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Poker News | Online Poker | News

Online Poker Room Roundup: Green With Envy

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I'm rarely envious in poker.

To be envious, you have to assume you'd have the skill to actually, say, make it to the final table at the World Series of Poker, or travel the world playing in PokerStars' poker tours, or amass a stack the size of Mount Elbert at the Big Game in the Bellagio.

(By the way, you probably don't know the height of Elbert. But it's the tallest mountain in Colorado. I've also climbed it. Trust me. It's tall.)

But I found myself dreaming a bit this week as I read (fellow PokerWorks' author) Jen Newell's report on PokerStars' Sunday Million winner. Last week PokerStars threw in a little extra cash, with a $2 million guarantee (or about $500,000 more than usual), and sure enough, 19,377 came out to party.

The huge pool of players - about 11,000 more than usual - created a $3.875 million prize pool and set a new record for a Sunday Million.

That would have been fun to play. Alas, I work Sunday, and I doubt my wife would want me playing 10 hours and sticking her with three little ones anyway. She might change her mind, though, given that the first place prize was $550,000.

Man, second place was $332,540 and third was $244,616. Heck, I'd take that.

I'm wondering if PokerStars will do this once a month. It seems to work every time the site pumps up the pool, and the number of players almost doubled the guarantee. It doesn't seem like much of a risk.

You can join in the fun next Sunday, when PokerStars puts on a Warm-Up as well as its Sunday Million tournament. Those Warm-Ups aren't small, either, as last week brought a $750,000 guarantee and brought 5,200 runners.

I know it's the Super Bowl, but no one will care when you're playing a game while watching the Big Game, right? The commercials are usually the best part anyway.

Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker wrapped up its UBOC4 series last Sunday. Wow, there was a lot going on last Sunday. Anyway, you can still get in on some action, as the current Bad Beat Jackpot on that site is almost $60,000 (as of Monday) and you can now play Ultimate Bet or Absolute on your Macintosh.

Full Tilt's got its own huge series of tournaments coming soon. The FTOPS XV Series starts Feb. 10.

Assuming you can pull away from the site's Rush Poker - and I realize that's no real guarantee, as i'm pretty hooked myself - there will be more than $17 million up for grabs in 27 events.

In 2006, FTOPS debuted with just eight events and a combined guaranteed prize pool of more than $1 million. Things have changed since then just a tad.

There's still time to satellite into the events, including the $2.5 million guaranteed Main Event, and as we've said here before, there's some pretty cool prizes if you're one of the more successful players at doing so.

If you do decide to tear yourself away from Rush Poker and play, you'll get some pretty sweet prizes, including a limited-edition Full Tilt jacket if you make a final table. And if you win, you'll get that FTOPS jersey, a gold jersey avatar and a pretty sweet payday.

If you finish first on the FTOPS Leaderboard, you'll get your very own, custom Full Tilt avatar and an $8,500 prize package, which includes entries to every single FTOPS event the next time it comes around.

If you can't afford some of the buy-ins to the events - guilty - then you can play the MiniFTOPS. All the events are there, but they're 1/10th of the buy-in of the regular event. More than $6 million is guaranteed for these events alone, so expect huge fields and a whole lot of fun.

Finally, if you finish on the bubble - again, guilty, and really, is there a worse feeling in poker? - Full Tilt will help you bounce back with a "Bouncebackability" Freeroll. When you burst the bubble by getting your butt knocked out a spot before the money, not only will you get the adoration of every other player in that tournament, you'll get entry to the freeroll.

If you win that freeroll, you'll get an entry to the Main Event. So save your bad beat story and get focused.

Titan Poker once again is coming up with a way to send you to the big time. This time it's Barcelona for a huge EC Poker Tour event. The tournament for the $4,800 prize package and satellites are running Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays. You can win your seat in that satellite by playing a satellite to get into the satellite.

Confused? No? Good. You're smarter than me then. Those satellites run pretty much every day and are pretty cheap.

If you're rich enough to buy in on your own - in which case, Hi Durrrr, you can enter the Feb. 19 ECPT Barcelona Buy-In Direct tournament.

PartyPoker's got its own bragging to do lately, and that has nothing to do with its recent signing of Tony G.

No, at the Aussie Millions, which is a fairly big tournament on its own (one of the year's biggest, actually), PartyPoker not only had two of its qualifiers at the final table, they finished first and second!

Um, no, the final table wasn't soft. It included Annette Obrestad, who is pretty good for a girl (ha just kidding!), along with other heavy hitters. Frederik Jensen and Tyron Krost battled until Krost won.

If that wasn't enough, PartyPoker's got a cool thing going on besides sending online qualifiers to life-changing money.  OK, you've done a Hit-and-Run haven't you? Oh, shut up, yes you have. Every cash player has at least a few times.

Now PartyPoker's rewarding that behavior. If you collect at least 20 PartyPoints, the site will give you $1 to bet on the special Hit or Run heads up game. Win and the site doubles your money.

Then you can Hit and bet that money again, or you can Run and take the cash. You can successfully hit 10 times per game, making each one worth $1,024. Collect enough points and you can play up to 10 games a day.

Meaning you could win more than $10,000 a day in February, though if that happens, you might consider buying a lottery ticket, too.

Hit on that and I'll be pretty envious.

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