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888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche was the big-name winner from this week's online poker Sunday Majors after taking down his sponsor's flagship tournament, the $1,050 $100,000 guaranteed Whale, for $30,600, after defeating Joao 'Jaolito85 'Navarro heads-up. The four-time WSOP bracelet winner outlasted the 102 entrants before he shared his joy and relief on Twitter. https://twitter.com/DominikNitsche/status/980633609639026693 Fabio 'flbonatto' Bonatto was the biggest winner across all the Sunday Majors after defeating 'BalticMoose' heads-up to take down the prestigious Pokerstars Sunday Million title as he turned $215 into $172,955. Brazilian Bonatto, whose previous highest online cash came during the 2016 SCOOP series after he won Event 16-M for $46,772, beat the huge 6,406-player field to take the winner's share of the $1,281,200 prize pool. It was another very good day at the office for partypoker ambassador Joao 'INeedMassari' Simao. The Brazilian followed up his victories last week in the Pokerstars $1,050 Super Tuesday and $2,100 Sunday High Roller by claiming third place in this Sunday's High Roller showpiece event for $32,468 as well as taking fourth place in the partypoker $1,050 Super Sunday Big Bounty Hunter-HR for $18,480. PocketFives' current #3 in the PocketFives Rankings, Andres 'Probirs' Nemeth, was the eventual winner of the PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller and banked $56,111. Elsewhere, Brazil's Alexandre 'Cavalito' Mantovani lost out to 'Sykoen' heads-up in the PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller, $400k Gtd with the players winning $29,652 and $40,453 respectively. The U.K.'s Toby '810ofclubs' Lewis, who has won more than $1.8 million in live tournaments so far this year, finished in second place for $30,089 in the PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-Up $200k Guaranteed as 'FDBtazz' claimed the $41,464 first place prize. Whilst over on partypoker 'electrofarha' won $70,760 after beating out the 2,295 player field in the $215 Super Sunday Main Event-H. 'thebattler33' was crowned the $2,600 Sunday Major champion and scooped $61,250 with 'strangejelly' coming out on top in the 440 player field $1,050 Super Sunday Big Bounty Hunter-HR for $53,480. Below are this week's Sunday Major's final table results: PokerStars Sunday Million ($200 + $15 NLHE) $1M Guaranteed 6,406 entrants, $1,281,200 prize pool FLBonatto - $172,955.07 BalticMoose - $121,370.12 sub230212 - $85, 173.66 7DonCool7 - $59, 772.20 grecu2006 - $41,946.23 NisT_777- $29,436.59 69sBigLick - $20,657.68 Kobasteris - $14,496.90 MrLuckDragon - $10,173.49 PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller, $150k Gtd 128 entrants, $256,000 prize pool probirs - $56,111.68 voja555cz - $42,683.31 IneedMassari - $32,468.63 gray31 - $24,698.44 lasagnaaammm - $18,787.78 iambest2 - $14,291.60 Str8$$$Homey - $10,871.42 papan9_p$ - $8,269.74 Bigfish112392 - $6,290.68 PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller, $400k Gtd 982 entrants, $491,000 prize pool Sykoen - $40,453.62 Cavalito - $29,652.03 42ayay - $21,734.85 jutrack - $15.931.57 JOAKIMPRO - $11,677.79 ramastar88 - $8,559.79 Kashmir_uzi - $6,274.31 Weriks1 - $4,599.04 Cndale1 - $3,371.08 PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-Up $200k Gtd 1,330 entrants, $266,000 prize pool FDBtazz - $41,464.14 810ofclubs - $30,089.65 [Esmone_PT] - $21,836.04 BetForNympho - $15,846.41 Atte.laine - $11,499.73 tapa5dirham? - $8,345.35 nnhheeoo - $6,056.20 Nes1989 - $4,394.98 SirWatts - $3,189.44 partypoker $215 Super Sunday Main Event-H $500k Gtd 2,295 entrants, $500,000 prize pool electrofarha - $70,760.15 HanzooKid - $69,249.86 Iveybluffallin - $37,350 A03A993 - $24,850 President_Trump - $17,350 p1ngp00ng - $11,850 ZeKick - $8,125 PhileasFogg - $5,225 partypoker $2,600 Sunday Major – SHR $250k Super High Roller 99 entrants, $250,000 prize pool thebattler33 - $61,250 SchelampigaUhu - $43,750 Alien_Army - $31,250 JeanClaude1970 - $21,875 Drulitoo - $16,250 Chelsea72 - $12,500 onehundredeyes - $10,000 skitzo793 - $8,125 partypoker $1,050 Super Sunday Big Bounty Hunter-HR $500k Gtd 440 entrants, $500,000 prize pool strangejelly - $53,480 WhoDatt. - $38,360 CooperKupp - $26,320 joaosimaobh - $18,480 aLiNeNok1617 - $13,216 liangmannu - $9,632 Antifragile1 -$6,804 KONY2012 - $4,956 888poker $1,050 The $100,000 Whale 102 entrants – $102,000 prize pool 888Dominik - $30,600 Jaolito85 - $20,400 DosPoochies - $15,300 lasochobi - $10,200 jt7b12f - $7,650 MisterN411 - $5,610 strakkebille - $4,590 sweet_dr34ms - $4,080 tutten7 - $3,570 888poker $215 Sunday Mega Deep 376 entrants - $100,000 prize pool guydeet39 - $19,250 PBD03 - $14,250 6oTaHik - $10,750 streetdekor - $7,750 Pimmelspeck - $5,250 D0onkeyKong - $3,750 TAPIS_TAPIR - $2,750 nelisschuif - $2,250
