Memorial Day weekend may not have meant much to the overseas poker players, but United States players seemed to be enjoying the long holiday weekend, as a handful of them did not show up for the big Sunday tournaments on PokerStars. Factor in that many in the poker world are in the midst of travel to Las Vegas for the impending start of the 2009 World Series of Poker, and that left a decrease in the overall number of players available to play online at PokerStars.
Nevertheless, it is the guarantees offered up by the site that ensure millions of dollars will be awarded to the players who show up each and every Sunday. And the draw of the money, the action, and the prestige associated with winning a major PokerStars tournament will keep the numbers relatively high no matter the other circumstances.
The action began with the first of the major tournaments, the Sunday Warm-Up. For a $215 buy-in, players are guaranteed a $750K prize pool. But since 3,780 players came to the virtual felt on May 24, that meant the prize pool eked past the guarantee to give them $756,000 for which to play. The final 540 cashed in the event, but it was the final nine who looked for the biggest payouts.
Going into the final table, BAnAnIEBAnAn had a substantial lead over the rest of the players with nearly 10 million chips, though two competitors were in the 5 million range. One of the short stacks, gsbets, was the first to be eliminated in ninth place, and Kaerm followed in the same vein. 1$ickDisea$E had made a serious run at some chips early but finally took a seventh place finish, Ruguebye took sixth, and megas took fifth. HustlerGrune was on a roll and knocked out G8vMyLfeAway in fourth and BAnAnIEBAnAn in third.
HustlerGrune and erot1 battled it out in heads-up action, and it didn’t take long for HustlerGrune to force erot1 to move his short stack, which he did with pocket eights. But HustlerGrune woke up with pocket queens, and the board did nothing to change the outcome, giving erot1 a second place finish and HustlerGrune a substantial win of $118,692.
1st place: HustlerGrune ($118,692)
2nd place: erot1 ($88,452)
3rd place: BAnAnIEBAnAn ($62,370)
4th place: G8vMyLfeAway ($43,470)
5th place: megas ($32,130)
6th place: Ruguebye ($24,570)
7th place: 1$ickDisea$E ($17,010)
8th place: Kaerm ($9,450)
9th place: gsbets ($6,048)
Next up was the Daily Eighty Grand Sunday Special, a tournament that takes its daily fun and turns it into a special $200K guarantee on Sunday afternoons. The $55 buy-in offers a reasonable alternative to some of the more expensive tournaments, and 4,671 players took advantage of it. The final 720 players took pieces of the $258,750 prize pool, but Legacy10 ended up defeating cdbr3799 for the first place title and $29,894.41 prize.
The Sunday 1/4 Million was the absolute best option for low-stakes players, as the $11 buy-in and $250K guarantee always attract tens of thousands of players. While the turnout was down this week, there were still 25,875 players, 4,500 of whom received part of the $258,750 prize pool for outlasting the rest. But ultimately it was cws33 who stayed the course and beat rassb3 in the heads-up portion of the event to take down the $23,287.51 first place money.
Then it was time for the ultimate Sunday tournament, the PokerStars Sunday Million. The $215 buy-in staple on the online circuit boasted of its usual $1.5 million guarantee, and 7,177 players showed up for it. A little lower of a number than usual, the $1.5 million prize pool kicked in with an overlay for the final 1,080 players left standing.
It was bbs99 leading with a massive 21.4 million chip stack, and praetoriancz was in a distant second with nearly 15 million. Team PokerStars pro Andre Akkari was the extreme short stack with just over 1 million in chips, and he made his move right away, ultimately succumbing to Pokermon1960 for a ninth place finish. Poker Man was taken out in eighth, followed by TUGA_ACE and guideguy. Pokermon1960 then went out in fifth, and bbs99 took a dive from his initial dominating chip position to fourth place at the hands of philipoo. The last three players standing struck a chip-chop deal, after which the short-stacked praetoriancz accepted third place.
Heads-up action began with KipsterDK holding a 6-to-1 chip lead over philipoo, and it only took two hands to decide the tournament. That second hand started with philipoo holding and KipsterDK calling the all-in with . The board completely blanked with , leaving philipoo out in second and KipsterDK with the biggest win of the day of $206,834.57 and the coveted Sunday Million title.
1st place: KipsterDK ($206,834.57)
2nd place: philipoo ($174,580.93)
3rd place: praetoriancz ($129,139.50)
4th place: bbs99 ($79,500.00)
5th place: Pokermon1960 ($61,500.00)
6th place: guideguy ($46,500.00)
7th place: TUGA_ACE ($32,250.00)
8th place: Poker Man ($18,000.00)
9th place: aakkari ($11,625.00)
Last up was the high stakes tournament of the day, the Sunday 500. With a $530 buy-in, the event saw 967 players pony it up and compete for the $500K guarantee which ended up as the official prize pool number. The final 144 left standing were paid, but it was fergwrx who ultimately came out on top of the battle with ZEMBALOUIE to give fergwrx the $87,400 first place award.
And that wrapped up another exciting day of online poker action on PokerStars. Before next Sunday, consider joining in the action, as any of the above-listed tournaments are accessible through the numerous satellite opportunities available on the site.
Download PokerStars to get in on the action all week long, and use bonus code “Stars50” and marketing code “POKERWORKS” to take advantage of bonus money for your initial deposit and entries into $2,000 weekly freerolls throughout the summer.