PokerStars Festival London: Farkas carries lead into third and final day of Main Event

January 27, 2018

When Day 2 action kicked off at 12pm today, the PokerStars Festival London Main Event had just 295 players left of its 852 total entries. But if you thought that was low, just wait until you see how many are left now.

Attila Farkas leads into Day 3

Twenty one. The answer’s 21. After 11 60-minute levels they’re down to the final three tables, and that means just 20 people stand in the way of the eventual winner getting their hands on the £140,000 first-place prize, the title, the trophy, and the $30,000 Platinum Pass package.

Could it be the UK’s Attila Farkas? He became the chip leader late on in the day and is in the driving seat overnight, bagging up 2.7 million.

Waheed Ashraf

Or could that person be the UK’s Waheed Ashraf? He’s certainly in a good position at the moment having bagged up the second largest end-of-day stack with 2,565,000. Ashraf took the lead coming into the last few levels thanks to a string of eliminations and strong moves, including getting Jimmy Kebe to lay down pocket kings pre-flop in one of the last hands of the day (1:35am).

There’s also David Mander, who ended with 1,445,000. Interestingly, he’s the last remaining PokerStars online qualifier.

Here’s how all of the potential winners stack up when they return at 12pm tomorrow for the third and final day:

Name Country Chips
Attila Farkas United Kingdom 2,700,000
Waheed Ashraf United Kingdom 2,565,000
Thomas Harbrecht-Parker United Kingdom 1,875,000
Matteo Mutti Italy 1,690,000
Jeremy Routier France 1,640,000
Kalidou Sow France 1,500,000
Paul Dando United Kingdom 1,500,000
Thomas Winstone United Kingdom 1,485,000
David Mander United Kingdom 1,445,000
Tsz Chung Ho United Kingdom 1,200,000
Antonios Onoufriou Cyprus 1,160,000
Jimmy Kebe France 1,060,000
Michael Kane United Kingdom 945,000
Irena Macesovic Lithuania 895,000
Arron Woodcock United Kingdom 760,000
Ed Anderson United Kingdom 715,000
Antony Wickert United Kingdom 625,000
Manuel Bardon Spain 600,000
John Duggan United Kingdom 510,000
Francois Del Peso-Mancebo Belgium 450,000
Adrien Allain France 245,000

And you’ll find the seating here.

Rewinding back to the start, the players were greeted by news of the prize pool and payouts first thing today. A total of £743,796 was up for grabs, and would be split between the final 127 players, each of whom would then be guaranteed £1,600. The winner, as you now know, will get a massive £140,000 (check the full prizes and payouts here).

We got down to the 127-player bubble pretty quickly, in just the fourth level of the day. The bubble itself went by nice and fast too; so fast that we never even saw it happen. Paul Dando had to explain to us how he felted Krzysztof Spisak-Spisacki before even getting to hand-for-hand play. After Spisak-Spisacki opened the button, he three-bet the big blind with 8-2 off and then flopped two pair on the 10♦8♦2♦ flop. Both checked and the turn – the J♠ – gave Spisak-Spisacki top pair with his king-jack. All the money went in, and the Pole couldn’t catch up on the 6♥ river.

Spisak-Spisacki (seat one) and Dando (seat three)

The bust-outs came even thicker and faster after that, with the likes of last year’s champ Rehman Kassam (111th – £1,650), Billy Chattaway (108th – £1,650), Chris Moorman (99th – £1,650), PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody (94th – £1,800), Alex Goulder (93rd – £1,800), Ash Mason (92nd – £1,800), High Roller and Platinum Pass winner Dragos Trofimov (61st – £2,100), Fraser MacIntyre (44th – £2,500), Sergi Reixach (35rd – £2,900), and Joe Hindry (25th – £3,900) all making the money.

Jake Cody

Catch up on all of the payouts here.

But let’s get back to those still in. Kalidou Sow – who you may remember from his Main Event win at the PokerStars Championship Prague – was the chip boss for much of the day thanks to a combination of playing well, winning his flips, and picking up big hands at the perfect times. However, his reign at the top began to crumble over the last two hours of the day, and new big stacks emerged. Could the Frenchman (who ended with 1.5 million) win another big live title in consecutive months? Find out tomorrow.