In January, PokerStars made a much-heralded change to their flagship Sunday tournament, the Sunday Million. After years of being a staple on the Sunday Majors schedule at a $215 buy-in, the online poker giant announced they were moving to a $109 price point moving forward. The move was meant to give more players the chance to play in an event that most online poker players held in high regard. “We want to open online poker’s flagship event to more and more players. The lower buy-in will do that, while ensuring the “Milly” remains the Sunday Major every player wants to win,” PokerStars said in a statement at the time. The change might be backfiring in more ways than one. Since the $109 buy-in became standard on January 27, the field has dropped from 15,550 to 8,984 this past Sunday, when it overlayed by $101,600 ($20,744 if you include the fees) and some of the best online poker players believe the event is losing its luster. "I think they changed something that we got used to and really loved. When I was starting to play, I looked at the $215 Sunday Million and I think that happened to pretty much everyone that was starting to play online poker," said Alexandre 'Cavalito' Mantovani, who finished third in the Sunday Million on February 25, 2018. "You just looked at the biggest tournament and the Sunday Million was special. They changed it to $109. They tried a PKO once. It's kind of all over the place and it's actually not a surprise to see it overlaying." Over the course of the first eight weeks of the $109 buy-in Sunday Million, the field size dropped each week. Date Entrants % Decrease January 27 15,550 -- February 3 13,228 -14.93% February 10 12,371 -6.48% February 17 11,732 -5.17% February 24 11,559 -1.47% March 3 11,525 -0.29% March 10 10,469 -9.16% March 17 10,360 -1.04% On March 24, the Sunday Million stopped the downswing by drawing 10,805 players representing a 4.3% increase over the previous week. In an attempt to stem the tide, PokerStars experimented with a Progressive Knockout format for the March 31 event. it drew 12,790 players. The freezeout format returned the following week and drew what was then an all-time low of 10,316 players. April 14 was the 13th anniversary of the Sunday Million and featured a $215 buy-in with a $10 million guarantee. The buy-in returned to $109 for the next three weeks and the field size yo-yoed from 11,212 down to 10,224 and then back up to 11,480 - the highest it had been since mid-February. The Spring Championship of Online Poker also saw changes to the buy-in and schedule. There was a $215 buy-in on May 12 that drew 6,322 players and a $530 buy-in that had 3,008 runners. There was no Sunday Million on May 26 due to the SCOOP Main Event. As the buy-in dropped, so did the amount that the eventual champion took home. The last $215 buy-in Sunday Million before the change was scheduled to award the winner $157,620.46 and the runner-up $110,609.51. Those two players eventually chopped but each took home a six-figure payday. In the 14 Sunday Millions with a $109 buy-in since the change, only the champion has pocketed six figures and on February 24, due to a heads-up deal, the winner took home $99,888.91 for the first sub-$100,000 first place prize in Sunday Million history. Date First Place Prize January 27 $136,892.00 February 3 $129,213.00 February 10 $124,602.88 February 17 $119,324.72 February 24 $99,888.91* March 3 $117,222.79 March 10 $104,126.46* March 17 $108,192.73 March 24 $110,898.00 April 7 $107,737.84 April 21 $114,039.00 April 28 $101,770.63* May 5 $110,747.45* June 2 $108,784.00 *denotes a deal Mantovani understands that PokerStars wants to give more players access to such a prestigious tournament, but feels like they've diminished that prestige in the process. "Even the guys that couldn't play it before, it doesn't sound like the same dream, 'playing the Sunday Million'. I like the fact that it's more accessible to people, but I don't know man, I just miss the old days. Everyone I talk to says the same."
