James Williams Wins 888poker Live London Main Event

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James Williams picked up a career-best score and a title at 888poker LIVE London Main Event (888poker photo).

James Williams started the final table of the 888poker LIVE London Main Event with an average stack but that didn’t stop him from navigating his way to victory for a career-best $154,225 cash and the sixth live win of his career.

Craig Sweden started the final table with 23 big blinds, but over the first two hours of play, he was unable to improve on his lot and was left with just five big blinds when he finally found a hand to play. Philippe Souki raised to 185,000 from middle position and Sweden moved all in from th hijack. Souki called instantly and tabled AhAc while Sweden was in bad shape with KcQd. The board ran out 7d3c2h8h4h though and Sweden was out in ninth.

Just 10 minutes later, Sweden had company on the rail thanks to a blind vs. blind battle. Action folded to Christos Xanthopoulos in the small blind and he moved all and Adnan Dacic call from the big blind. Xanthopoulos tabled Kc8h and found himself dominated by Dacic’s KsJh. The AcJsTc flop left Xanthopoulos on life support and neither the 9d turn or As river offered any sort of help and he was eliminated in eighth place.

Despite picking up the first final table elimination, Souki was the next to go. From UTG+1, Souki raised to 225,000 and Antoine Labat defended his big blind. After the KdTh7h flop got, Labat checked and then moved all in after Souki bet 200,000. Souki called all in for 2,900,000 and tabled AsKc for top pair, top kicker. Labat turned over Ah4h for the nut flush draw. The 3h turn complete Labat’s flush and left Souki headed for the exit with a seventh place finish as the 6d completed the board.

While the first three eliminations came in rapid succession, six-handed play carried on for well over two hours before the next player saw their tournament end. Derek Lawless raised to 400,000 from the hijack and Aleem Kanji moved all in from the button for 720,000 and Lawless called. Kanji showed As8c while Lawless was ahead with 8d8h. The board ran out 7c7s5c2s7d to give Lawless a full house and end Kanji’s run in sixth place.

The next elimination came on the very next hand. Labat raised to 325,000 from the button and Dacic called from the big blind. Dacic checked the QcTd9c flop and then moved all in after Labat bet 500,000. Labat called and turned over QdTc for top two pair while Dacic needed some help with KcQh. The 9s river was no help while the Qs river filled up Labat’s boat to eliminate Dacic in fifth.

An hour later, Hak-Hyun Lee was down to just over five big blinds when he tangled with Lawless in a blind vs. blind scenario. Action folded to Lawless in the small blind and he moved all in and Lee called from the big. Lee showed Jh7c which was dominated by Lawless’ QdJd The Ah6d4h flop gave Lee little hope. The 9s turn and 4c river ended Lee’s tournament in fourth place.

Three-handed play lasted just over 30 minutes and it was a three-way pot that sent the tournament to heads up. Williams raised from the button to 600,000 and Lawless and Labat called from the blinds. The 5c5d4c flop was good enough for Lawless to bet 1,300,000. Labat moved all in and Williams folded. Lawless called and tabled KcJc for a flush draw and two over cards while Labat had 7c6c for an open-ended straight flush draw. The Qc turn completed Lawless’ flush and left Labat drawing very thin on the river. The 2s was not one of his two outs and he was eliminated in third place.

Heads up play began with Lawless holding a one big blind lead over Williams. Over the next 35 minutes, however, Williams took the lead and eventually the title. On the final hand of the night, Lawless raised to 750,000 from the button and Williams called. He then checked the Kh9d4h flop and Lawless bet 950,000. Williams called. The Ts turn got both players to check. Williams then checked again after the Tc river but Lawless shoved for 4,700,000 and after a short turn in the tank, Williams called and tabled Ks4c for two pair while Lawless mucked his Ahjh] and and was eliminated in second place.

Final Table Payouts

  1. James Williams – £121,000 ($154,225)
  2. Derek Lawless – £85,000
  3. Antoine Labat – £57,140
  4. Hak-Hyun Lee – £41,000
  5. Adnan Dacic – £31,000
  6. Aleem Kanji – £25,000
  7. Philippe Souki – £20,500
  8. Christos Xanthopoulos – £16,000
  9. Craig Sweden – £12,500