PokerStars had a few changes in store for its players on March 22. It began with the tournaments being restored to their regular respective starting times, as the past two weeks had been delayed one hour to accommodate those with Daylight Savings Time difficulties. The other change came in the form of a higher guarantee for one of its tournaments, as the Sunday Two Hundred Grand was transformed into the Sunday 1/4 Million due to the massive player turnout for the event each week.
Even still, the final tallies saw another roller coaster registration on Sunday, as two of the tournaments experienced a slight upswing in the number of players entered but the other two saw a decrease. There are so many plausible explanations, the most likely of which was the global economy that has caused people all over the world to tighten their belts a bit during the recession. In all reasonable perspective, though, there were still 43,132 players in the four biggest Sunday tournaments, and the cumulative prize pool was more than $3.25 million. Times may be tough, but the overall totals on PokerStars remain strong.
The most reasonable buy-in and bang for the buck on Sundays is always the PokerStars $10 + $1 buy-in tournament. Formerly known as the Sunday Two Hundred Grand, the newly dubbed Sunday 1/4 Million drew an impressive 29,883 players, which smashed even the new guarantee by nearly $50K. The entire prize pool ended up being $298,830, which was split appropriately among the final 4,270 players. But it was spohn25 who outlasted them all to take $28,388.86 for the ultimate first place finish.
The Sunday 500 was one of the tournaments that experienced a slight downturn in attendance, but it is one of the most expensive to enter should players not win their entries via satellites. The $500 + $30 buy-in event drew only 990 players this week, which brought the prize pool in just under the guarantee, forcing PokerStars to kick in that $500K guarantee. The overlay was good for the players, who played late into the night toward an exciting final table. In the end, well-known player Isaac “westmenloAA” Baron ended the tournament in third place, after which Joey Capp and browry battled it out until past 5am ET. Ultimately, Joey Capp took down the first place prize of $91,250.
Long before the Sunday 500 wrapped, the Sunday Warm-Up started and finished earlier in the day. That tournament saw a slight increase in the number of players from the week before for the $200 + $15 event, as 4,353 of them turned out for the $750 guarantee. That was put to rest when the prize pool swelled to $870,600 for the final 630 survivors.
As the final table was set, it was well known player James “mig.com” Mackey who had the eyes of many of the railbirds, as the skilled online pro looked for another title to add to his resume, but Buton77 held the chip lead going into nine-handed action. And it was Buton77 who sent don_beppe out in ninth place to start the action, but mig.com got in on it by eliminating p5an in eighth place. grebnrets86 then took the reigns and took out Ar Schaflme in seventh and DeacNutt in sixth, and mig.com then sent grebnrets86 to the rail in fifth place as the result of a 22.1 million-chip battle. mig.com proceeded to stay on a roll and eliminate dj_ponytale in fourth place, but Buton77 stepped up to give Quagmire a third place finish.
Heads-up action began with Buton77 and a 23,569,374 chip count versus the 19,960,626 of mig.com. The closeness in stacks continued as each took a slight chip lead at one point or another. Ultimately, though, Buton77 took the lead into the final hand that began with a flop. Betting and raising turned into mig.com all-in with against the of Buton77. The on the turn gave mig.com the straight, but Buton77 made the full house when the came on the river. That left mig.com with a respectable second place finish but Buton77 with the victory and $112,307.40 in prize money.
All of the final payouts were as follows:
1st place: Buton77 $112,307.40
2nd place: mig.com $78,354.00
3rd place: Quagmire $52,236.00
4th place: dj_ponytale $43,530.00
5th place: grebnrets86 $34,824.00
6th place: DeacNutt $26,118.00
7th place: Ar Schaflme $17,412.00
8th place: p5an $10,882.50
9th place: don_beppe $7,051.86
And last but not least was the Sunday Million. The big draw of the day actually saw a slight decrease in the number of players from the previous weeks, as the player total dipped below the 8K mark for the first time in awhile. Nevertheless, the 7,906 players overshadowed the $1.5 million guarantee with a $1,581,200 prize pool for the 1,170 top finishers, and the action continued throughout the evening as the final table neared.
It was bbs99 in the chip lead when it started, but Carter “ckingusc” King was close behind and looking for another win to add to his list of successes, most recently the $1.2 million main event victory at the 2008 WCOOP on PokerStars.
Eliminations were slow to come but finally started with tpreston accepting the ninth place spot and Rabbiej settling for eighth place. ckingusc was on task to eliminate bigsexyKN in seventh place, but *xen took over to sent 1GENERAL_TAO out in sixth. It was reef2287 who took out Liqqa in fifth place, but reef2287 was soon the victim of ckingusc and was knocked out in fourth place. The early chip leader then eventually succumbed to ckingusc, as bbs99 was ousted in third place to set the stage for a heads-up battle.
Two-handed action started with ckingusc and his 48,778,949 stack against the 30,281,051 of *xen. The exciting heads-up match saw *xen soon take over the chip lead with A-K against ckingusc’s pocket fours when an ace dropped on the flop. Though *xen extended his chip lead and looked to be running away with the title, ckingusc came back to double through when his pocket eights held up against the K-10 of *xen. That gave ckingusc a 2-to-1 chip lead.
Only several hands later, *xen took his pocket nines into battle seeking the return of those chips, but ckingusc called with pocket jacks. The board produced , and *xen was forced to accept second place, while ckingusc took nearly $200K and another title for the hard-fought victory.
The full list of final table payouts were as follows:
1st place: ckingusc $193,697.00
2nd place: *xen $130,607.12
3rd place: bbs99 $88,547.20
4th place: reef2287 $71,944.60
5th place: Liqqa $56,132.60
6th place: 1GENERAL_TAO $40,320.60
7th place: bigsexyKN $27,671.00
8th place: Rabbiej $18,183.80
9th place: tpreston $11,068.40
That ended the first set of Sunday majors on PokerStars for the spring, with many more left to go before the summer. In order to get in on the excitement and millions of dollars next week, sign up for a PokerStars account now and seek out the numerous satellites that will run until next Sunday.
When setting up your first PokerStars account, use the bonus code “Stars50” and marketing code “POKERWORKS” to receive a 100% bonus on any deposit up to $50 and be qualified to play in weekly $2,000 freerolls. PokerStars has so many ways to win, and it just might be the right time and season to begin taking advantage of them!