With the high-stakes online poker world in a bit of a lull for the rest of the year it was a surprise to see how well the Sunday majors fared the past weekend. Perhaps MiniFTOPS XVIII is having a bigger effect than most could have imagined. Every event hit its guarantee yesterday marking a 3rd consecutive week in which neither FullTilt or PokerStars had to pay overlay to its participants.  The $750k on FullTilt and $500k on Stars were the closest to failure but late registration periods allowed them to squeak by with just enough entrants.

The day started with the $750,000 guaranteed Sunday Warm-Up on PokerStars. The Warm-Up has become the second largest event each and every Sunday, easily out-battling the $750k on FullTilt for runner-up honors.  With more than 4,600 players entering the $200+$15 event it nearly became the day’s 2nd million dollar prize pool as well. Still, a $920,600 pot with $144,426 slated to the winner is nothing to scoff at. First to bust at the final table was “trontrontron” who earned just $7,365 for a hard day’s work. The four-figure cash failed to crack his top-10 scores which includes a 3rd place finish in this very event in March for $77,467. The biggest victory of his career came in the $150+$12 $50k Guarantee for $20,601 this past July.

With one of the better players at the final table busting first it left a pair of six-figure paydays up for grabs. Battling it out for 1st and 2nd place was “Limitless22” and “arhigos21”. With over $37,000 in difference between first and second and no chip-chop on the horizon it was a great treat for those watching the final table.  Making it all the more interesting was the fact that neither player had seen a lot of success in big events on PokerStars in the past but decided to play it out for tens of thousands of dollars.  In the end the decision only paid off for one player, Limitless22, who took down the Warm-Up title and a life-changing $144,426.

PokerStars Sunday Warm-Up $750k Guaranteed
4,603 Entrants; $920,600 prize pool

1. Limitless22 $144,426
2. arhigos21 $107,250
3. P Cim720 $75,950
4. himmelseng $52,014
5. OnTheThinIce $39,126
6. ZeelandBoy $29,920
7. progre69 $20,714
8. bureat $11,508
9. trontrontron $7,365

The Sunday Million continues to roll on in 2010. The world’s biggest weekly event has been crushing its guarantee lately and this past week was no exception as 8,278 players created a $1,655,600 prize pool. With PokerStars FPP satellite system and late registration the Million should never have to worry about its $1,500,000 guarantee ever again.  A few strong players made the final table including “Sirocko” who earned $82,780 for his fourth place finish.  The high-stakes professional has seen great success on PokerStars in the past having won the Sunday500 earlier this year for $97,750. He has also shipped the $109r and $55r on multiple occasions.  Joining him at the final table was “ricestud” who earned $49,668 for his 6th place finish. The near $50k score was the biggest of his career besting a $30,472 cash for finishing 3rd in the Sunday Warm-Up all the way back in 2007. Rounding out the trio of well known players was 7th place finisher “Berkyy”. With more than a handful of five-figure scores to his name the rest of the final table certainly wasn’t upset about seeing him bust early.

Much like the Sunday Warm-Up, heads-up play came down to two relatively unknown players who decided against a chip-chop. Both “MILIANOS68” and “Troopaloop10” had failed to even register a four-figure score on PokerStars in the past but suddenly found themselves heads-up vying for a $243,544 payday. The final prize eventually went to Troopaloop10 as he took down one of the biggest scores of the year on Stars. Below are the final table stacks, bust-out hands, and pay-outs:

Seat 1: ricestud (3991346 in chips)
Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (5982369 in chips)
Seat 3: rrobert333 (1241751 in chips)
Seat 4: waynecoal (4857699 in chips)
Seat 5: Berkyy (2853411 in chips)
Seat 6: mapletrees22 (7225625 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (35468231 in chips)
Seat 8: Sirocko (14852997 in chips)
Seat 9: Morfi4 (6306571 in chips)

Seat 1: ricestud (3966346 in chips)
Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (12514738 in chips)
Seat 3: rrobert333 (1216751 in chips)
Seat 4: waynecoal (4832699 in chips)
Seat 5: Berkyy (2703411 in chips)
Seat 6: mapletrees22 (6950625 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (35443231 in chips)
Seat 8: Sirocko (14827997 in chips)
Seat 9: Morfi4 (324202 in chips)
mapletrees22: posts small blind 150000
Troopaloop10: posts big blind 300000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Sirocko: folds
Morfi4: calls 294202 and is all-in
ricestud: folds
MILIANOS68: folds
rrobert333: raises 886751 to 1186751 and is all-in
waynecoal: folds
Berkyy: folds
mapletrees22: folds
Troopaloop10: calls 886751
*** FLOP *** [Jd 9c 4d]
*** TURN *** [Jd 9c 4d] [2h]
*** RIVER *** [Jd 9c 4d 2h] [Kc]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Troopaloop10: shows [6d 6c] (a pair of Sixes)
rrobert333: shows [As Kh] (a pair of Kings)
rrobert333 collected 1785098 from side pot
Morfi4: shows [4s 3s] (a pair of Fours)
rrobert333 collected 1302606 from main pot