Kalidou Sow

We’ll be back at noon to bring you all the action as it happens, and we won’t stop until we’ve crowned a champion and given away another $30,000 Platinum Pass.

You wouldn’t want to miss that, now would you? –JS

Day 2 coverage archive

• PLAYERS: 21 (of 852 – including 177 re-entries)
• Follow @PokerStarsBlog on Twitter

1:40am: Play is over
Level 22: Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

That’s it for Day 2, 21 players have made it through, we’ll have a wrap of the days play and full chip counts up on the blog shortly. –NW

1:35am: Wow! Kebe makes a huge fold
Level 22: Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

How did Jimmy Kebe fold his hand? This is what happened. Paul Dando opened to 48,000 from the hijack, Jimmy Kebe three-bet to 175,000 from the cutoff and Waheed Ashraf then four-bet to 400,000 from the small blind. Dando stepped aside and Kebe went deep into the tank. The clock was called and he hadn’t made a decision by the end of his minute and his hand was ruled dead. Kebe really didn’t want to let go of his cards and the reason soon became clear. He folded K♣K♥ face-up!

The table were aghast, had he really just folded kings pre-flop (he had!). Was it the right call? Ashraf didn’t show his hand but there was plenty of talk about the hand afterwards and he claimed he had A♦K♦. –NW

1:25am: Double for Macesovic
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

We have made it almost all the way through today’s mammoth session but there was still time for Irena Macesovic to find a much needed double.

All the money went in pre and it was off to the races for her and Michael Kane.

Macesovic A♣10♠
Kane 9♥9♣

The 2♦J♣A♦ flop was good for Macesovic, having paired her ace. The 6♦ turn and Q♦ river secured the Lithuanian the pot. –LY

1:20am: Double elimination!
Level 22: Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Late night drama here in London as we had a double knockout. All the chips went in pre-flop and this was the lay of the land:

Raul Manzanares – A♣K♥ – all-in for about 260,000
Marc Ruddle – Q♠Q♦ – all-in for around 700,000
Thomas Harbrecht-Parker – A♦A♥ – and the covering stack

The board ran J♣J♦K♦2♥7♣ and Harbrecht-Parker’s aces held up to propel him to a stack of 2.1 million. 21 players remain. –NW

1:10am: Hindry runs out of luck and chips
Level 22: Blinds: 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

Joe Hindry has been battling a short stack for most of the day and been ducking and diving to stay in the tournament. He was down to about 220,000 at the time of his final hand and they all went in pre-flop with pocket fives. Attila Farkas gave him a spin with A♣K♣ and they were off to the races. The 8♦3♥9♠A♥7♣ board gave Farkas the win and boosts him to 2.16 million. Hindry is out in 24th winning £3,900. –NW

1:05am: Skriabin falls in 25th
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

The tournament clock has been paused for a new seat draw, which will affect the last 24 players. Sadly for Alexander Skriabin, he is not one of them.

Play was on the flop as we came to the table but luckily Paul Dando was on hand to fill us in on all the action.

First off Skriabin opened to 50,000 on the button and Kalidou Sow took a look from the big blind.

The flop was 8♦4♦7♥ Sow lead for 53,000. This was where we joined the hand and it was in time to see Skriabin up it to 180,000. Sow then set Skriabin all in and eventually the Russian made the call.

Sow 4♥4♣
Skriabin J♥J♣

Though he’d been outflopped, Skriabin still had two live jacks. That was until the 4♠ turn gave Sow quads and there was nothing for Skriabin to do but shake Sow’s hand as he made his way away from the table. –LY

1am: Winstone shows the (semi) bluff
Level 22: Blinds: 12,000/24,000 ante 4,000

The action folded to Tsz Chung Ho in the small blind and he made it 55,000 to play. Thomas Winstone was in the big blind and he three-bet to 150,000 total. Call from Ho. The flop was a juicy looking J♠8♠10♣ and Winstone c-bet 225,000. This sent Ho into the tank and he eventually folded. As he took the pot Winstone showed K♥Q♠. –NW

12:45am: Down and then up
Level 23: Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 4,000)

That’s been the story for Adrien Allain in the first couple of hands since we’ve returned from the break.

