This past weekend proved to be a bit of a lull in online poker tournaments.  Attendance was down across the board, and really showed itself on the European-based sites like iPoker and Party Poker.  While PokerStars continues to roll on, the other rooms are showing an ever so slight decline during the summer months.  Perhaps next week’s kick-off of the 2011 WCOOP will bring a lot of players back to online poker.  Be sure to check back with FlopTurnRiver over the next 3-4 weeks for updates on the World Championship of Online Poker.

The iPoker Sunday $200k took a bit of a step back this weekend as the tournament just barely crept past its guarantee.  It would be interesting to find out exactly why, as the $200k had been making nice progress lately.  Even still, with more than 1,000 players in the event, iPoker did not have to dig into their pockets to pay out overlay.  The final table had some strong players on hand including “hownorez” and “roverice” who made it all the way to heads-up play.  Both players had seen success online before, including roverice who won the $50k on PokerStars earlier this year for $13,066.  His opponent, hownorez, won the $25k Guaranteed on Titan just last month and was looking to use that experience at the $200k final table.  In the end hownorez was just too strong for roverice as he took home $42,252, the biggest score of his career.  Roverice had to settle for a $22,132 second-place check, coming in just behind a $26,891 score for finishing 3rd in the $150k on FullTilt last year.

Titan Poker Sunday $200k Guaranteed
1,006 Entrants; $201,200 prize pool

1. hownorez $42,252
2. roverice $22,132
3. bilpas $16,096
4. HunajapaaKimmo $12,072
5. KKremate $10,060
6. Koppe1x $8,048
7. fashman10 $6,036
8. ZockSteffen $4,024
9. program666 $2,817
10. nsc49 $2,012

The Party Sunday $200,000 guaranteed had also been on a roll, but much like the iPoker $200k, it took a step in the wrong direction yesterday.  It seems after their no-fee promotion ended that the tournament lost a bit of its luster.  Even with a drop in attendance the tournament flirted with the quarter-million mark before ultimately falling short. With 1,214 players paying the $200+$15 buy-in fee there was still a lot of money to be won.  The final table lost a bit of steam when the heads-up battle ended rather abruptly. Both “Tremie” and “dacoo222” decided to chop up the remaining $80,000 in the prize pool.  The biggest chunk went to Tremie who earned $41,256 for his victory.  This was quite the score for a player who had barely competed on Party in the past.  Runner-up dacoo222 was seemingly the more experienced player, but decided to take some of the variance out of the heads-up battle, settling for $38,868 after chop discussions.

Party Poker Sunday $200k Guaranteed
1,214 Entrants; $242,800 prize pool
*2-way deal

1. Tremie $41,256
2. dacoo222 $38,868
3. kcbluffing10 $17,603
4. GL_TODAY $13,961
5. DrDradle $11,533
6. khekhebe $9,105
7. norfman $6,920
8. valk577 $4,613
9. SlanigMan $3,521
10. munasuoja $2,428

The Merge Sunday $100k just cannot seem to get over the hump. The tournament appears to be stuck with just about 925 players entering each and every week. Hopefully the network can find a way to boost attendance before they have to reduce their biggest weekly event’s guarantee.  With nearly $7,500 in overlay all 926 players in the field had some nice added value to their entry fees.  Taking full advantage of this was eventual winner “CourtContugo” who cashed a $20,000 first-place check.  This was a huge score for a player who seems to only play lower buy-in events, and only got into the $100k through the 100 seats to the $100k freeroll.  It is truly a rags to riches story, a player getting into a major event for free going on to win the whole thing!  Runner-up “any2willdo23” was more experienced, but was unable to take down his amateur opponent.  His $12,000 score was also the biggest cash of his short career on the Merge Network.

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

1. CourtContugo $20,000
2. any2willdo23 $12,000
3. AmirV22 $6,500
4. CEnos1990 $5,000
5. AAUMWEGAA $4,250
6. bearbeer123 $3,500
7. RaspberryJammin $2,750
8. VanillaIceCream $2,250
9. grasshopper644 $1,750
10. xGENERALTS0x $1,500

While other sites struggle to fill their biggest weekly events, PokerStars just continues to churn out one huge turnout after another.  The world’s largest online poker site appears to have solved any puzzles about poker tournaments. With millions of dollars on the line each Sunday, PokerStars has become the universal home to internet poker events.