Seat 1: ricestud (3366346 in chips)
Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (13204738 in chips)
Seat 3: rrobert333 (2667704 in chips)
Seat 4: waynecoal (4682699 in chips)
Seat 5: Berkyy (3243411 in chips)
Seat 6: mapletrees22 (6650625 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (35036480 in chips)
Seat 8: Sirocko (13927997 in chips)
rrobert333: posts small blind 150000
waynecoal: posts big blind 300000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Berkyy: folds
mapletrees22: folds
Troopaloop10: folds
Sirocko: raises 360000 to 660000
ricestud: folds
MILIANOS68: folds
rrobert333: raises 1977704 to 2637704 and is all-in
waynecoal: folds
Sirocko: calls 1977704
*** FLOP *** [Js Ad 7c]
*** TURN *** [Js Ad 7c] [Ac]
*** RIVER *** [Js Ad 7c Ac] [9s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
rrobert333: shows [Ts Th] (two pair, Aces and Tens)
Sirocko: shows [Qc Ah] (three of a kind, Aces)
Sirocko collected 5815408 from pot

Seat 1: ricestud (3276346 in chips)
Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (13114738 in chips)
Seat 4: waynecoal (4952699 in chips)
Seat 5: Berkyy (3663411 in chips)
Seat 6: mapletrees22 (6110625 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (34646480 in chips)
Seat 8: Sirocko (17015701 in chips)
Troopaloop10: posts small blind 150000
Sirocko: posts big blind 300000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
ricestud: folds
MILIANOS68: folds
waynecoal: folds
Berkyy: raises 3333411 to 3633411 and is all-in
mapletrees22: folds
Troopaloop10: calls 3483411
Sirocko: folds
*** FLOP *** [9c 2h Kh]
*** TURN *** [9c 2h Kh] [7h]
*** RIVER *** [9c 2h Kh 7h] [3h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Troopaloop10: shows [Qh Jh] (a flush, King high)
Berkyy: shows [Ad Qc] (high card Ace)
Troopaloop10 collected 7776822 from pot

Seat 1: ricestud (2736346 in chips)
Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (10324738 in chips)
Seat 4: waynecoal (4862699 in chips)
Seat 6: mapletrees22 (6020625 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (42359891 in chips)
Seat 8: Sirocko (16475701 in chips)
MILIANOS68: posts small blind 150000
waynecoal: posts big blind 300000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
mapletrees22: folds
Troopaloop10: folds
Sirocko: raises 360000 to 660000
ricestud: raises 2046346 to 2706346 and is all-in
MILIANOS68: folds
waynecoal: folds
Sirocko: calls 2046346
*** FLOP *** [5h 3c 7s]
*** TURN *** [5h 3c 7s] [9h]
*** RIVER *** [5h 3c 7s 9h] [Jh]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Sirocko: shows [7d Jd] (two pair, Jacks and Sevens)
ricestud: shows [Ad 8h] (high card Ace)
Sirocko collected 6042692 from pot

Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (10684738 in chips)
Seat 4: waynecoal (4322699 in chips)
Seat 6: mapletrees22 (5480625 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (42569891 in chips)
Seat 8: Sirocko (19722047 in chips)
Troopaloop10: posts small blind 150000
Sirocko: posts big blind 300000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
MILIANOS68: folds
waynecoal: folds
mapletrees22: raises 5150625 to 5450625 and is all-in
Troopaloop10: folds
Sirocko: calls 5150625
*** FLOP *** [2d Qc 8s]
*** TURN *** [2d Qc 8s] [7d]
*** RIVER *** [2d Qc 8s 7d] [5s]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Sirocko: shows [Ah Kc] (high card Ace)
mapletrees22: shows [9h As] (high card Ace – lower kicker)
Sirocko collected 11201250 from pot

Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (22769476 in chips)
Seat 4: waynecoal (9991596 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (36518491 in chips)
Seat 8: Sirocko (13500437 in chips)
Troopaloop10: posts small blind 200000
Sirocko: posts big blind 400000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
MILIANOS68: raises 400000 to 800000
waynecoal: folds
Troopaloop10: calls 600000
Sirocko: raises 12660437 to 13460437 and is all-in
MILIANOS68: folds
Troopaloop10: calls 12660437
*** FLOP *** [9d 5h Qc]
*** TURN *** [9d 5h Qc] [7s]
*** RIVER *** [9d 5h Qc 7s] [Ad]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Troopaloop10: shows [6d 6c] (a pair of Sixes)
Sirocko: shows [4c 4h] (a pair of Fours)
Troopaloop10 collected 27880874 from pot

Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (21269476 in chips)
Seat 4: waynecoal (5911596 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (55598928 in chips)
waynecoal: posts small blind 250000
Troopaloop10: posts big blind 500000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
MILIANOS68: raises 500000 to 1000000
waynecoal: raises 4861596 to 5861596 and is all-in
Troopaloop10: calls 5361596
MILIANOS68: calls 4861596
*** FLOP *** [6d 9s 5d]
Troopaloop10: bets 5000000
MILIANOS68: folds
Uncalled bet (5000000) returned to Troopaloop10
*** TURN *** [6d 9s 5d] [3c]
*** RIVER *** [6d 9s 5d 3c] [Th]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
waynecoal: shows [Ac 7s] (high card Ace)
Troopaloop10: shows [Kh 9h] (a pair of Nines)
Troopaloop10 collected 17734788 from pot

Seat 2: MILIANOS68 (13831520 in chips)
Seat 7: Troopaloop10 (68948480 in chips)
MILIANOS68: posts small blind 300000
Troopaloop10: posts big blind 600000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
MILIANOS68: raises 13171520 to 13771520 and is all-in
Troopaloop10: calls 13171520
*** FLOP *** [4h 2s 7d]
*** TURN *** [4h 2s 7d] [Th]
*** RIVER *** [4h 2s 7d Th] [3c]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Troopaloop10: shows [Tc As] (a pair of Tens)
MILIANOS68: shows [9h Ts] (a pair of Tens

PokerStars Sunday Million $1.5M Guaranteed
8,278 Entrants; $1,655,600 prize pool

1. Troopaloop10 $243,544
2. MILIANOS68 $177,977
3. waynecoal $124,170
4. Sirocko $82,780
5. mapletrees22 $66,224
6. ricestud $49,668
7. Berkyy $33,112
8. rrobert333 $18,212
9. Morfi4 $12,831

Once again the Sunday500 on Stars provided the best final table of the weekend. The $500+$30 event typically weeds out a lot of the amateur and mid-stakes professionals leaving just big names with even bigger bankrolls. Just over 1,000 of these professionals entered the 500k on Sunday creating a $517,000 prize pool.  High-stakes mixed game professional John “jmonnett” Monnette was on hand before busting in 6th place for $20,422.  Monnette earned a lot of recognition at the 2010 WSOP where he final tabled two events including the NL 2-7 Lowball Championship where he lost heads-up to Phil Ivey for just under $60,000.  Online, Monnette has been a force in high-stakes triple draw cash games and did win the $1,050 2-7TD SCOOP Championship earlier this year for $36,400. Joining Monnette at the final table was Connor “blanconegro” Drinan who is no stranger to the Weekend Tournament Report having finished 4th in the Million, 1st in the $215 re-buy, and having numerous other final table appearances. His 4th place finish here earned him $35,983.

Heads-up play came down to “WatchTheSea” and “jokkee_apart”, two very solid high-stakes professionals unfazed by the spotlight. Both players have been at major final tables in the past, especially WatchTheSea who has won the $215r twice and finished second in the Warm-Up two years ago. All of his heads-up experience failed to pay off as jokkee_apart took down the title and the biggest score of his career. He had come close a few times in the past having finished 3rd in the $215r and 8th in the Million but his $89,234 was easily the biggest cash on his PokerStars resume.

Seat 5: WatchTheSea (2942631 in chips)
Seat 7: jokkee_apart (7397369 in chips)
WatchTheSea: posts small blind 40000
jokkee_apart: posts big blind 80000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
WatchTheSea: raises 80000 to 160000
jokkee_apart: calls 80000
*** FLOP *** [Kc 5s 6d]
jokkee_apart: checks
WatchTheSea: bets 151000
jokkee_apart: raises 249000 to 400000
WatchTheSea: calls 249000
*** TURN *** [Kc 5s 6d] [8c]
jokkee_apart: bets 580000
WatchTheSea: calls 580000
*** RIVER *** [Kc 5s 6d 8c] [Kd]
jokkee_apart: bets 6249369 and is all-in
WatchTheSea: calls 1794631 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (4454738) returned to jokkee_apart
*** SHOW DOWN ***
jokkee_apart: shows [Kh 5d] (a full house, Kings full of Fives)
WatchTheSea: shows [Qc Qs] (two pair, Kings and Queens)
jokkee_apart collected 5885262 from pot

