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The online poker world could be taking a backseat as the 2011 World Series of Poker begins this week. Without a major tournament series on the horizon online players will have to settle with the standard set of Sunday majors from the likes of situs slot deposit pulsa , FullTilt, Party Poker, Titan, and the Merge Network. All in all there are still tens of millions of dollars up for grabs each and every Sunday producing great action and exciting finishes.
A quick note, the crack news staff at FlopTurnRiver will be covering the 2011 WSOP in great detail. Be sure to check our News Section daily for real time updates from major events, news on big names poker professionals, and any other drama coming from the Rio Casino and Resort in Las Vegas.
This past weekend was a tough one for online tournaments as most Americans were celebrating Memorial day and a lot of other players were busy traveling to Las Vegas for the 2011 WSOP. To combat the lower attendance lately PokerStars has decided to move up their online majors by two hours each Sunday. This should attract more players from Europe now that the American player base is no longer allowed to play on PokerStars.
Speaking of sites not open to Americans, the Party Poker $250k continued to roll along this past weekend. The $200+$16 buy-in, quarter-million dollar guarantee has been falling just short of its guarantee lately. With a few players under 1,200 entrants on Sunday Party Poker again had to pay out more than $10,000 in overlay. Still the $250,000 prize pool ranked as one of the five biggest events of the day along with majors on PokerStars and FullTilt. The final table had some strong players on hand including Denis “bigdennys” Bergeron, Trung “dynastzz” Tran, Philly “pbergeroo” Huxley, and runner-up “mjw_006″. All in all there were a handful of the top-1000 players in the world vying for the $52,500 first-place prize. That honor eventually went to a relatively unknown player “SERPENTO78″ who took down the fearsome foursome in the process. This massive score was easily the biggest of his career for a player who before yesterday stuck to small stakes events.
Much like the $250k on Party Poker the same event on Titan Poker has also failed to reach its guarantee as of late. In fact the tournament came more than 225 entries short yesterday forcing Titan to pay more than $45,000 in overlay to those in the event. With each of the 1,022 gaining approximately $45 in tournament value there were plenty of happy tournament grinders on hand. While the Party $250k’s final table was full of successful online tournament professionals the Titan $250k was full of unknown amateurs. One of the few players with big event experience was the eventual runner-up “Mournval” who finished 2nd in the $200k on Titan last year for $28,674. His $27,500 score here was the 2nd biggest cash of his career and outranked a win in the $55 re-buy on PokerStars last year for $13,425. Eventual winner “DieselBossen” might not have had a lot of final table experience but he put what he had to good use. The $52,500 first place cash was the biggest of his career and one of the biggest scores online this past weekend.
The site that took the biggest hit from the Memorial Day festivities was one that depends a lot on American players. While a lot of US based players were busy at Memorial Day barbecues the Merge Network still ran their Sunday $100,000 guaranteed major. The $100+$9 buy-in event only received 826 entries forcing $17,400 in overlay to be paid by the growing poker network. For those who have played on FullTilt or PokerStars their entire life, the Merge $100k draws players from a range of more than 60 poker sites including Lock, RPM, Carbon, Blackchip Poker, and more. These “skins” all offer different promotions but use the same software and share tables with one another. This allows for extra traffic for the Network which in turn creates bigger tournaments and more cash game tables. The $100,000 was won by “Buckwild5″ for $20,000. Fifth-place finisher “Boltman7171″ was one of the more known players at the final table having quite the presence on RPM Poker in the past. His $4,250 score was one of the bigger cashes of his career on the Merge Network.
The PokerStars Sunday majors have seen a steady decline since online poker’s Black Friday in April. Still, the world’s biggest internet card room remains as the #1 online tournament provider as well. With the Sunday Million, Warm-Up, Second Chance, 500, and Storm, PokerStars has events for just about every skill and bankroll level. As mentioned before, starting next week all five of these events will be pushed two hours ahead to accommodate their player base which has become predominantly European since April 15th.
The $1,000,000 guaranteed fell short of its guarantee as just 4,833 players entered the $200+$15 buy-in tournament. With more than $33,000 in overlay there was some nice value for those who were willing to put in a hard day’s work grinding online events on Sunday. All of that hard work might have worn down on those who made the final table as all nine players strangely decided upon a chip-chop. The tournament rules call for $20,000 to be left aside in case of a deal, but other than that small amount there was zero drama left at the week’s biggest online event’s final table. The two biggest stacks at the time of the chop made it all the way down to heads-up play which eventually went the way of Tobias “PokerNoob999″ Reinkemeier. The $135,053 score was the 2nd biggest of his career coming in just behind a win in the 2009 SCOOP $1,500 Heads-Up Championship for $168,750. He has built quite the resume on Stars as along with a SCOOP and Million win also has taken down the Sunday500, $109r, Super Tuesday, and Second Chance. While he does not play a lot online he is widely considered one of the best players in the world.
The Sunday500, which now carries a $250,000 guarantee, fell 25 players short of reaching the quarter-million prize pool mark. This left $12,500 in overlay for 475 of the world’s best online tournament grinders. Finishing in 6th place was Alex “alexo18″ Manzano who earned just more than $10,000 for his efforts. The online professional has been on a roll lately having won the $215 re-buy last month for $18,950 and the $109 cubed for $10,695. Michael “Tokyo09″ Le improved upon his resume with an 8th place finish for $5,625. The high-stakes professional is no stranger to big-time final tables having nearly won FTOPS Event #24 last month for $173,250. Eventual winner “KingGr” took down the biggest score of his career on Stars for more than $47,000. The midstakes grinder had crushed highstakes satellites in the past but had come up short in bigger events.
Much like PokerStars, the world’s 2nd largest site FullTilt continues to march onward post Black Friday. While FullTilt has still not paid out their American players they have been communicating better as of late with those owed money. It seems payouts could be imminent as $50,000,000 in player accounts were unfrozen this past weekend. On top of this FullTilt has begun the process of converting tournament tickets and player points to cash. Even without Americans online the FullTilt majors continue to rank as the 2nd biggest weekly series in online poker. Their $240+$16 Brawl is a popular Knock-Out style event that pays $40 to a player every time he/she eliminates a fellow opponent. Players who bust FullTilt professionals also receive an “I busted an FTP Pro” shirt for their efforts. Yesterday there were 13 FullTilt Pros on hand with this bounty on their heads. The best finisher of the bunch was Marc Karam who made it just inside the money in 110th place.
The heads-up battle came down to “IM_ICM” and “push me dirty” who decided to forgo any variance and take a chip-chop. The deal left IM_ICM with more than $47,000 in winnings and push me dirty with more than $37,000.
Wrapping things up this past weekend was the $750k on FullTilt. The Multi-Entry event attracted nearly 4,300 entries bolstering the prize pool to over $850,000. The ME format seems to be catching on nicely and has been helping some of the bigger events on FullTilt surpass their guarantees post Black Friday. The final table contained some strong players including Romanian Ciolte “bloodlust007″ Calin who finished in 8th place for $13,757. Runner-up “Exan13″ is a Russian poker pro who took home the first six-figure cash of his online career. He previously won the Sunday500 on PokerStars for $87,400 earlier this year as well as the Brawl just last month for $75,892. All in all he has had quite the 2011 but could still not overtake “BadExtasty89″ for the title.

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