The big events of the week fell on the middle night of the three-day Labor Day Weekend The bad news? Total paid entrant dollars were down. The good news? That didn't matter --- all the guarantees stayed the same. Beyond that, it was a good night for poker celebrities, from JohnnyBax to Jennifer 'Jennicide' Leigh to Huckleberry Seed, each of whom made deep runs in tournament action.
Poker Stars Sunday Million
The Poker Stars Sunday Million went back to the 'normal' buy in of $200 + $15. The showcase Stars tourney easily cleared its guarantee, as 5,699 entries meant for a total prize pool of $1,139,800. The lower fee and higher number of players meant that a whopping 825 places paid. This one also turned out to be the 'Jennicide' showcase, as she held the lead on several occasions during the final three tables. What sent the railbirds into a tither, however, was jennicide's all-in push steal just outside the final table, holding A-3, running into a big blind that called the 12x bet with offsuited A-J. However, jennicide hit a 5 on the river to make a 7-high straight.
When the final table began, there were five relative deep stacks, all between 1.8 and 2.7 million (led by 'Doc Deal 103') and four stacks under 850,000. 'FileError404' doubled through twice within the first few hands, however, to surge into contention. The first huge confrontation saw the pocket kings of 'simmsux' hold up over the suited A-J of 'Axabaxa,' giving simmsux a million-chip lead. It was the start of some wild action. One huge four-way pot saw three players with big pocket pairs, two sets... and no one eliminated on the hand. And on the very next hand, jennicide knocked out two players with a boat, sixes full of jacks. However, it was Doc Deal 103 who took mid-table control, with several tricky, trapping plays, before simmsux made a strong push to retake the lead later. Soon after, simmsux eliminated FileError404 on a race worth over four million chips, while one of the other initial short stacks, 'mortango,' played survival poker and danced through all-in after all-in, catching miracle rivers on at least two occasions before bowing out in 5th. simmsux won several nice hands to expand his lead, eventually topping eight million in chips, more than 60% of all in play.
The end for jennicide came when her pocket tens ran into the pocket jacks held by jalla79; the two were the short stacks, but with neither player improving and jalla79 having jennicide slightly outchipped, jennicide went to the rail in fourth. The big pot left Doc Deal 103 as the short stack. After a long battle, Doc Deal went out when he paired his trey (he held A-3), only to find himself trapped by simmsux's paired king.
simmsux began heads-up play with more than a 3:1 chip lead over jalla79, and the two then began deal discussions. The two made a minor change to the numbers that the Stars' support staffer cranked through the system, then played for the final $20,000, which went to simmsux after a see-saw battle that took nearly 30 minutes to conclude. The final table's standings and payouts:
Poker Stars Sunday Million – Final Results
*1st ($156,000): simmsux
*2nd ($103,418.48): jalla79
3rd ($56,990): Doc Deal 103
4th ($44,452.20): jennicide
5th ($35,333,80): mortango
6th ($28,495): FileError404
7th ($22,226.10): Axabaxa
8th ($16,527.10): elena_elphie
9th ($10,258.20): dabest247
* --- two-way deal to split remaining prize money
Party Poker Sunday Million Guaranteed
Party Poker's premier weekly event again cleared its guarantee, with 5,084 players adding up to a total prize pool of $1,016,800. 750 players made the money. Syracuse native 'Muraca' was the frontrunner here, starting the last table with almost $8,000,000 in chips. While 'raiserplay' made a move to a strong second place, Muraca stayed in control, making one tough laydown to an all-in reraise, then eliminating two players when he flopped a set of kings (the other players had A-A and 9-9). This hand's six-million-chip pot gave Muraca a lead he'd never relinquish.
When four players remained, a protracted and rather acrimonious deal-making process occurred; when it seemed like it would fall through and play would resume, the four players argued down the last few hundred dollars and made the chop. Here are the final table's standings and payouts, with the top four finishers' winnings showing the agreed-upon values of the deal:
Party Poker Sunday Million – Final Results
*1st ($141,159.83): Muraca
*2nd ($87,000): raiserplay
*3rd ($58,000): maxextractor
*4th ($54,061.45): imallinmom
5th ($35,588): That_Does
6th ($27,962): zoNk777
7th ($20,336): DwightSchrute
8th ($15,252): jaytorr
9th ($10,168): cherki
10th ($5,084): pollysmelt
* --- four-way deal to split remaining prize money
Full Tilt $200,000 Guarantee
The Labor Day Weekend blues had an effect on Full Tilt's marquee event as well, and while attendance was down about 15% from the previous week, the guarantee was still easily eclipsed --- 1,191 players meant a prize pool of $238,200. 108 players cashed, and the "Team Red" Full Tilt Pro contingent was led by the above-mentioned Huck Seed, who hovered just outside the top ten for much of later play before exiting in 31st.