PokerStars Sunday $500k Guaranteed
1,034 Entrants; $517,000 prize pool

1. jokkee_apart $89,234
2. WatchTheSea $64,625
3. TheTaker $49,115
4. blanconegro $35,983
5. GRESAGR $25,592
6. jmonnett $20,422
7. anatol1234 $15,252
8. thewh00sel $10,082
9. TimmyOx $5,687

Much like the $500k, the buy-in of the $215 re-buy tends to scare the average player away.  While players can enter for just $215, the average buy-in after re-buys and add-ons tends to exceed $700 making it one of the most expensive weekly events on PokerStars. This week was no exception as just 232 players rebought and added on enough to create a $161,600 prize pool with $34,744 going to the winner. A strong final table including Jordan “Jymaster11” Young,  Andrew “RunThisTable” Lichtenberger, Yevgeniy “Jovial Gent” Timoshenko, and Corey “comandr_cool” Burbick was quite the treat for the railbirds. Lichtenberger became famous last summer during his cameo appearance on G4’s “2 Months 2 Million” where he partied hard and player poker even harder. The high-stakes young gun found himself making a few deep runs at the 2009 WSOP including the Main Event where he earned $500,557 for his 18th place finish. Ultimately, his $6,464 score would not even be enough to buy into next year’s WSOP Main Event.

Sixth place finisher Jordan Young is quite the high-stakes grinder. The online professional has a large amount of $10,000-$20,000 cashes including multiple victories in the $109 re-buy. His past re-buy success failed to pay off at the final table as he had to settle for 6th place and a $8,080 score.  Timoshenko has also seen great live success having won the $25,000 NL Hold’em Five Star World Poker Classic in 2009 for a whopping $2,149,960.  His online success under the Jovial Gent moniker easily rivals his live results. The high-stakes professional won the 2009 World Championship of Online Poker Main Event for $1,715,200.  With more than 50 five-figure scores to his name and over $3,500,000 in cashes on PokerStars alone, Timoshenko might just be the best online tournament professional ever.  Our fearsome foursome was rounded out by Burbick who went on to win the title and $34,744.  The top-100 ranked online pro earned another big score on a resume that already includes a SCOOP win as well as victories in the Sunday500 and $200k on FullTilt.

Seat 1: Comandr_Cool (1491862 in chips)
Seat 5: townbizz25 (323138 in chips)
townbizz25: posts small blind 8000
Comandr_Cool: posts big blind 16000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
townbizz25: raises 16000 to 32000
Comandr_Cool: raises 1458262 to 1490262 and is all-in
townbizz25: calls 289538 and is all-in
Uncalled bet (1168724) returned to Comandr_Cool
*** FLOP *** [4s As 6d]
*** TURN *** [4s As 6d] [5c]
*** RIVER *** [4s As 6d 5c] [2d]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Comandr_Cool: shows [Ac 9d] (a pair of Aces)
townbizz25: shows [Kh Kc] (a pair of Kings)
Comandr_Cool collected 646276 from pot

PokerStars Sunday $215r $150k Guaranteed
232 Entrants; $161,600 prize pool

1. Comandr_Cool $34,744
2. townbizz25 $25,048
3. QcKimo $18,988
4. kwob20 $14,140
5. Jovial Gent $9,696
6. Jymaster11 $8,080
7. RunThisTable $6,464
8. kukuchacha11 $4,848
9. littlela $3,232

The final event of the day on PokerStars was the appropriately named Sunday Second Chance. The $250,000 guarantee had been hitting the $300,000 prize pool mark as of late but fell just short this past weekend.  The final table included the dynamic duo of Michael “YrrsiN” Huber and Joe “hoodini10” Udine who failed to use their final table experience to their advantage. The two best players at the Second Chance final table busted in 7th and 6th place respectively.  Eventual winner “teamfranklin” earned the biggest score of his career on PokerStars by taking down “GypsieChris” for the title. The $51,564 cash bested a win in the $3 re-buy for $11,314 earlier this year. Truthfully, it’s tough to determine which win was more impressive as the $3r tends to have a field of 7,000+ players.  Runner-up GypsieChris took home $37,361 for a hard day’s work. The high-stakes pro now has more than $500,000 in cashes on PokerStars in his career.

