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There was another Sunday of big money wins across online poker's top tournaments with the crowning of a three-time PokerStars Sunday Million champion. Russia's 'veeea' took down the PokerStars Sunday Million for an outstanding third time in their career after they came through the 5,236 player-field to win $141,494. 'veeea' who previously won the event back in 2015 and 2017 is also a three-time Super Tuesday champion and a former PocketFives.com world number #1. The win for 'veeea' comes less than eight weeks after a near miss in the Sunday Million chasing a third title when they ended up with the bronze medal for $71,823, but this time around they achieved it. 'LEHMATLENTAA' departed in third place for $69,680 before 'WhatA298' fell at the final hurdle during heads-up and banked an impressive $99,292. Nick "fu_15" Maimone defeated Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom heads-up in the PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller after the pair had agreed to a money deal. Blom was awarded the slightly bigger share after negotiations had taken place after 'Roma_Tilt' had departed in third place for $19,787 + $5,885 in bounties. However, Maimone was able to turn it around and sent Blom to the rail as runner-up for $32,331 + $9,368 in bounties, with Maimome picking up $31,491 + $23,542 in bounties for the win. The PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-Up saw a 919 entrants field create a $183,800 prize pool with Malta's 'wisopekeño!' banking the largest share. 'KayCrusher' exited in third place for $15,867.25, which left 'wisopekeño!' in a battle against the Czech Republic's 'Vocaaas.' 'wisopekeño!' was able to come out on top to win the $30,693 top-prize and continued a great year having picked up a SCOOP title in May. 'Vocaaas' added another $22,068 to their already impressive $1.1m in online earnings as runner-up. 'M.nosbocaJ' topped an 82 player-field in the PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller to win $39,838. 'Pimmss' claimed the bronze medal for $24,511, before 'M.nosbocaJ' faced off with 'topdoll827' for the title, with the latter falling in second place for $31,248. 'SandwichBacon' banked over $41,000 for victory in the partypoker $1,050 Sunday HR Bounty Hunter after they defeated 'Skipper22' heads-up. One hundred and fifty entrants created a prize pool worth $153,000 and when Sweden's 'Algorhytm' hit the rail in third for $9,000 + $3,607 in bounties, 'Skipper22' was unable to get the better of 'SandwichBacon' and settled for $12,375 + $7,036 in bounties as the runner-up. Samuel 'JHelppi' Vousden went the distance in the partypoker $2,600 Super Sunday High Roller and added another impressive result to his poker c.v. The Finn won his 84th PocketFives.com gold medal after a heads-up victory over 'j2805667' who exited in second for $31,900. 'addhuSK' banked $21,025 in third place, with Vousden taking away $47,125 for the win. Bulgaria's #1 ranked player 'SUPERSCOUSER' was the last player standing in the partypoker $1,050 Deepstack after they held off the challenge of 97 other players to win $24,500. Sweden's former world ranked #1 'Doyle_B' came third for $12,500, with 'Gl4adiat0r' the final player to depart, and banked $17,500 as runner-up. 'Yattag0' turned $215 into $16,380 after they came through a 420 player-field in the 888poker $80,000 Sunday Mega Deep. On a final table of eight, 'ShipGold' had to settle for bronze in third place for $9,240, before 'DuckFace01' banked $12,180 in second, which meant 'Yattag0' was this week's hero. Below are this week’s Sunday final table results: PokerStars Sunday Million ($200 + $15 NLHE) $1M Guaranteed 5,236 entrants, $1,047,200 prize pool veeea - $141,494.47 WhatA298 - $99,292.15 LEHMATLENTAA - $69,680.16 sman9876 - $48,899.31 Joelauson7 - $34,316.11 SoCloseCall - $24,082.03 Ejdms - $16,900.02 shockpowerJr - $11,859.95 neto gol - $8,323.04 PokerStars $2,100 Sunday High Roller, $150k Gtd 82 entrants, $164,000 prize pool M.nosbocaJ - $39,838.65 topdoll827 - $31,248.82 Pimmss - $24,511.14 Sphinx87 - $19,226.19 sonmonedas - $15,080.75 blanconegro - $11,829.12 a Bull 67 - $9,278.59 Ssick_One - $7,277.99 Nolet20 - $5,708.75 PokerStars $530 Bounty Builder High Roller, $400k Gtd 894 entrants, $447,000 prize pool FU_15 - $31,491.79* + $23,542.40 (in bounties) Isildur1 - $32,331.67* + $9,368.64 Roma_Tilt - $19,787.12 + $5,885.74 Tulkaz - $14,503.89 + $9,490.23 Sphinx87 - $10,631.31 + $437.50 C.Darwin2 - $7,792.72 + $890.93 Geokarak - $5,712.05 + $6,685.54 jayjayme - $4,186.91 + $2,953.13 pappadogg - $3,068.99 + $1,625.00 PokerStars $215 Sunday Warm-Up $175k Gtd 919 entrants, $183,800 prize pool wisopekeño! - $30,693.25 Vocaaas - $22,068.24 KayCrusher - $15,867.25 $odomiz€r - $11,408.68 infiniti3330 - $8,202.93 engantil - $5,897.97 hopezACE - $4,240.68 paulitschMC - $3,049.09 Anjeyyy - $2,192.31 partypoker $1,050 Sunday HR Bounty Hunter $150k Gtd 150 entrants, $153,000 prize pool SandwichBacon - $17,242.50 + $24,943.75 Skipper22 - $12,375 + $7,036.25 Algorhytm - $9,000 + $3,607.50 sergewiceq - $6,375 + $1,495 Partyyycular - $4,500 + $1,787.50 aagii101 - $3,562.50 + $1,820 0txark0agabr0 - $2,835 + $1,625 WhoDatt. - $2,250 + $2,015 partypoker $1,050 Sunday HR $100k 101 entrants, $101,000 prize pool whresmymind - $21,707.23* uNORTH0doX - $20,712.78 BelowAvgGreg - $12,625 HellmuthTheGr8 - $8,837.50 ACHSO8000 - $6,525 spinner2255 - $5,050 Patrick_Leonard - $4,040 Gl4diat0r - $3,282.50 partypoker $2,600 Super Sunday High Roller $100k Gtd 58 entrants, $145,000 prize pool JHelppi - $47,125 j2805667 - $31,900 addhuSK - $21,025 Specter_Litt - $13,050 madgenius87 - $10,150 Z0mbiegirl - $7,975 george15mcd - $6,887.50 Iluvia71 - $6,887.50 partypoker $1,050 Deepstack-HR $100k Gtd 98 entrants, $100,000 prize pool SUPERSCOUSER - $24,500 Gl4adiat0r - $17,500 Doyle_B - $12,500 madgenius87 - $8,750 andstar555 - $6,500 JHelppi - $4,000 chik12ha - $4,000 p3pp3rOnc1n1 - $3,250 888poker $80,000 Sunday Mega Deep 420 entrants – $84,000 prize pool Yattag0 - $16,380 DuckFace01 - $12,180 ShipGold - $9,240 GangstaGo - $6,720 1LevelAbove - $4,620 WadoIchimonj - $3,360 LifeOnMars - $2,520 bAdP0KeR87 - $2,100
There were just six players left and Darius Neagoe rejected the deal. It was just last week that the 28-year old Romanian poker pro found himself at the final table of the 2019 888poker LIVE Bucharest Festival Main Event with an overwhelming chip lead and only five players standing in his path to taking home the title. He was on the verge of booking a career-defining score, one that he never could have imagined 10 years ago when he, admittedly, didn’t know anything about the game. “The way I started playing poker is a bit funny,” Neagoe recalled. “One of my college friends approached me one day with a bit of a hustle. If I made an account on a certain online site they would give me $50 to play. Obviously, I didn’t know anything about poker but I made an account.” What started out as friends playing some online poker quickly turned into a new path for Neagoe. He went from clicking buttons in some Double or Nothing Sit & Gos “with zero knowledge and some purely mega fishy luck” to running his bankroll up to $400, which he promptly cashed out, only to run it up again. “At that time, the games were very easy. There were lots of weak players splashing around so with a little bit of studying it became effortless to make money. So, for a long time, I didn’t take poker very seriously. I was calling myself a ‘professional poker player’ but nothing was professional about what I was doing or how I approached the game. “I was making money and for a 19-year old kid that was enough.” However as the games got tougher, Neagoe struggled to find his way into taking the game more seriously and pushing himself. It took him almost five years of trying to navigate the game before he found a group that could take him to the next level. “I discovered an amazing group of friends, found my role models and somebody to show me the path I needed to follow. I moved to Bucharest to be close to them and that’s when the change really started and I started treating poker very seriously, finally becoming a pro.” Neagoe knows that turning pro after college wasn’t exactly a road well-traveled. Poker in Romania still has some room to grow in both stature and acceptance. “Romania is a very traditional state,” Neagoe admitted. “Poker is still frowned upon. It’s mainly played by the young. We do have lots of great players who are making waves in live and online poker and its popularity is growing. Every other week some Romanian is at the Sunday Million final table or another Sunday Major. We have had some legislation problems but things are getting better.” Neagoe is one of those players making waves. Neagoe took a shot at in the 888poker LIVE festival in 2018 but quickly busted out. Soon thereafter, he actually became ill, which took him away from poker for nearly six months. So earlier this year, as his health returned, he was ready to get back at it. “I was itching to play online and kick some ass! It all started on March 1 at a party with my poker friends. I was telling them that I was planning on returning to the tables and I was going to play until I burned out. When they told me about 888poker’s Bucharest Festival returning I thought, after this grind, it would be a way to relax a little bit and gain some more experience at the live tables.” It turned out that he got more than he bargained for. He registered for the Main Event and for the next three days he fought every step of the way to make a deep run. “I had lots of top players at my first table and my friends were in heaven with their tables. I had to push through…I won some chips, played solid and made it to Day 2 with a top 20 stack.” After grinding it out on Day 1, he was ready for a new seat assignment on Day 2. “The 2nd day…same story! It was a tough table with lots of solid players. I tried to play my game, never getting out of line and putting constant calculated pressure while trying to build my stack. But it’s poker, some plans come together and others fall apart in a matter of seconds.” Late in Day 2, he was short but he didn’t give up. He doubled. And again. By the end of the Day Neagoe was second in chips heading into Day 3. However, once again, his plans of