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Poker Stars Breaks Another Record This Weekend

Poker Stars $1 Million Guaranteed Biggest Ever Second Week in a Row, Full Tilt Also Has Huge Turnout


With all of the records PokerStars broke during the World Championship of Online Poker last month, and the records it's broken since, it seems almost trite to mention that the site broke another record this weekend. In fact, the PokerStars Million Guaranteed tournament broke the record it set just last weekend, gathering even more entrants (6,413) to make it the biggest weekly tournament in PokerStars history ... again.

Full Tilt also had a huge weekend with 1,726 players entering its $250,000 guaranteed tournament. This amounted to the largest turnout for the Full Tilt tournament in recent memory. If railbird comments are taken to be true, this weekend's event was Full Tilt's biggest ever weekly tournament as well, although that fact has yet to be confirmed.

Ultimate Bet and Bodog's tournaments both had overlays again this weekend. The Ultimate Bet $200,000 guaranteed had a $27,400 overlay while Bodog's $100,000 guaranteed saw Bodog put up $14,500. Neither tournament saw a drastic change in attendance compared to last weekend.

PokerStars Million Guaranteed

PokerStars has continued to see increased popularity in the wake of PartyPoker's exodus from the U.S. market. The record-setting 6,413 entrants in yesterday's Million Guaranteed tournament built up a huge prize pool of $1,282,600 and a first prize of over $183,000. With two records set in a row since the PartyPoker pullout, the real question is whether this is the peak or the beginning of PokerStars' success.

Every player at the final table was guaranteed to get a five-figure payday, but win532 had the best chances of going far as the big stack with $15.6 million in chips. Win532's stack was almost trice as big as Iteopepe88's, in second with $8.2 million. In fact, all eight players other than win532 had relatively comparable stacks with the short stack, hartwith, sitting with a respectable $4.3 million.

Mikem1181 was the first to go. Preflop play was aggressive as both mikem1181 and Halkeye got half their comparably-sized stacks into the pot. Mikem1181 pushed all in on a flop of 7heart 6diamond 5spade and Halkeye called, having him barely covered. Halkeye showed Aspade 6heart for a pair of sixes and mikem1181 flipped up Kspade 10diamond and would need to improve. The turn and river were no help for either and mikem1181 was eliminated in ninth ($11,030.36).

The next 10 minutes of play were devastating for win532 and his hyperaggressive playing style, and his stack was hacked away at by the other players, eventually bringing his $15 million down to only $3.4 million. Left crippled, win532 pushed all in on a flop of Jclub 7heart 3spade against hartwith and was called. Win532 showed Kdiamond Jspade for top pair, but hartwith revealed that he had him outkicked with Aheart Jheart. Neither the turn nor the river improved win532 and he was sent home in eighth with $16,673.80, despite his huge early lead.

The remaining players were itching to make a deal, but it wasn't until Jmaxime busted in seventh ($23,086.80) that they agreed to pause the tournament to discuss a chop. The deal dissolved fairly quickly when hartwith asked the then chip leader Halkeye to give him $4,000 to put him at an even $50,000. Halkeye immediately requested that the tournament continue without a chop.

Ironically, it was hartwith who was next on the chopping block when his Adiamond 9diamond went up against Halkeye's pocket sevens. Neither improved and hartwith went home with $29,756.32, $16,000 less than a by-the-chips chop would have given him if he hadn't asked for the extra $4,000. Play was briefly paused again for a chop discussion until it became apparent that lexx0170 wasn't interested.

Eight minutes later, jmikekennedy was the short stack with $4 million in chips and the big blind at $400,000. Jmikekennedy pushed his stack in preflop and was called by Halkeye, who showed 8club 7club. Jmikekennedy was in the lead with Qspade 10spade and the flop came 7spade 6spade 5diamond. Halkeye now had top pair and an open-ended straight draw to take the lead. The turn and river missed both players and Halkeye took down the hand to send jmikekennedy to the virtual rail in fifth ($36,810.62).

Lexx0170, the lone dissenter for deal-making, pushed all in on a flop of Aheart Qclub 7spade with pocket kings. Halkeye called and showed Aspade 6club for top pair and ended up taking down the pot to eliminate lexx0170 in fourth. Lexx0170 took home $45,917.08 for his finish and the remaining three players finally were able to agree to a by-the-chips chop, leaving $30,000 on the table to play for.

Iteopepe88 was second in chips going to the chop, but was the next to go 15 minutes later. After aggressive preflop action, and a checked flop of 8spade 4diamond 3heart, Iteopepe88 checked a turn of 7spade. His opponent, osten87, shot out a bet of slightly under the pot and Iteopepe88 pushed all in over the top for three-and-a-half times more. Osten87 called and showed Kspade Qspade for a flush draw, while Iteopepe88 flipped up Kheart 8heart for top pair. The 2spade on the river made osten87's flush to eliminate Iteopepe88 in third, earning him $104,735 after the deal.

Osten87 now had an almost 5-to-1 lead over Halkeye going into heads-up play. Osten87 won the next three hands in a row before the final hand took place. On a flop of Qclub 9club 2diamond, osten87 pushed all in and Halkeye called, showing Qspade 8spade. Osten87 showed that he was dominating Halkeye with Kdiamond Qheart for the lead. The turn and river improved neither and Halkeye left the tournament with $124,397 because of the deal. Osten87 took in the extra $30,000 for first to put his winnings up to $103,318.

