The first series of the opening 888Live Festival wrapped up Monday at King’s Casino in Rozadov, Czech Republic as Catalin ‘SrylGotOdds’ Pop defeated a field of 531 entrants to claim top honors. The appropriately priced €888 Main Event had a €300,000 guarantee that was easily surpassed and the final table live-streamed on Twitch.
Among the players who reached the final table were World Poker Tour winner Niall ‘firaldo’ Farrell and top online professional Ludovic ‘ludovi333’ Geilich, but in the end, it was Pop who came out on top and claimed the €80,000 first place prize.
Pavel Berka was the first player eliminated from the eight-handed final table and. Following an open by Geilich to 80,000, Berka shoved from the big blind and Geilich called. Berka was in trouble with against the of Geilich and after a dry board was dealt, Berka hit the rail.
Geilich started the final table as the chip leader and extended his lead further by eliminating Alexander Dmitrienko. Lukasz Tomecki opened to 105,000 from early position with and found calls from Geilich in the hijack with and Farrell in the cutoff with . An extremely short stacked Dmitrienko moved all in from the small blind for 145,000 total and all three players called. Dmitrienko’s cards were not revealed.
The flop came down and Geilich bet 275,000, which found calls from the two players competing for the side pot. The turn was the and Geilich moved all in and got both of his opponents to fold. The river was the and Geilich rivered broadway to eliminate Dmitrienko.
Geilich dipped slightly in chips after eliminating Dmitirienko but was back to his winning ways when he sent Juan Carlos Vecino out. With about 2,500,000 in front of him, Geilich moved all in from the hijack with and Vecino called for his tournament life with . A king on the flop effectively ended the drama and Geilich moved to 3,800,000.
The first non-Geilich bust out of the final table was dealt out by Farrell, who took the liberty of taking out Tomecki. At big blind 100,000, Tomecki shoved for 2,220,000 from the small blind with and Farrell called out of the other blind with . Both players paired their high card on the flop but Tomecki did not improve further and was eliminated in fifth place.
The up and down ride of Geilich was put to an end by Pop, who claimed the final table chip lead for the first time in the process. Pop limped with from the button and Geilich raised the action to 385,000 out of the small blind with . Pop turned up the heat to 825,000 and Geilich moved all in over the top and Pop called. The board was not enough help for Geilich and he exited the final table.
Pop’s run continued with his elimination of Farrell, who was denied his first title of 2017. From the small blind, Pop raised to 360,000 with and Farrell three-bet to 925,000 with . Pop moved all in for effectively 4,000,000 and Farrell called to create a pot worth the majority of the chips in play. The flop put Pop ahead with a set but the turn opened the door for Farrell to chop the pot. The hit the river and Pop entered heads up play with a huge lead over Bernd Schönwälder.
The battle did not last long as Pop dispatched Schönwälder to claim victory. Schönwälder moved all in from the small blind with and Pop called with . The flop gave Schönwälder a straight draw but he failed to improve on the turn or the river, giving Pop the hand and the title.
The victory for Pop marks his first career major title which now accompanies his over $500,000 in online earnings. For the win, Pop earns €80,000 and the claim to winning the opening 888Live event of 2017.
Final Table Payouts
- Catalin Pop – €80,000
- Bernd Schönwälder – €50,023
- Niall Farrell – €36,113
- Ludovic Geilich – €29,184
- Lukasz Tomecki -€22,785
- Juan Carlos Vecino – €17,730
- Alexander Dmitrienko – €13,247
- Pavel Berka – €9,619