First he opened under-the-gun, making it 50,000 and only Irena Macesovic peeled from the big blind.

The flop came down 2♠5♣6♠ and both players started the hand as short stacks, so it’s no surprise that they were both happy to go all in with top pair.

Allain Q♣10♣
Macesovic Q♦9♥

Allain was ahead but the turn brought a 10♥ to give Macesovic a straight and the best Allain could hope for was a chop. He bricked on the 2♣ river though and had to pass all of his chips bar 75,000 to Macesovic, who is playing with 650,000.

The next hand Allain was in the big blind and with a third of his chips committed he didn’t fold to Mutti’s under-the-gun raise. He was live and spiked a pair with 8♥5♠, breathing a little life into tournament again but he still has a long way to go with less than 200,000 in play. –LY

12:40am: Two in a row for Harbrecht-Parker
Level 23: Blinds: 12,000/24,000 ante 4,000

Down on table three Thomas Harbrecht-Parker just claimed two pots in a row. The first was blind on blind battle of the double-barreled surnames. Francois Del Peso-Mancebo raised it up to 60,000 from the small and Harbrecht-Parker called in the big. The dealer produced a monotone 3♠K♠2♠ flop, Del Peso-Mancebo bet 45,000 and Harbrecht-Parker called. On the 7♥ turn Del Peso-Mancebo slowed down, he checked it to Harbrecht-Parker and his bet of 80,000 won him the pot.

On the next shuffle Thomas Winstone opened to 57,000 from under-the-gun and Harbrecht-Parker defended from the small blind. On the 6♣4♣K♦ flop Winstone c-bet 65,000 and Harbrecht-Parker made the call. The 9♣ turn and 4♦ river checked through and Harbrecht-Parker showed down pocket eights to win the pot. –NW

12:12am: Break time

The final 25 have gone on a 15-minute break. When they return they’ll play one more 60-minute level. –JS

12:11am: Belegratis bails
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Andreas Belegratis has just been felted in the last hand of the break. He shoved with ace-ten into Waheed Ashraf’s pocket aces and couldn’t find any help. Ashraf is up to 2.45 million now. –JS

12am: A bit of good news for Ashraf
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Just now Waheed Ashraf heard some bad news…there is one more level left to play after this one. Perhaps he was out of the room when the announcement was made at the start of the day.

Right afterwards though, he won himself a decent pot. It started with a limp from Antonios Onoufriou blind on blind and Ashraf checked his option.

The board read 5♥10♥5♠2♦Q♣ and Onofriou check-called all three streets, first 20,000, then 50,000, then 100,000. Onofriou mucked when Ashraf showed trips with 8♦5♣. The pot pushes him over 2 million in chips, which sits him right near the top of the chip counts. Hopefully this makes up for the fact that he’ll have to wait an extra hour before he can go home. –LY

11:55pm: Dando gets the best of Sow
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

We haven’t seen Kalidou Sow lose that many pots today, but his once-2 million stack is now more modest.

After Paul Dando opened, Sow defended his big blind to see a 5♣J♣5♦ flop. The Frenchman checked and Dando continued for 35,000, only for Sow to check-raise it up to 110,000. Call.

Both checked the 8♥ turn, resulting in a K♠ river. Sow checked a final time and Dando picked up the aggression, making it 144,000. “How much?” asked Sow before giving it a good think over.

He eventually decided on a call, but mucked with a “nice hand” when Dando showed the K♥J♦ for a rivered two pair. He’s up to 1.21 million.

Sow dipped to 1.13 million after that one, but has since got it back up to 1.3 million. –JS

11:45pm: More for Mutti as he takes the chip lead
Level 22: Blinds: 10,000/20,000 ante 3,000

We have a new chip leader as Matteo Mutti is up to 2.15 million after he eliminated Kevin Barden. It was Mutti who was first into the pot. He made it 40,000 to go, Antonios Onoufriou three-bet to 120,000 and Barden then shoved all-in for around 510,000. Mutti flat called and Onoufriou instantly folded pocket jacks face up.

