888poker LIVE returned to Romania this week for the 2019 edition of their popular Bucharest Festival.
The €888 Main Event drew 505 entries, creating a massive prize pool of €387,638 ($435,684).
In the end, Romanian player Darius Neagoe broke out from the middle of the final table pack to claim the crown. He took home €62,300, in a deal made with fellow Romanian and eventual runner-up Bogdan Nicolae, the trophy, and was awarded a World Series of Poker Main Event package, worth over $12,000.
At the start of the final day, 12 players remained. Meaning three people needed to hit the rail before the official final table played down to a winner.
After the loss of Jose Manuel and Raoul Iancovici, Cristian Matei busted in tenth place (€5,900) to bubble the official final table. The final nine took their new seating assignments and settled in to play down to the eventual winner of the Main Event.
Day 1B chip leader Aldo Monteleone was the first to be eliminated when he shipped his super short stack in the middle holding . Nicolae Suciu isolated Monteleone’s shove with the and the board ran out to give Suciu the knockout. Monteleone, from Italy, finished in ninth place and picked up €7,020 for his efforts.
Thirty minutes later, the UK’s Derek Reid was in the big blind with roughly two blinds left in his stack. Mihai Gheonu raised with from the cutoff and Reid committed his chips with , flipping for his tournament life. The flop put Reid in a nearly impossible spot. The sealed his fate, giving Ghoenu the full house. The irrelevant fell on the river and Reid fell in eighth place taking home €8,800.
The next clash saw Neagoe raise with the and Ran Shahar defended his big blind with . With a flop, Shahar open-shoved. Holding top pair, Neagoe made the call and Shahar needed to hit a card to stay alive. The turn was the , providing some additional outs to Shahar’s open-ended straight draw. The river, however, was the , making top pair the best hand. Shahar finished in seventh place, picking up €12,400.
Neagoe claimed another victim thirty minutes later. Suciu open-shoved his final nine big blinds with and Neagoe reshipped from the small blind with the dominating . The ptc] flop put Suciu in a bad spot, pairing up Neagoe. The turn was the , ending the hand. When the hit the river, Suciu hit the rail in sixth place, collecting a career-high cash of €16,550.
Helder Ferreira looked like he was in great shape to double up. He’d moved all in from the button with only to be called by Bogdan Nicolae and his . The pair stared at a flop of when the dealer dealt the on the turn, giving Nicolae a set. Ferreira still had outs headed to the river, but the was not one of them. Ferreira was eliminated in fifth place collecting €21,070 as consolation for the bad beat.
Not more than ten minutes later, Gheonu found himself all in with and up against the of Nicolae. The flop missed Gheonu, keeping Nicolae firmly in the lead with his overpair. The turn was the and offered Gheonu a little life, which disappeared on the river. Nicolae won the hand with a full house and Gheonu won €26,900 for fourth place.
Day two chip leader Zhiping Zeng from China entered the final table with the chip lead and, for the better part of it, avoided putting himself at risk. However, after a big clash with Nicolae, he found himself short-stacked. Then, from the small blind Neagoe open shipped his on Zeng who made the call with his . The flop gave Neagoe the lead. While the turn helped Zeng with a few more outs, the river meant that Zeng would have to settle for third place. He earned €33,960 for a new career-high cash, sending his lifetime scores to over $150,000.
After a short dinner break, the remaining two Romanians, Neagoe and Nicolae, prepared for heads-up play. Neagoe held a decisive chip lead when play started but Nicolae was able to double through and even the stacks. Once that happened the pair had the clock paused to discuss a deal and the pair was able to come to an agreement.
Neagoe locked up the larger sum of €62,300 while Nicolae secured a healthy payday of €59,900. With the issue of the prize pool settled, the pair played it out for the coveted 888poker Bucharest Main Event trophy and the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event package.
Moments later the pair got all the chips in the middle with Neagoe holding and Nicolae’s . The flop paired up the chip leading Neagoe but Nicolae still had outs. The turn came the and the river was the . Nicolae officially finished in second place taking home the agreed upon €59,900.
Romania’s Darius Neagoe takes down the 2019 888poker LIVE Bucharest Main Event for €62,300 and will be representing 888poker at the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas this summer.
888poker LIVE Bucharest Main Event Final Table Payouts
- Darius Neagoe – €62,300
- Bogdan Nicolae – €59,900
- Zhiping Zeng – €33,960
- Mihai Gheonu – €26,900
- Helder Ferreira – €21,070
- Nicolae Suciu – €16,550
- Ran Shahar – €12,400
- Derek Reid – €8,800
- Aldo Monteleone – €7,020