Seat 5: teamfranklin (3269592 in chips)
Seat 7: GypsieChris (1008408 in chips)
teamfranklin: posts small blind 25000
GypsieChris: posts big blind 50000
*** HOLE CARDS ***
teamfranklin: raises 50000 to 100000
GypsieChris: raises 903408 to 1003408 and is all-in
teamfranklin: calls 903408
*** FLOP *** [Ah 2h 6c]
*** TURN *** [Ah 2h 6c] [Jh]
*** RIVER *** [Ah 2h 6c Jh] [9h]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
GypsieChris: shows [Kc Tc] (high card Ace)
teamfranklin: shows [5h Ad] (a flush, Ace high)
teamfranklin collected 2016816 from pot

PokerStars Sunday Second Chance $250k Guaranteed
1,426 Entrants; $285,200 prize pool

1. teamfranklin $51,564
2. GypsieChris $37,361
3. travisohc $28,520
4. ghth $21,390
5. LUFCBas $14,973
6. hoodini10 $12,121
7. YrrsiNN $9,269
8. Maniac4Life $6,417
9. 3Mwol8 $3,992

FullTilt, not to be outdone by PokerStars, also ran their compliment of Sunday majors this past weekend. The $400k Brawl, $750k Guarantee, and $200k Mulligan have been stalwarts of online poker for the past few years.  Making these events even better is the presence of FullTilt sponsored professionals in each and every one.  Nearly 30 of those pros were on hand for the $240+$16 Sunday Brawl this weekend including Steve Yea, Roy Winston, Bruno Stefanelli, and David “the Dragon” Pham. John Racener, fresh off of WSOP final table fame, cracked the top-100 and finished in 80th place. Unfortunately for Racener his celebration was short-lived as he was arrested for a DUI later. Be sure to read up on events like this in our News Section.

The final table had a handful of familiar faces including heads-up participants Cristiano “crisbus” Guerra and “this is punny”.  Instead of competing for a $40,000 difference in prize money the two high-stakes pros decided to chop the remaining $177,000 down the middle.  These $88,000+ scores marked career highs for both players.

FullTilt Sunday Brawl $400k Guaranteed
2,662 Entrants; $532,400 prize pool
*2-way chop

1. crisbus $89,714
2. this is punny $88,107
3. vasika $51,643
4. DwayneStacey $38,865
5. J NOCK $27,152
6. mararios62 $18,102
7. Jeffboski $12,245
8. AnaheimDucks9 $8,518
9. McKi $6,389

The biggest event of the week on FullTilt, the $750k Guarantee, had seen quite a resurrection as of late but took quite a step back yesterday as less than 4,000 entrants ponied up the $200+$16 buy-in fee.  Forty FullTilt sponsored professionals entered their biggest major including Scott Fischman, Stuart Paterson, Isaac Baron, and Bruce Buffer.  Unfortunately none of the professionals were able to make deep runs as they all failed to crack the top-100.  Third-place finisher Joe “planetearf” Serock was the most decorated of the final table participants having previously won both the Sunday500 and Brawl.  Serock has also seen major success on the live scene having nearly won the $2,500 NL Six-Handed Championship at the 2009 WSOP before falling heads-up for $341,783.  Heads-up play came down to two players with out impressive resumes. That was all about to change as the first place check heading to “el_Scheffe” was worth more than $138,000. Runner-up “osokoso” had to settle for a $83,524 payday.

FullTilt Sunday $750k Guaranteed
3,903 Entrants; $780,600 prize pool

1. el_Scheffe $138,205
2. osokoso $83,524
3. planetearf $54,642
4. wogpharmacist $43,089
5. IRULEALOT $32,317
6. gnat777 $23,964
7. captinkm $17,954
8. VicBiggs $14,051
9. blackjack9 $10,460

Wrapping up the weekend majors was the Sunday Mulligan on FullTilt.  The $200,000 guaranteed event nearly reached the quarter million prize pool mark as 1,241 players paid the $200+$16 buy-in fee.  One of those players was FullTilt’s very own Caio Pimenta who took down the title and a $54,604 after beating Anthony “holdplz” Spinella for the title.  Both players have seen great success on FullTIlt with Pimenta winning FTOPS Event #22 last month for $100,000 and Spinella shipping the $750k for $132,787 in 2008.  Pimenta was joined by 15 other professionals in the Mulligan including Andrew “luckychewy” Lichtenberger, Jon Turner, and Svetlana Gromenkova.

FullTilt Sunday Mulligan $200k Guaranteed
1,241 Entrants; $248,200 prize pool

1. Caio Pimenta $54,604
2. holdplz $34,748
3. every1luvzneecy $25,130
4. DiFox $20,166
5. ScoopAndStack $15,215
6. SteFior73 $11,169
7. SharkInTheWater $7,198
8. Towelfish $5,212
9. Stamdogg $3,723