Mutti: A♥A♠
Barden: A♣Q♥

Mutti had found aces and Onoufriou had made a very smart fold. The K♦8♣7♥2♥6♠ board meant the aces were never in trouble, the only downside for Mutti was he now had a mountain of chips to stack! –NW

11:40pm: More for Peso-Mancebo
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Francois Del Peso-Mancebo made it 40,000 to go from the cutoff, and the big blind Arturo La Brocca defended. After the K♥Q♦K♦ flop was spread, both opted for a check to see the 10♣ turn for free. This time Peso-Mancebo made a delayed c-bet for 35,000 when it checked to him, and La Brocca came along.

The J♠ completed the already scary-looking board, putting four to a straight out there. La Brocca checked a final time, and ultimately folded to another 65,000 bet.

Peso-Mancebo is up to 840,000, while La Brocco is down to just 290,000. –JS

Francois Del Peso Mancebo

11:30pm: Dando picks up a bit more from Sow
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Fresh off the back of the pot a couple of posts below, we arrive at the table to see Kalidou Sow facing a bet by Paul Dando on the river again.

This time the Frenchman had bet 175,000 on a 8♠Q♥9♦10♦J♦ board and Dando had gone all in for 201,000 on top.

Sow didn’t like it and passed, which pushes up Dando’s stack to in excess of 800,000. –LY

11:26pm: Top 10 stacks
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

Here’s a look at who’s top of the class right now. –JS

Name Country Chips
Kalidou Sow France 1,950,000
David Mander United Kingdom 1,700,000
Waheed Ashraf United Kingdom 1,500,000
Tsz Chung Ho United Kingdom 1,300,000
Matteo Mutti Italy 1,284,000
Antonios Onoufriou Cyprus 1,170,000
Marc Ruddle United Kingdom 930,000
Arron Woodcock United Kingdom 880,000
Jimmy Kebe France 830,000

11:20pm: Overkill
Level 22: Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 3,000)

“Whoa man! Overkill!”

When I heard Tsz Chung Ho say that just now, it was right after he was staring jaw-dropped at the board. When we got there we saw Benjamin Voreland was all-in for his last 172,000 on a 6♠5♠A♦ flop with the 10♣6♣ but Francois Del Peso-Mancebo had flopped top set with his A♣A♥. The turn was the 9♥, and Peso-Mancebo hit quads on the A♠ river.

Voreland’s gone, and Peso-Mancebo increases to 670,000. –JS

11:10pm: Sow much indecision
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

It’s one of the first times today we’ve seen Kalidou Sow look baffelled as to what to do. He was in a hand with Paul Dando, the latter had opened under-the-gun and the former had peeled the button.


Dando elected not to continue and Sow checked behind. The 3♥ was dealt on the turn and this time Dando made a delayed continuation bet of 62,000. Finally there was a A♦ river.

Dando put 70,000 in, pretty small compared to the pot, nonetheless Sow went deep into the tank. For much of it he was silent but then some talk started to flow.

“I don’t understand” he said as apparent explanation for the time he was taking. Next he asked Dando whether he could see a card and Dando agreed but only one of his choosing. “It’s not a good deal for me”, Sow said with a smile and after a little longer another player called clock.

With four seconds to spare, Sow called but his J♥10♠ wasn’t enough to beat Dando’s pocket Q♦Q♣. –LY

11pm: Ho shows how to get paid
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Tsz Chung Ho kicked off the hand with an under-the-gun open to 32,000, which was called by Benjamin Voreland a couple of seats over and the big blind. Three players saw the J♣Q♣J♠ flop, and Ho checked when it checked to him, letting Voreland in for a 35,000 bet. Only Ho called, and they went to a turn.

It fell 10♦ and both checked, bringing the 2♠ on the river. Ho stared at the board for a minute before leaning out with an 88,000 bet that really put Voreland to the test. He tanked for almost two minutes before eventually making the call, and would muck when Ho showed the K♥K♠.