While 'mylesfdo' led the tourney for much of the later stages it was 'tiltjonas' who went on a surge prior to the final table, having over $1,000,000 in chips (and a better-than 2-to-1 lead over second place) when final-table action began. But tiltjonas couldn't hold the lead, as first 'geeforce1' and then 'CaseyTheKid' won huge pots and surged to the front. CaseyTheKid later knocked out geeforce1, making trip aces.
Think CaseyTheKid won it? Nope, this one was a merry-go-round, and after geeforce1's departure, CaseyTheKid was the next one off the ride. tiltjonas went from up from down to back up again, with 'joanie007' also making a late push. mylesfdo's paired jack sent 'reallywow' out in 4th, while joanie007 claimed the lead by knocking out mylesfdo in a late confrontation. On the final hand, joanie007,'s K-9 of diamonds triumphed over tiltjonas's Kc-3s holding; the last of the money went in when both players caught a piece of the 9-3-7, two-club flop. While the eight of clubs on the turn gave tiltjonas extra backdoor outs, the river was the spade eight, given joanie007 a better two pair and the $53,595 win.
Full Tilt $200,000 Guarantee – Final Results
1st ($53,595): joanie007
2nd ($33,943.50): tiltjonas
3rd ($25,130.10): mlyesfdo
4th ($19,651.50): reallywow
5th ($14,887.50): CaseyTheKid
6th ($10,719): geeforce1
7th ($7,146): Solon07
8th ($5,359.50): showtime25
9th ($3,811.20): normondo
Ultimate Bet $200,000 Guaranteed
At Ultimate Bet, a slightly lower than normal turnout (blame it on Labor Day Weekend) meant that the tournament offered over $10,000 of overlay to the 937 players who did show up for the fun, with the top 100 guaranteed a return payday. Online superstar 'JohnnyBax' made a deep run here, his best of three cashes in Sunday's four biggest online events. (He made the top 200 in the Party Million and cleared the bubble in the Stars Million as well.) JohnnyBax made it to the final table third in chips, behind leader 'jambrose55,' who held a $200,000 chip margin over his nearest competitor ('AmsterdamMan').
jambrose55, Canada's final-table representative, also had seat position on JohnnyBax, and used a couple of over-the-top pre-flop reraises to force Bax off of hands. Add in a hand where Bax dropped a third of his stack with suited Big Slick (against a short stack's all-in push with Q-10, where two more Q's then hit the board), and Bax himself was soon looking up at the other survivors. He finally went out when his steal attempt with K-2 ran into jambrose55's A-J of diamonds, and jambrose55 rivered the flush.
Of all the shorter stacks at the final table, it was 'norich' who made the deepest dent, finally taking the lead when play reached four players with his own aggressive play. jambrose55 reestablished a big lead when his K-K held up against AmsterdamMan's Q-Q, and a short-stacked slob711 battled back into the game before a fateful race against norich --- slob711 held A-K against norich's 6-6, with norich having slob711 covered by a small margin. An ace flopped, but a six on the river gave norich a set and meant the onset of heads-up play. norich and jambrose55 fenced for several dozen hands, before a huge hand when both players had two pocket spades and both rivered the flush; norich's Q-high flush was tops and put him in command. On the last hand, norich's A-7 dominated jambrose55's K-7, with neither player receiving any help from the board. The final table standings and winnings:
Ultimate Bet - $200,000 Guarantee – Final Resutls
1st ($45,000): norich
2nd ($26,500): jambrose55
3rd ($18,000): slob711
4th ($13,100): AmsterdamMan
5th ($10,500): melrose
6th ($8,500): JohnnyBax
7th ($6,500): PRCARDPLAYER
8th ($4,500): wsaul
9th ($3,400): babymoore
10th ($2,000): utreg