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Online Sunday tournaments - Players still competing despite WSOP

4 June 2007

The World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, the unofficial home to thousands of poker players for the next six weeks, did little to dampen player participation numbers in the online Sunday tournament this weekend, just one week after the sites drew unexpected record numbers on the U.S. Memorial Day holiday.

Participation in the Sunday tournaments has been strong of late, an unofficial sign that online poker is holding strong despite anti-gambling legislation in the U.S. Players at the WSOP are still competing in their regular Sunday tournaments in their hotel rooms, according to several online media outlets. One of those players was none other than Poker Stars' Isabelle Mercier.

PokerStars Sunday Million

Isabelle "NoMercy" Mercier was the player to watch in the weekly Stars Sunday Million, a surprise given her commitment to play at the WSOP in Las Vegas. Hundreds of adoring and sometimes rowdy fans followed the site's most famous female as she made a run at the big money.

Her tournament, marked by cold decks and bad beats, was a rollercoaster ride as she skillfully avoided opponents trying to knock her out and railbirds trying to get her hand in marriage. She was classy throughout, avoiding the ridiculous ranting rail and handling her bad beats with the composure expected of a professional poker player. When her pocket Queens were cracked by pocket Tens, she typed "Those go both ways," into the chat box and continued to amass chips.

She finished 42nd, earning a nice online payday of $3,300.

More than 7,000 players competed with "No Mercy," chasing $1.4 million in prize money. The number of entries was surprising considering the tournament had to compete with the WSOP. But as many poker media outlets are reporting, players at the series are logging on for their normal online tournaments in their downtime.

"Pokerjoel1" won the lion's share of the money, taking down $113,416 after a five-way chop at the final table. This was the first time "Pokerjoel1" competed in the Sunday Million and his third Stars tournament ever, according to www.officialpokerrankings.com.

"Mrp123," "Bonuskort," "PLAYAMAN" and "varuni" earned $80k, $100k, $115k and $58k respectively, finishing in that order after "Pokerjoel1."

Full Tilt $400k Guaranteed

Full Tilt's Sunday regular also drew big numbers during the first week of the WSOP, smashing the guarantee when 2,719 players created a $534,000.

The final table featured fresh faces. "CMcAboy," a relative newbie in Full Tilt tournaments, earned the largest payday of his online career, scoring for $99k. He entered the final table as the overwhelming chip leader, only to watch his lead disappear after suffering several setbacks.

He rallied hard, overcoming "svenneskumpa" in heads-up play after making an amazing call with just bottom pair. There was no chop. The second-place finisher earned $60k.

Ultimate Bet $200k Guaranteed

Ultimate Bet attracted 934 players for their weekly big draw, an impressive rebound from last week's smallish field of 834, especially considering the WSOP's presence. Ultimate Bet is still struggling to meet their guarantee, however, falling $13k short of their guaranteed money.

Internet superstar Jared "TheWacoKiDD" Hamby was the player to watch at this final table. With more than $300,000 in career online tournament winnings, Hamby is a regular at Stars and one of the best online tournament players in the world.

He entered the final table in sixth place and was able to improve his standing for a time, but ran his AK into pocket Kings and Jacks, ending his run at his first Ultimate Bet win in a Sunday major. He finished eighth, good enough for $4,500.

"Ostrichman" and "Mirage666" outlasted Hamby and former Ultimate Bet Sunday winner "kasedowgy," agreeing to chop the top prizes of $45,000 and $26,500 after exchanging phone numbers in the chat box.

Deal-making is always a scary proposition at Ultimate Bet given its lack of deal-making software. Officially, Ostrichman won the tournament, turning a flush against Mirage666's two-pair, but the duo will split the winnings if the honor system holds true.


Mucking McLane
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Best of Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane

Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.
Ryan McLane
Ryan McLane was a poker reporter for Casino City. Although he has a strong background in reporting, the same can't be said for his poker skills. He has never won a major tournament nor is he a professional player. He applied for this job thinking it was a joke, only to find it out that it's true, people will pay you to write about poker. His favorite word is ridiculous.

After receiving his BA in History from Stonehill College in Easton, MA, he somehow ended up freelance reporting for a couple years before being deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom III with the Massachusetts National Guard. He's back now and is a strong advocate of the phrase "God Bless America."

Currently, Ryan lives in Boston and occasionally makes international treks to cover tournament poker and news. Feature writing is his passion and there is no need to ask for his opinion, he'll probably offer it first - free of charge.