The massive crowds were back. The last Sunday in May fell on the last day of the month, and it brought bonus tournaments and larger fields for most of the major events on PokerStars. After several weeks of decreasing numbers and overlays, they all returned for a serious day of online poker where millions of dollars and a Porsche were up for grabs.
It seems as if the 2009 World Series of Poker inspired people. It is the height of poker season, and everyone is in the mood. If they could not get their game on at the Rio or in the numerous tournament series around Las Vegas, they chose to spend a comfortable evening at home with some of the biggest and most prestigious online tournaments in the world. That brought them to PokerStars for the Sunday majors.
As is tradition, the first major tournament on the schedule for Sunday, May 31, was the Sunday Warm-Up, the $215 buy-in event that guarantees a prize pool of $750K. While the event usually pushes past that guarantee, it was awhile since it garnered a field of 4,095 players to push the prize pool all the way to $819,000. That was to be reserved for the last 585 players standing, but the final table was where the majority of it awaited.
That final table began with justif1ed as the chip leader holding nearly 11 million, while zmeyer had less than 800K with which to work. But zmeyer doubled on the first hand to stay alive. It was winone123 who went out first, followed by legenden and then a more normal pace. zyemer was the next to go, though, and $hip$hark and Forceps were the next to go. And with the elimination of KidPokerJD in fourth place and basebal1b in third, only two remained.
Starting behind, justif1ed came back and took the lead, and he pushed the action when he woke up with preflop. Blodpudding called all-in with , but the advantage didn’t last long when the board came . That gave the victory to justif1ed, along with the title and more than $128K in prize money.
1st place: justif1ed ($128,583.00)
2nd place: Blodpudding ($95,823.00)
3rd place: basebal1b ($67,567.50)
4th place: KidPokerJD ($47,092.50)
5th place: Forceps ($34,807.50)
6th place: $hip$hark ($26,617.50)
7th place: zmeyer ($18,427.50)
8th place: legenden ($10,237.50)
9th place: winone123 ($6,552.50)
The next tournament on the schedule was a once-a-month event that rewards players on PokerStars for their frequent play on the site. The $1 Million Turbo Takedown allows players who accumulate points through regular site play to buy in to the tournament for 2,000 Frequent Player Points, a discount from the usual amount of 5,000 FPP’s required. There was a $1,050,000 prize pool set up for the players, along with a special gift for the ultimate winner - a Porsche Cayman S car - in celebration of the tournament’s one-year anniversary. That prompted 30,000 people to enter the tournament to compete for the prize money and the sporty ride.
That packed tournament dwindled quickly and was finally reduced to the final table players. 1_REALDEAL_1 started with a dominating stack of more than 20 million chips, and only two other players were even hovering above the 11 million-mark. But one of them - rageniv - started a bad run and was the first player to exit. After that, pairsetboat left, followed by tason1101, Aegis877, and mas_da_masta. The downfall of 1_REALDEAL_1 culminated in a fourth place finish, and Luckyb555 ended up in third.
The two heads-up players consisted of chipleader jabariwoki and bigjbecker, though the latter chipped away at his opponent to eventually take the lead. Finally, bigjbecker won the tournament when his pocket kings turned into quads on the flop, and bigjbecker was awarded $40K in cash along with the promise of keys to the Porsche Cayman S.
1st place: bigjbecker ($40,000 & Porsche)
2nd place: jabariwoki ($24,000)
3rd place: Luckyb555 ($20,000)
4th place: 1_REALDEAL_1 ($16,000)
5th place: mas_da_masta ($12,000)
6th place: Aegis877 ($8,000)
7th place: tason1101 ($6,020)
8th place: pairsetboat ($5,000)
9th place: rageniv ($4,000)
There was another tournament on the special monthly agenda, and that was the Battle of the Planets $50K Triple Shootout. It is a freeroll that happens on the last Saturday of each month to reward players who hold down positions in the top tens of PokerStars sit-n-go leaderboards. With a $50,000 prize pool set up for the final 81 players to share, there were a total of 544 qualifiers who showed up to compete. Ultimately, second place went to postpokerman, which was worth $7,500, and the winner was solody, who received $12,000 for the feat.
The Daily Eighty Grand Sunday Special was up next, and 6,462 players came out for the $200K guarantee for their $55 buy-ins. But the large field created an actual prize pool of $323,100 for the 990 finalists. But in the end, In_Coma_79 beat out DaFuChi66 to win the first place prize of $40,387.50.
Then the Sunday 1/4 Million kicked off with players lining up like they hadn’t in months to pay the $11 buy-in to have a chance at the $250K guarantee. But the list of 32,778 registrations pushed the prize pool to $327,780, which would be split according to the finishes of the final 5,400 players. Anjaelli ended up victorious upon the defeat of NDW2005 and claimed the $27,133.63 prize money.
And then there was the ever-popular Sunday Million, with its $215 buy-in and $1.5 million guarantee. It churns out online poker superstars and awards hundreds of thousands of dollars to the winner each week, and after a downturn in registration for several weeks, the attendance was back up…way up. There were 8,766 players who paid the $215 to play, and that created a prize pool of $1,753,200 for the final 1,260 players.
When the event reached its final table, it found Rock & Fold with a solid stack of more than 19 million chips, and scottuga44 was nearby with over 17 million. Royal Lacky was the severe short stack with 3 million, but it was Synercard who took the honors of exiting in ninth place. Royal Lacky hung around until eighth place, and abcabc4 followed, as did ExaMeter, Chipwreacked, papaya66, and peterpatat.
The final match-up began with scottuga44 in the lead over Rock & Fold. But the latter soon took over the chip lead and made scottuga44 feel the need to move, which he ultimately did with . Rock & Fold was right there with , and the board came in his favor with . That gave Rock & Fold the win and an impressive first place prize of nearly $258K.
1st place: Rock & Fold ($257,895.73)
2nd place: scottuga44 ($188,469.01)
3rd place: peterpatat ($131,490.01)
4th place: papaya66 ($87,660.01)
5th place: Chipwreacked ($70,128.01)
6th place: ExaMeter ($52,596.01)
7th place: abcabc4 ($35,064.01)
8th place: Royal Lacky ($19,285.21)
9th place: Synercard ($13,587.31)
Finally, the last tournament on the schedule was the Sunday 500, which required the high stakes players to buy in for $530 to participate in the $500K guarantee. There were more runners than usual, as 1,028 came to play and created a $514,000 prize pool. In the wee hours of the morning, the tournament wrapped when javel defeated caio_pimenta to claim the $88,716.40 first prize.
Five of the seven aforementioned tournaments take place on a weekly basis on PokerStars, and one might be surprised to find out that a significant number of players competing qualify for their seats each week through very reasonably priced satellites.
Start your own tournament revolution now by downloading PokerStars to get started. Using the bonus code “Stars50” and marketing code “POKERWORKS” will reward new sign-ups with a bonus on the initial deposit as well as entries into weekly $2,000 weekly freerolls.