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Online poker tournaments continue to thrive even amidst all the recent turmoil. For those not keeping up with the game lately, FullTilt was shut down last week by the Alderney Gaming Control Commission for certain operational practices.  However, it appears FullTilt, along with a certain European investor, will have the site back up and running again.  Unfortunately this week there won’t be any FullTilt tournaments to report as no one can access the poker room.  While FTP was down for the count, other sites like Titan and Party Poker looked to pick up the slack. The European-based card rooms have been trying to lure players away from FullTilt and PokerStars ever since Black Friday shocked the online poker world back in April.

The $200,000 on Titan has been flirting with its guarantee for some time now. While the $215 buy-in event has been falling just short of the 1,000 entrants needed to hit a $200,000 prize pool, it has been growing steadily as of late.  This past weekend the tournament fell just 23 entries shy of the mark forcing the iPoker Network (home of Titan Poker) to pay out $4,600 in overlay to those in the $200k.  The final table of Titan’s biggest weekly event had some strong players including third-place finisher “gmvalter” who earned $16,000 for his deep run.  The high-stakes tournament professional is one of the highest ranked players in the world due to his consistency in big tournaments.  He has won the $55r on Stars and $125k guaranteed on FullTilt and has more than 25 $10,000+ scores to his name.  Finishing two spots worse was “Elturf”, a player who nearly won the $1,000,000 on Titan last April before falling during heads-up play for a $110,000 payday.  The heads-up match in the $200k came down to “ZernO777″ and “WillonCoffee” with the former taking the title and a $42,000 first-place check.

Titan Poker Sunday $200k Guaranteed
977 Entrants; $200,000 prize pool

1. ZernO777 $42,000
2. WillonCoffee $22,000
3. gmvalter $16,000
4. m0nst4r $12,000
5. Elturf $10,000
6. badgergav11 $8,000
7. MonkeySpankerz $6,000
8. DeAngelis $4,000
9. BolS4ns $2,800
10. Acesonthebutton $2,000

While the Titan $200k continues to fall shorts of its guarantee the Party Poker $200k keeps on rolling.  This weekend the $215 event attracted 1,135 entrants creating a nice $227,000 prize pool.  There were 10 players looking for a big payday at the final table including “gregior” who ultimately busted in 8th place.  The high-stakes tournament player is no stranger to major final tables having finished 3rd in the massive Sunday Brawl earlier this year for $216,418 as well as winning the $1k Monday on FTP and Super Tuesday on PokerStars.  After gregior busted the final table was up for grabs and taking full advantage were “Oreglegios” and “Hribecek”.  The two players survived the big field but did not feel like playing any longer as they quickly agreed to a chip chop guaranteeing each player a share of the $74,900 remaining in the prize pool.  The slightly bigger piece of the chip chop pie went to “Oreglegios” who earned the biggest check of his career.  He has actually seen some nice success in majors on Party in the past having final tabled this event when it was a $300k guarantee back in 2008 and 2009.

Party Poker Sunday $200k Guaranteed
1,135 Entrants; $227,000 prize pool
*2-way chop

1. Oreglegios $37,926
2. Hribecek $36,984
3. enyedi999 $16,458
4. T3G3S $13,053
5. Pik3Zand0 $10,783
6. hunt1986 $8,513
7. I_FunmarZ_U $6,470
8. gregior $4,313
9. foxman2 $3,292
10. Gottardo333 $2,270

With FullTilt shut down for the time being it was up to PokerStars to carry the torch for the major online poker sites.  Already having cemented their place as the world’s #1 internet card room, PokerStars was now looking to put a stranglehold on all the high stakes tournament action it used to share with FullTilt.  They continued their online dominance this past weekend with the running of their Sunday majors including the $500k Warm-Up, $1,000,000 Guaranteed, and $250k Sunday500.  These three events built nearly $2,000,000 in prize pools as more than 9,000 attended their three biggest tournaments.

The day got off to a strong start as the Warm-Up nearly hit 3,000 entrants on its way to a $583,400 prize pool.  The day’s 2nd biggest poker tournament blew events like the $200k on Party out of the water.  Without the $750k on FullTilt around it seems the Warm-Up will easily be Sunday’s second largest event.  A player who knows success in both the $750k and Warm-up, “guillet76”, earned himself a $19,252 check for his 6th place finish.  He has now final tabled the $750k, $1,500,000 on FullTilt, and Warm-Up over the past two years.  Finishing in 8th place was “Emaa” who is one of the better midstakes grinders on PokerStars. This was the first major final table of his career but his resume does include a win in the $25k Turbo earlier this year.  Heads-up play came down to two players who had seen little success on PokerStars in the past.  Both “micado74” and “maicon178” were left to battle for more than $23,000 after “moderman22” busted in 3rd place.  Eventually the tournament and more than $91,000 went to maicon178 who in the process easily took down the biggest score of his/her career.