The final standings were:

*1: osten87 - $103,318
*2: Halkeye - $124,397
*3: Iteopepe88 - $104,735
4: lexx0170 - $45,917.08
5: jmikekennedy - $36,810.62
6: hartwith - $29,765.32
7: Jmaxime - $23,086.80
8: win532 - $16,673.80
9: mikem1181 - $11,030.36
* Indicates payouts resulting from a three-way by-the-chips chop per PokerStars rules.

Full Tilt $250,000 Guaranteed

The 1,726 entrants in the Full Tilt $250,000 guaranteed tournament made for one of the biggest, if not the biggest, prize pool in Full Tilt's weekly tournament history at $345,200. The tournament saw Internet poker star P0KERPR0 bubble just before the final table in 10th place ($2,847.90) and red-named Full Tilt pro Steve Brecher finish in 19th ($1,121.90). Of course, the railbirds seemed more interested in the two players remaining with women avatars.

The women-avatar sporting players, JOSEYY and dinosaurjr, both of whom are actually men, made it to the final table along with the massive chip leader Jennez. Jennez had almost three times as many chips as his closest opponent with his $1.9 million stack. Jennez used his stack to take out five of his eight opponents himself and eventually made it to heads up against cardno.

With a 4-to-1 chip lead over cardno, it seemed like it would be a quick run for the title for Jennez. Cardno, however, wasn't ready to give up. The heads-up match lasted almost 40 minutes and, at one point, cardno had fought his way to a virtually even stack with Jennez. The stacks eventually returned to what they were at the beginning of heads up and Jennez finally put the last nail in cardno's coffin. On a board showing 9club 8spade 3club 6club, cardno bet, Jennez raised, and cardno pushed all in over the top for double the raise. Jennez called and showed Aclub 8club for the nut flush and cardno flipped up 9spade 8diamond for two pair and would need to complete a full house to stay alive. The river was the 3spade and cardno was eliminated in second ($48,328). Jennez took home $74,218 for his first-place finish.

The final standings were:

1: Jennez - $74,218
2: cardno - $48,328
3: dinosaurjr - $34,951.50
4: MisterNiceGuy - $28,047.50
5: Evode - $21,160.76
6: JOSEYY - $15,534
7: Tourbillon - $10,010.80
8: baller11782 - $7,249.20
9: oldtimerxc - $5,133.13

Ultimate Bet $200,000

The Ultimate Bet $200,000 missed its goal again this weekend with only 863 entrants, causing the site to have to put up a $27,400 overlay for the tournament. The flip side to this, of course, is that the overlay makes Ultimate Bet's weekly tournament the best bang for your buck in terms of prize pool versus entry fee. Kyle "kwob20" Bowker graced the final table before eventually busting in fifth ($11,000). Bowker's cash comes on the heels of his two World Championship of Online Poker bracelet wins on PokerStars last month, making for a very successful few months for the Internet poker pro.

Gobboboy entered the final table as the chip leader and he carried that lead through to heads up against Phwap. MiracleGro's third-place elimination, before heads-up play, was 30 minutes in the making, and it was another 20 minutes before a winner was determined. Gobboboy had a 2-to-1 chip lead over Phwap going into the final hand. Phwap pushed all during some aggressive preflop betting and was called by gobboboy. Phwap showed pocket jacks and was in the lead against gobboboy's Adiamond 6club. An ace hit on the flop to all but end Phwap's tournament. The turn brought another ace and the river was the meaningless 5spade to give gobboboy the hand and the tournament. Phwap took home $27,000 for second while gobboboy netted $45,000 for his first-place finish.

The final standings were:

1: gobboboy - $45,000
2: Phwap - $27,000
3: MiracleGro - $18,500
4: jclark9001 - $13,000
5: kwob20 - $11,000
6: Rojotito - $9,000
7: Going490 - $7,000
8: basebaldy - $5,000
9: WarrickDunn28 - $3,500
10: davorsuker - $2,000

Bodog $100,000

Like Ultimate Bet, Bodog had another weekend overlay, this time at $14,500. When the 855 entrants were whittled down to the final nine, it was wacamaster leading the way with a third of the chips in play. He retained this lead for most of the final table, losing it and regaining it again at one point, until finally going into heads up against The Cream. The Cream had a slight chip lead before heads up, but took a commanding lead after eliminating brdweb in third. The Cream had a 3-to-1 lead over wacamaster when heads-up play began.

In the 10 minutes of the match, wacamaster managed to even out the stacks by winning pot after pot. Finally, on a board showing Kheart Qdiamond 5heart Jspade, The Cream pushed all in, having wacamaster barely covered. Wacamaster called instantly and showed Aspade 10diamond for the Broadway straight. The Cream flipped up pocket jacks for a turned set and would need to improve. The river was the 3club and wacamaster took down the pot to leave The Cream severely crippled. The Cream pushed his remaining few chips in on the very next hand with Jclub 6spade and wacamaster called with Qclub 5club. Neither improved and wacamaster took down the pot to win the tournament.

The final standings were:

1: wacamaster - $25,000
2: The Cream - $14,000
3: brdweb - $9,000
4: nothingfalls - $6,500
5: alden167 - $5,400
6: Kexet - $4,400
7: chrisc7 - $3,400
8: ACB KGB - $2,400
9: Surfer Kid - $1,550

Card Player is also working with several sites that continue to serve U.S. players to provide deposit bonuses to our readers. Click on the following names to receive bonuses: UltimateBet, Bodog, Absolute, and Full Tilt.

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over 15 years ago

wow ...i would like to get to one of those finaltables....i would be set...

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