888poker’s LIVE London Kickoff event at the Aspers Casino in Stratford came to a conclusion on Sunday with local grinder Ivelin Ganev taking home the title, the trophy and a career-high cash of ₤37,045 ($47,623) after a deal locked up five-figure scores for the final four players.
Once the final table played down to four, the players agreed on an ICM deal for the bulk of the Main Event prize pool, leaving ₤5,000 and the trophy on the table to play for. Cyprus’ Apostolos Stylianou was the first of the final four to fall, bowing out in fourth place for ₤27,925 ($36,132). He was quickly followed by third-place finisher Richard King. King took home ₤28,525 to bring his career total to over $265,000.
Then Ganev and fellow UK countryman Tom Runnacles battled for heads-up for the title. Runnacles, who started the final table with a healthy chip lead, secured himself the largest payday of the tournament due to his overwhelming lead during at the time of the chop. No matter what happened heads-up, Runnacles was going to walk away with at least ₤39,855 ($51,568). During heads-up play, Ganev, who won his way into the tournament from a 120 live satellite, was able to turn the tides and eventually pick up the extra ₤5,000 and the trophy.
888poker LIVE London Kickoff Final Table Results
|1||Ivelin Ganev||£37,045* ($47,623)|
|2||Tom Runnacles||£39,855* ($51,235)|
|3||Richard King||£28,525* ($36,670)|
|4||Apostolos Stylinanou||£27,925* ($35,899)|
|5||Cosmin Joldis||£13,360 ($17,175)|
|6||Aotian Zhou||£10,790 ($13,871)|
|7||Christopher Kyriacou||£8,930 ($11,480)|
|8||Hamid Rowshanaei||£7,100 ($9,127)|
|9||Michael Fernandez||£5,330 ($6,852)|
* four-way ICM deal
By all accounts, the ₤440 buy-in event was a success. It drew 745 total entries over three starting flights, creating a ₤295,020 prize pool, a sum that more than doubled the original ₤120,000 guarantee.
271 players returned for Day 2 including 888poker ambassadors Sofia Lovgren and current All-Time Online Money List leader Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman. Unfortunately for the pair, they were unable to survive the money bubble.
There were a few notable names that did make the money, including 888poker ambassador and World Series of Poker Champion Martin Jacobson (82nd, 640), Sam Grafton (50th, 1,200) and William Kassouf (25th, 2,433).
In addition to his ₤37,045 first place prize for taking down the Kickoff Event, Ganev also received a $12,600 package to represent 888poker at the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas.
Next up for 888poker LIVE is a return to Romania for the 2019 Bucharest Festival taking place from March 4-10 at the Intercontinental Hotel.