Ho is up to 1.3 million now, while Voreland dips to 230,000. –JS

10:45pm: Reixach hits the rail
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

End of the line for Spain’s Sergi Reixach. He was all-in with the 7♦7♣ and called by Waheed Ashraf with the Q♣Q♦. The ladies improved to a set after the Q♠K♥5♠9♣8♣ board, bringing Ashraf up to 1.08 million. –JS

10:40pm: Hindry hurting after losing a flip
Level 21: Blinds: 8,000/16,000 ante 2,000

You’ve got to win flips to win a tournament they say and Joe Hindry’s chances of winning this one just took a dent when he lost a race against Alexander Skriabin. The latter was all-in for 291,000 with 10♦10♣ and Hindry was looking to score a knockout blow with A♠K♣. Neither player connected with the board and the pair of tens held up. After that hand Skriabin is up to 600,000 and Hindry is down to 198,000. –NW

10:30pm: Running Sow good
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

It must feel pretty good to be Kalidou Sow right now. Not only is he playing well, he’s running hot at all the right moments.

Colin Lovelock just jammed for his last 260,000 in the UTG+1 seat and when it got to Sow in the small blind he jammed too. Why? Because he’d picked up the A♣A♥, that’s why.

Lovelock had a legit hand with the A♠K♥ but you can mark this down as a cooler. The 9♠2♦6♥J♥A♦ runout only improved the aces to a set, and sent Lovelock on his way.

Sow remains top of the counts with 2 million. –JS

Kalidou Sow

10:25pm: Reitsma out
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Tjarco Reitsma has just headed for the exit. He was short and action folded round to him on the cutoff where he’d picked up K♣10♥. He shipped and was dominated by Marc Ruddle’s A♦K♦.

The board didn’t send him a lifeline and although we’re not sure how much the all in was for, we can tell you that Ruddle now has 1.125 million in front. –LY

10:20pm: What a runout
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Matteo Mutti has just found himself on the wrong side of a cooler, or would you call it an outdraw? Both descriptions are true in part but either way the short story is, it cost him.

Mutti began with an open under-the-gun and got a single call from the man on his left, Thomas Winstone.


Mutti continued on the flop for 27,000 and Winstone peeled. The turn was a 8♠ and Mutti barrelled for 75,000, which Winstone raised to 185,000. Mutti called and finally a 7♣ came on the river.

When Mutti checked, Winstone set 240,000 over the line and Mutti didn’t need much time to think before he called.

Mutti 9♥10♥
Winstone 8♥8♣

So to summarise, Mutti flopped trips, Winstone turned a full house and Mutti rivered the straight but it wasn’t enough and Winstone chips up some more. –LY

10:10pm: Back to work
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Here’s a look at the full official counts from the break. –JS

Name Country Chips
Kalidou Sow France 1,705,000
David Mander United Kingdom 1,700,000
Waheed Ashraf United Kingdom 1,500,000
Matteo Mutti Italy 1,284,000
Antonios Onoufriou Cyprus 1,170,000
Tsz Chung Ho United Kingdom 1,100,000
Marc Ruddle United Kingdom 930,000
Jesper   850,000
Jimmy Kebe France 830,000
Kevin Barden Germany 750,000
Irena Macesovic Lithuania 730,000
Anders Bisgaard Germany 715,000
Francois Del Peso-Mancebo Belgium 700,000
Andreas Belegratis Greece 660,000
Adrien Allain France 660,000
Thomas Winstone United Kingdom 645,000
Michael Kane United Kingdom 640,000
Thomas Harbrecht-Parker United Kingdom 600,000
John Duggan United Kingdom 570,000
Emmanuel Halder Austria 520,000
Paul Dando United Kingdom 510,000
Ed Anderson United Kingdom 420,000
Benjamin Voreland Norway 400,000
Manuel Bardon Spain 397,000
Antony Wickert United Kingdom 390,000
Guillermo Otero Sanchez Spain 385,500
Joe Hindry United Kingdom 360,000
Leopoldo Conrado Brazil 360,000
Jeremy Routier France 330,000
Arturo La Brocca Italy 285,000
Ittai Gluska Israel 260,000
Tjarco Reitsma Netherlands 240,000
Alexander Skriabin Russia 238,000
Georgios Phiniotis Cyprus 205,000
Raul Manzanares Spain 203,000
Carlos Neves Portugal 201,000
Andrew Seabright United Kingdom 196,000
Patrice Brandt Germany 189,000
Colin Lovelock United Kingdom 170,000
Aram Sargsyan Armenia 135,000

9:53pm: Take a break

We’ll be back in 20 minutes for three more levels of action. –JS

9:55pm: End of the road for MacIntyre
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

We’re sad to see the end of Fraser MacIntyre’s Main Event run. He jammed his last 132,000 in from early position with the A♣5♣ and was called by Waheed Ashraf with the Q♥Q♠. The ladies held, sending Ashraf’s stack up to 1.45 million. –JS

9:52pm: Big hit to Reixach’s stack
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Action folded to high roller regular Sergi Reixach in the small blind and he limped, before calling a 39,000 raise from Francois Del Peso-Mancebo. The dealer spread a J♣A♣5♠ flop, and Reixach check-called 44,000.

