000000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
jbrown04: raises 1350000 to 2350000
StefanProdan: raises 69140308 to 71490308 and is all-in
jbrown04: calls 12599692 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (56540616) returned to StefanProdan
*** FLOP *** [6c 2h 4h]
*** TURN *** [6c 2h 4h] [4s]
*** RIVER *** [6c 2h 4h 4s] [9h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
StefanProdan: shows [9d 8d] (two pair, Nines and Fours)
jbrown04: shows [Kc Js] (a pair of Fours)
StefanProdan collected 30099384 from pot

PokerStars Sunday Million $1.5M Guaranteed
8,664 Entrants; $1,732,800 prize pool

1. StefanProdan $168,296
2. jbrown04 $152,046
3. Bob Vitis $104,868
4. wywrotX $100,000
5. WlkRambo $60,648
6. IRENE666 $43,320
7. Princess480 $30,324
8. G6Dragon $19,927.20
9. Vincent Eley $12,129.60

FullTilt’s answer to the Sunday Million is their $750k Guarantee.   This week nearly 4200 players paid the $200+$16 entry fee creating a prize pool of $837,600. Thirty-eight FullTilt sponsored professionals including high-stakes pro Richard “CHUFTY” Ashby, PCA Winner Ryan Daut, and WSOP bad-boy Josh Arieh all made appearances.  Ram Vaswani made a deep run, eventually busting in 65th place. With deep stacks and some passive play, the final table took some time to finish.  Heads-Up play came down to “THE_GOLDMINE” and “daPHUNNIEman.”  GOLDMINE is a well known high-stake tournament player who has made over $340,000 on FullTilt alone.  He seemed to have total control of the final table, eventually taking down the title and just under $148,000.  This is his first major win, though he did finish 3rd in an FTOPS event last month for $44,800.

FullTilt Sunday $750k Guaranteed
4,188 Entrants; $837,600 prize pool

1. THE_GOLDMINE $147,911.78
2. daPUHNNIEman $89,539.44
3. Fetus $58,632
4. Shakunimama8 $46,068
5. larry2225 $34,592.88
6. DeuceBuster $25,630.56
7. Kiv56 $19,264.80
8. draq $15,076.80
9. iamthematador $11,223.84

The event with the best field, as always, is the Sunday $200 re-buy on PokerStars.  The high buy-in re-buy event typically produces a 300-400 player field of the best online tournament professionals.  This week’s final table was no exception as many well-known players made appearance.  “Allingomes,” “ender555,” and “BeL0WaB0Ve” all made the final table but would bust before the tournament became final handed.  “PeachyMer,” one of the more well-known tournament professionals, took down the title and over $42,000. This win is just another big win for Peachymer as he has victories in the Monday $1k on FullTilt, a second in this very event, and a 3rd place finish for over $90,000 in a $320 buy-in two years ago.  Here’s the final hand and payouts:

Seat 3: Betudontbet (369640 in chips)
Seat 4: PeachyMer (1382860 in chips)
PeachyMer: posts small blind 15000
Betudontbet: posts big blind 30000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
PeachyMer: raises 30000 to 60000
Betudontbet: raises 306640 to 366640 and is all-in
PeachyMer: calls 306640
*** FLOP *** [4s Tc 8s]
*** TURN *** [4s Tc 8s] [2h]
*** RIVER *** [4s Tc 8s 2h] [2c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Betudontbet: shows [6d 6c] (two pair, Sixes and Deuces)
PeachyMer: shows [8d Ah] (two pair, Eights and Deuces)
PeachyMer collected 739280 from pot

PokerStars $200r, $200k Guaranteed
329 Entrants; $219,400 prize pool

1. PeachyMer $42,783
2. Betudonbet $32,361.50
3. danskemann $24,134
4. Allingomes $18,429.60
5. ender555 $12,615.50
6. jasken $9,873
7. GillespieAA $7,679
8. BeL0WaB0Ve $5,485
9. QTgirlE3 $3,839.50

One tournament which tends to rival the $200r in terms of toughness of field is the Sunday500.  The $500+$35 buy-in, $500,000 guaranteed tournament passed its guarantee after seeing quite a drop-off in attendance last week.  1,031 participants created a $515,500 prize pool with $93,614 going to first place, and eventual champion “Kenny Rap.” Well-known “QuasiFiction,” Dustin “neverwin” Wolf, and “snowking_85” all made the final table but could not pull out the victory.  Kenny Rap is no stranger to success on Stars, having won the $200r last June.  Here’s the final hand and pay outs:

Seat 4: oldjude (1863180 in chips)
Seat 7: Kenny Rap (8446820 in chips)
oldjude: posts small blind 30000
Kenny Rap: posts big blind 60000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
oldjude: raises 92000 to 152000
Kenny Rap: raises 288000 to 440000
oldjude: raises 1417180 to 1857180 and is all-in
Kenny Rap: calls 1417180
*** FLOP *** [Kc Kh 4c]
*** TURN *** [Kc Kh 4c] [4h]
*** RIVER *** [Kc Kh 4c 4h] [9d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Kenny Rap: shows [9h As] (two pair, Kings and Nines)
oldjude: shows [5h 5d] (two pair, Kings and Fives)
Kenny Rap collected 3726360 from pot

PokerStars Sunday500 $500k Guaranteed
1,031 Entrants; $515,500 prize pool

1. Kenny Rap $93,614.80
2. oldjude $68,046
3. GripDsNutz $51,550
4. snowking_85 $38,662.50
5. TheChosenWun $27,063.75
6. QuasiFiction $21,908.75
7. neverwin $16,753.75
8. parksy1066 $11,598.75
9. megax8 $7,217

The final two events of the night, as always, are the Sunday Mulligan on FullTilt and the PokerStars Sunday Second Chance.  Both tournaments start quite late and are designed to give everyone a final glimmer of hope after a long Sunday’s grind.  Making the final table of the Mulligan was FullTilt sponsored professional “Christian Kruel.”  Kruel had the chip lead for most of the time on the final table bubble and at the beginning of the final nine.  Unfortunately for Kruel he took the path of many other FT chip leaders, busting in the middle of the pack in 6th place. Heading into heads-up play “ferragamoash” and “Lefty Stacks” were set up for a tough battle. Neither player has had much success at all on FullTilt lately making this final table a welcome sight for sure.  In the end it was ferragamoash’s time to shine, as he took home the title and just over $58,000.

FullTilt Sunday Mulligan $200k Guaranteed
1,326 Entrants; $265,200 prize pool

1. ferragamoash $58,344
2. Lefty Stacks $37,128
3. crisbus $27,183
4. Frenchie64 $21,547.50
5. Kingphil30 $16,575
6. Christian Kruel $11,934
7. swool $7,690.80
8. JUMP PUTT $5,569.20
9. mattster24 $4,084.08

Finishing off the STR is the Second Chance on PokerStars.  This week a very familiar name made his way to the top of the tournament, eventually taking home the title.  Kevin “bel0wab0ve” Saul has two 6-figure scores to his name, however, this appears to be his first major win.  That is if you don’t include the $1,300,000 he took home for winning the WPT Bellagio Cup III.  During that televised event he took home the likes of Mike Matusow and Shaniac.  Saul outlasted 1514 other players earning himself just under $55,000 for first place.

Seat 6: A 1 i s h A (450776 in chips)
Seat 9: BeL0WaB0Ve (4094224 in chips)
A 1 i s h A: posts small blind 20000
BeL0WaB0Ve: posts big blind 40000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
A 1 i s h A: raises 406776 to 446776 and is all-in
BeL0WaB0Ve: calls 406776
*** FLOP *** [9d 4d 7d]
BeL0WaB0Ve said, “gg”
*** TURN *** [9d 4d 7d] [7c]
*** RIVER *** [9d 4d 7d 7c] [2s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
BeL0WaB0Ve: shows [Kh 7h] (three of a kind, Sevens)
A 1 i s h A: shows [Qs Qh] (two pair, Queens and Sevens)
BeL0WaB0Ve collected 901552 from pot

PokerStars Sunday Second Chance 
1515 Entrants; $303,000 prize pool

1. BeL0WaB0Ve $54,661.20
2. A 1 i s h A $39,541.50
3. RankMeNOW $30,300
4. dajatt13 $22,725
5. Jonnybegoode $15,907.50
6. southrnctowl $12,877.50
7. bgitty $9,847.50
8. s00tedj0kers $6,817.50
9. YlonSchwartz $4,242