Sunday on Stars got off to a strong start as the $500k Warm-Up sped past its half-million dollar guarantee on its way to a $632,200 prize pool.  The week’s 2nd biggest poker tournament has been crushing it lately, and it’s slowly catching up to its $750,000 pre-Black Friday guarantee.  The final table itself was not all that exciting.  Once “Mrazeg” fell in 6th place, the final five players decided to chop up the remaining $285,000 in the prize pool. Taking home the biggest piece of the pie was “vasil1976197” who actually finished in 4th place but earned a $72,533 payday.  Such is often the case in the event of a chop, as there is just not much more to play for except Tournament Leaderboard Points.  The Warm-Up title went to “WATnlos” who would have earned more than $100,000 had he played the entire event out. Instead, he was forced to settle for a $60,847 payday, easily the biggest score of his long career on PokerStars.

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up $500k Guaranteed
3,161 Entrants; $632,200 prize pool
*5-way chop

1. WATnlos $60,847
2. Doroshev G $66,693
3. luwis $49,569
4. vasil1976197 $72,533
5. SirMoonMann $39,471
6. Mrazeg $20,547
7. PDJ4ck $14,225
8. Kovalski1 $7,903
9. Bjuran $5,058

The Sunday Million has been moving along nicely as of late.  The week’s largest online poker tournament has been gathering more than 6,500 players each and every week over the past few months. It will be interesting to see just how big it gets next week as the WCOOP will undoubtedly bring in a lot more players.  It would not surprise anyone to see more than 10,000 players entering the $200+$15 event.  Players can buy-in directly or work their way through PokerStars’ extensive satellite system.  This week the Million fell victim to the chip-chop bug as the final three players decided to divide up the remaining $455,000 in the prize pool.   Much like the Sunday Warm-Up, the Million’s champion was actually not its biggest winner. Third-place finisher “Bostero10” took home $162,300 due to his chiplead before the chop.  The title and $141,800 would go to “NhPokah”, who had final tabled the Sunday Warm-Up in the past but only had one other five-figure score to his name.  Runner-up “LEXER1986” earned $152,430, and much like the other players, it was a career-changing score for the mid-stakes grinder.

PokerStars Sunday $1M Guaranteed
6,624 Entrants; $1,324,800 prize pool
*3-way chop

1. NhPokah $141,800
2. LEXER1986 $152,430
3. Bostero10 $162,300
4. 19Boris73 $72,864
5. pldd1126 $55,642
6. ZISIMO7 $42,394
7. maikalllll73 $29,146
8. gazbeek $15,898
9. ProdigyXII $10,267

Capping off another big day of online events on PokerStars was the quarter-million dollar guaranteed Sunday500. The high buy-in event tends to bring out the best players in the world, while keeping many of the amateurs away.  The $500+$30 entry fee is just too high for most, but for 755 players yesterday, it was just right.  That could certainly be said for the eventual winner, “Milana Jones”, who earned a $63,328 score for his/her victory.  The big cash was just one of many on Milana Jones’ resume that includes a 3rd in the Warm-Up just two weeks ago, a win in this very event last month, and a win in the $109 re-buy! It has been quite a stretch for the high-stakes professional.  Falling victim to Jones was “fabstinho”, another high-stakes player who has nearly $1,000,000 in cashes on PokerStars alone.  His 5th place finish in a WCOOP event back in 2009 netted him $130,599.  Fourth-place finisher “pipedream17” might look familiar, as he took 2nd in this very event last week for $53,040.

PokerStars Sunday500 $250k Guaranteed
755 Entrants; $377,500 prize pool

1. Milana Jones $68,328
2. fabstinho $49,075
3. BtheWinner $36,806
4. Pipedream17 $27,558
5. schulz007 $19,441
6. DeanoSupremo $15,666
7. Adolfina2 $11,891
8. 1jos2 $8,343
9. espartaco60 $4,832