Peso-Mancebo didn’t slow down on the 10♥ turn either. He bet 78,000 when it checked to him, and again Reixach didn’t budge. The 4♠ hit the river and when Reixach checked a third time Peso-Mancebo fired a third bullet worth 190,000. This sent the Spaniard into the tank where he remained for a minute or two before eventually folding.

Reixach has 346,000 after that one, while Peso-Mancebo is up to 700,000. –JS

9:50pm: Dumitrascu departs
Level 20: Blinds: 6,000/12,000 ante 2,000

Earlier in the level we saw Catalin Dumitrascu double up (see 9.15pm post) but, despite that double, he was still short on chips and he’s now been knocked out. His final 260,000 went in with pocket jacks and he was looking to fade the A♠K♦ of Irena Macesovic. The 10♦K♣10♣K♥2♥ run out meant this race went to the overcards and Dumitrascu headed to the payout desk. After that win Macesovic is up to 715,000. –NW

9:40pm: Kossew out in 50th
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

We have just said goodbye to Adam Kossew. He found himself flipping with K♦J♠ versus Leopoldo Conrado’s 8♥8♠.

It all started so well too. The J♦7♦9♦ flop gave him top pair and the flush draw to back it up. The 3♣ turn changed nothing but the 10♣ river made all the difference. There were a few groans around the table as Conrado hit one of his four outs, giving him the straight.

It means a 50th place finish for Kossew and £2,500 in the bag. Some consolation perhaps, but that runout must have stung all the same and when we asked him about it, he agreed “that was pretty dirt”. –LY

9:25pm: Belegratis back in the mix
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Having just doubled up Catalin Dumitrascu, Andreas Belegratis must have felt like he needed some good luck.

He’d certainly get it a few hands later when he picked up the A♠A♦ on the button and all the money went in pre-flop against Fraser MacIntyre’s A♣K♦. The big slick picked up flush outs after the turn of the 6♥10♣8♣6♣ board, but the 3♦ river was a safe card.

“Back in the mix!” Belegratis said with a fist pump. He’s up to 700,000 now, while MacIntyre takes a hit and drops to 200,000. –JS

9:20pm: Huang’s gone
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Caicai Huang has just fallen victim to Ittai Gluska. She jammed with the A♥6♥ and was called by Gluska on the button with the dominating A♦Q♠, which held after the K♠7♠9♣A♠5♣ board.

Gluska is up to 430,000 now. –JS

9:15pm: Dumitrascu doubles
Level 20: Blinds: 6,000/12,000 ante 2,000

The action folded to Andreas Belegratis in the small blind and he bet enough to set Catalin Dumitrascu all-in. The latter had just 115,000 and he called with A♥3♥. Belegratis looked disgusted and that was because he had K♦3♦ and was dominated. The J♦6♦6♠8♥2♣ run out kept Dumitrascu in front and he survived. –NW

9:05pm: Smith cleaned out
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Unfortunately for Britain’s Adam Smith, he lost back to back hands against Colin Lovelock and has now headed to the payouts cage to collect his winnings.

Both hands he was in behind but the first was the most significant, both in terms of percentage chance of winning and of number of chips invested.

Smith A♠J♣
Lovelock A♦Q♥

The Q♦10♠3♠7♠5♥ board gave Smith some hope, especially on the turn, but by the river he was shipping 154,000 Lovelock’s way, leaving him with 37,000.

The next hand he was under-the-gun and put the last of it in, only for Lovelock to isolate on his left. With no other takers, Smith showed 10♥9♥ and couldn’t get there versus Lovelock’s A♣4♣. –LY

9pm: The battle for leg space
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Sergi Reixach and Jimmy Kebe are currently engaged in a heated argument. Not about poker, but about the amount of space Kebe is taking up under the table.