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up $500k Guaranteed
2,917 Entrants; $583,400 prize pool

1. maicon178 $91,594
2. micado74 $68,258
3. moderman22 $48,434
4. The_swan06 $33,546
5. abeainy $25,086
6. guillet76 $19,252
7. SafinRadik $13,418
8. Emaa $7,584
9. progre69 $4,667

Even with the $750k running the Sunday Million on PokerStars had been lapping the field lately.  The day’s only seven-figure guaranteed tournament has been cruising past its guarantee as of late.  This past Sunday was no exception as more than 5,700 players entered the $215 buy-in event creating a massive $1,143,600 prize pool.  The final table held approximately $600,00 and had nine players looking to make a life-changing score.  Two of the better players on hand, 7th and 8th place finishers “Francix” and “WhiteRabbito” busted early earning just $25,159 and $14,295 respectively.  Unfortunately, just as has been happening lately, the Million was chopped before a winner could be crowned.  This week just two players were involved in a deal that locked up more than $147,000 for “besar_cz” and $141,000 for “bmky88”. The rules state that $20,000 must be left on the table and that extra amount went to eventual winner bmky88. He was no stranger to success on Stars in 2011, having won a $55 buy-in event for $14,400 back in April.  Runner-up “besar_cz” actually held the chip lead at the time of the chop but was unable to put away his opponent during heads-up play. His $147,775 score was easily the biggest of his career.

PokerStars Sunday Million $1M Guaranteed
5,718 Entrants; $1,143,600 prize pool
*2-way chop

1. bmky88 $161,000
2. besar_cz $147,775
3. Cuzco $92,632
4. Crusher Jun $64,213
5. iso dj $48,031
6. R.J_Legit $36,595
7. Francix $25,159
8. WhiteRabbito $14,295
9. uarts2 $8,920

The final major of the day on Stars was the quarter-million guaranteed Sunday500.  The high-stakes event, formerly a $500,000 guarantee, tends to only attract top talent due to its $530 entry fee. Still, more than 500 players were willing to pony up the buy-in for a chance at a $50,000+ payday.  As is always the case, the final table was stacked with big name players possessing impressive online MTT resumes.  Two of those elite players were the first to bust at the final table was “bazooka87” took 9th while “mjw006” finished in 8th.  For mjw006 the $5,749 score had to be quite disappointing for a player who made our report earlier this year for his 2nd place finish in the Party $250k for $30,000.  Bazooka87 is yet to break through on Sundays although he has won the $40k on FullTilt twice in the past two years.  Much like the Million the Sunday500 was chopped before all the excitement could begin. This time it was a trio of players who split up the remaining $109,000 in the prize pool.  Taking home the biggest chunk was chipleader “Milana Jones” who earned $40,546 after the deal.  The high-stakes player was quite busy yesterday as he/she was also at the final table of the Sunday Second Chance where he/she earned $13,067 as well.  Overall, it was quite a day for a player who didn’t start playing on PokerStars until 2011.

PokerStars Sunday500 $250k Guaranteed
511 Entrants; $255,500 prize pool
*3-way chop

1. Milana Jones $40,546
2. pAtcAsh83 $34,615
3. WhatIsICM $33,683
4. rouliroul $19,418
5. BabbieNuk $13,644
6. moneyMiker11 $10,859
7. Sherrii $8,304
8. mjw006 $5,749
9. bazooka87 $3,833

Wrapping up the Sunday Tournament Report is an event that is quite the enigma.  While PokerStars and FullTilt had to shut their doors to American online poker, sites like Bodog, Cake, and the Merge Network remained open to US-based players. One would think that this might help their traffic and tournament appearance, but for one event, the $100k on Merge, this has not been the case. The $109 buy-in weekly major has yet to see a big boost from an influx of American poker players.  This past weekend the tournament again fell woefully short of the 1,000 players needed to reach its six-figure guarantee.  Still, there were 763 players on hand vying for a nice $20,000 first place prize.  The final table was highlighted by Kevin “KevBlackwood” Blackwood, a player who won the Bodog $100k last year as well as the $40k on FullTilt. Unfortunately for Blackwell, he was unable to put those experiences to good use as he busted in6th place for just $3,500. Trav “SkinnyFatGuy” Greene finished one spot better in 5th place. the $4,250 score failed to crack the top-10 on a resume that includes wins in the Nightly $100k on PokerStars and the $18k on FullTilt.

Merge Poker Sunday $100k Guaranteed
763 Entrants; $100,000 prize pool

1. donkbet0813 $20,000
2. jtripenstein $12,000
3. ShiFty429 $6,500
4. MiguelSilva $5,000
5. SkinnyFatGuy $4,250
6. KevBlackwood $3,500
7. fourputt $2,750
8. TrAdam6 $2,250
9. heretokillit $1,750
10. Sheater $1,500