Even after the fanfare of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100K Super High Roller died down with Canadian Sam Greenwood earning his sixth career seven-figure score of $1.775M, the Imperial Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort & Casino was still buzzing. Day 1B of the 2019 PCA Main Event was in full swing and, in the afterglow of the PokerStars NL Hold'em Poker Championship, players were eager for one more chance at a huge score to start the year. Along with the Main Event, the superstars of the high roller scene continued to battle it out on the felt - this time in a $50K Single-Day tournament. Enjoy some photos from around the room on this action-packed day. $50K Single-Day [caption id="attachment_622269" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Mikita Badziakouski is a high fashioned high roller.[/caption] Mikita Badziakouski is a stone-cold killer in high roller tournaments and he’s got the results to prove it. He has over $20.8m in live earnings and also finished 34th in the 2019 PSPC as a Platinum Pass winner for over $86,000. [caption id="attachment_622270" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Christoph Vogelsang's decision to cover up in this manner has sparked some debate.[/caption] Christoph Vogelsang is at the center of an ongoing debate/discussion on how to handle it when players use extreme measures to cover up any facial tells. At first, it was just a scarf, but Vogelsang has now moved to this current look. Say what you want about the Super High Roller Bowl winner - he has results and is currently Germany’s #2 leader in all-time cashes, right behind Fedor Holz. [caption id="attachment_622271" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Kurganov is consistently finding himself at high roller final tables. His last victory came in Dec. 2017.[/caption] Daniel Dvoress (left) pocket nines outrace Igor Kurganov’s AJ. When a nine hits the turn, the Jack on the river is nothing but a needle for the PokerStars ambassador Kurganov. Kurganov is coming off a sixth-place finish in the PCA $100K for over $378,000. [caption id="attachment_622272" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Dominik Nitsche has amassed over $17M in lifetime earnings.[/caption] Dominik Nitsche reflects on his time in front of a solver while contemplating a decision as Timothy Adams (left) looks on. Nitsche’s most recent high roller success was a fourth-place finish in the WPT Five Diamond $100K for $370,000 in December. PCA Main Event Day 2 Shots from around the room shortly after the dinner break. [caption id="attachment_622273" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Poker legend Barry Greenstein mixes it up in the PCA Main Event.[/caption] Beresford and The Bear. Along with Scott Stewart (right), we look over the shoulder of top-ranked UK online grinder Conor Beresford as he sits with the legend Barry Greenstein. [caption id="attachment_622274" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Ole Schemion (left) won the 2019 PCA National for over $148K.[/caption] Two of the final four in the 2019 PCA National are side-by-side once again in the Main Event. National champ Ole Schemion (right) chats with Alexandre Mantovani. READ: Alexandre Mantovani WCOOP Score Into Live Success [caption id="attachment_622276" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Julien Martini finished as the runner up in the historic $25K PSPC for $2.9M.[/caption] PSPC Runner-Up Julien Martini (right) is still feeling good after his multi-million score. Here he sits with Netherlands pro Martijn Gerrits in the PCA Main. [caption id="attachment_622277" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Chino Rheem bubbled the final table of the 2019 PCA National.[/caption] Chino Rheem doing what he does best. Building big stacks in large field tournaments. [caption id="attachment_622278" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Leo Margets has over $1.1 million in live tournament earnings.[/caption] Winamax pro Leo Margets already made a deep run during the 2019 PCA National. Here's she's putting together some chips to make a run in the Main Event. [caption id="attachment_622279" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Has the covering of faces gone too far or is it just no big deal?[/caption] What do you think of this look? Hate it? Love it? Does it bother you or is it fair game? We want to know what you think - tweet at us @PocketFives