wielding a big stack to the final table fell apart and he entered the final table with under 10 big blinds. As he had all tournament, he fought his way back, picked off a bluff and once again began to put his opponents in tough situations. With six players left he was, once again, the big stack and after everything he’d been through in the tournament, when he was asked about a chop, Neagoe was not ready to make a deal. The battle continued and eventually, Neagoe got heads up with Bogdan Nicolae for the €75,000 first-place prize, the title and a trip to Las Vegas to play in the Main Event of the World Series of Poker. With stacks nearly even, Nicolae offered Neagoe a deal. This time, he took it. “I had the misfortune of getting heads up with one of the best poker players in Romania. He has massive experience both live and online so when the stacked were even he asked again, I accepted. The difference between first and second was about €28K, a massive gap for both of us, we chip-chopped the money and played for the Vegas package.” Neagoe secured €62,300, the largest payday of the festival. With the burden of the money behind them, they played it out for the trip to the WSOP. Neagoe came out on top and now, ten years after making his first online deposit of $50, he’s going to be playing in the biggest tournament in poker. “I've never played the WSOP. This is only the eighth or ninth live tournament I've played. I’m looking forward to just having fun. I’m lucky that my job is something that I love to do and have fun with. I’m going to go there and give it my best.” With a signature win on his resume, Neagoe is looking forward to the summer in Las Vegas as well as his future in poker. “I’m happy that I’m not going to Las Vegas alone, I’ll be with my friends so it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ll play some of the smaller events and also gain experience. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll make some money. “I hope 888poker comes back next year, they have a great team and they are doing a great job. If so, I’ll be there to take it down again for sure.”
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 [poker card="ah"][poker card="6s"]. Nicolae Suciu isolated Monteleone’s shove with the [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"] and the board ran out [poker card="td"][poker card="4c"][poker card="2c"][poker card="6c"][poker card="7h"] 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 [poker card="2h"][poker card="2c"] from the cutoff and Reid committed his chips with [poker card="8s"][poker card="6s"], flipping for his tournament life. The [poker card="qc"][poker card="7c"][poker card="2d"] flop put Reid in a nearly impossible spot. The [poker card="7d"] sealed his fate, giving Ghoenu the full house. The irrelevant [poker card="4d"] fell on the river and Reid fell in eighth place taking home €8,800. The next clash saw Neagoe raise with the [poker card="kd"][poker card="9d"] and Ran Shahar defended his big blind with [poker card="js"][poker card="th"]. With a [poker card="ks"][poker card="qd"][poker card="6s"] 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 [poker card="ts"], providing some additional outs to Shahar's open-ended straight draw. The river, however, was the [poker card="qh"], 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 [poker card="as"][poker card="2h"] and Neagoe reshipped from the small blind with the dominating [poker card="ac"][poker card="th"]. The [poker card="jd"]ptc][poker card="9h"] flop put Suciu in a bad spot, pairing up Neagoe. The turn was the [poker card="9c"], ending the hand. When the [poker card="qd"] 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 [poker card="9d"][poker card="9c"] only to be called by Bogdan Nicolae and his [poker card="6s"][poker card="6c"]. The pair stared at a flop of [poker card="ah"][poker card="tc"][poker card="8h"] when the dealer dealt the [poker card="6d"] on the turn, giving Nicolae a set. Ferreira still had outs headed to the river, but the [poker card="3s"] 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 [poker card="ad"][poker card="3h"] and up against the [poker card="qh"][poker card="qd"] of Nicolae. The [poker card="6h"][poker card="4h"][poker card="4c"] flop missed Gheonu, keeping Nicolae firmly in the lead with his overpair. The turn was the [poker card="7s"] and offered Gheonu a little life, which disappeared on the [poker card="qs"] 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 [poker card="qc"][poker card="tc"] on Zeng who made the call with his [poker card="ah"][poker card="7c"]. The [poker card="qd"][poker card="jc"][poker card="8s"] flop gave Neagoe the lead. While the [poker card="7s"] turn helped Zeng with a few more outs, the [poker card="jd"] 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 [poker card="kh"][poker card="jd"] and Nicolae's [poker card="th"][poker card="td"]. The [poker card="jc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="7s"] flop paired up the chip leading Neagoe but Nicolae still had outs. The turn came the [poker card="ad"] and the river was the [poker card="2d"]. 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