They’re sat opposite each other, and Reixach claims that Kebe is stretching his legs out so far that it’s an invasion of his personal poker table space.

“My legs are straight,” chimed back Kebe.

“Well unless you’re like…” Reixach gestured a very tall person’s height.

Things were getting a bit tense, so another player at the table decided to ease the tension.

“Maybe he’s just doing it because he likes you?” he told Reixach, which caused everyone to laugh. “You’re thinking about it the wrong way.” –JS

Sergi Reixach

8:45pm: Kane takes from Ringe
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Play was on the turn. With 5♣7♦5♦10♣ out, Michael Kane had elected to check and Daniel Mander bet 24,000. Gerald Ringe called and when the action was back on Kane, he squeezed to 120,000. This pushed off Mander but Ringe came along to see a river.

It was a Q♦ and Kane took his time before declaring all in. It was roughly 380,000 for Ringe to call and he opted to pass this time. He still has around 900,000, whilst Kane has improved to 800,000. –LY

Michael Kane

8:40pm: Nine lives for Seabright
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Andrew Seabright jammed for his remaining 84,000 and when it folded around to the big blind of Guillermo Otero Sanchez. He made the call with the A♠4♠, which was ahead of Seabright’s Q♠9♠.

The 3♦6♣K♦ flop changed nothing. Neither did the 7♠ turn.

But the 9♥ river saved the Brit and doubled him to around 180,000, while Sanchez drops to 406,000. –JS

8:30pm: Trofimov falls in 61st
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Dragos Trofimov has just secured his second cash of the PokerStars Festival London. His first cash was a doozy: he took down the £2,200 High Roller on Thursday for £73,990 and a $30,000 Platinum Pass package.

He’ll bank £2,100 for his efforts in the Main Event. He just jammed 12 big blinds from cutoff with ace-ten off, which was re-shoved by a player with pocket nines and called by a player with ace-jack. The nines held. –JS

8:25pm: Ho chips up
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Tsz Chung Ho has just won a big pot against Jeremy Routier. Play was on the river with both players looking at a 6♠4♥3♠K♦Q♦ board.

The pot had, what looked to be, 350,000 in it and after Routier checked, Ho set 200,000 over the line. Routier made the call and was disappointed to see that Ho held K♣Q♣ for two pair. He couldn’t beat it and the pot was shipped to Ho. He now sits amongst the chipleaders with over 1 million to play with. –LY

Tsz Chung Ho

8:20pm: Hindry holds
Level 19: Blinds: 5,000/10,000 ante 1,000

Any Joe Hindry fans about? Well, good news he’s just doubled up. He was all-in for his last 164,000 holding A♣9♠ and up against Stanislav Ivanov’s 10♣9♥. The 7♣9♣6♠4♠Q♦ board connected with both players, but Hindry had the better kicker and he took the pot. –NW

8:15pm: Simms falls to Sow
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Kalidou Sow has just eliminated James Simms to become the second player (after slight chip leader Gerald Ringe) to exceed a million in chips.

Action folded to Simms in the small blind and the Brit limped. Sow was in the big and bumped it up to 30,000, only for Simms to then jam for 236,000 total. Sow went into the tank and eventually the clock was called on him, but about ten seconds in to the count he made the call.

Simms – 9♥9♠
Sow – A♥J♠

It was a flip, and one that Sow would take the lead on instantly with the A♦4♦3♥ flop. He’d ultimately hit a full house with the J♦ J♣ turn and river, busting Simms and bringing his stack up to 1.04 million. –JS

8:10pm: Top five counts
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Name Country Chips
Gerald Ringe United Kingdom 1,080,000
Kalidou Sow France 1,040,000
Paul Dando United Kingdom 950,000
Thomas Winstone United Kingdom 820,000
Arron Woodcock United Kingdom 750,000

Gerald Ringe leads right now

8pm: Play resumes
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

It’s Joe Stapleton’s favourite level! The average stack is just over 380,000 making for a 38 big blind average. –NW

6:55pm: Dinner break
Level 18: Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

The players are taking a one hour dinner break, we’ll be back in 60. –NW
6:50pm: Blessed
Level 18: Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Dragos Trofimov has had one hell of a week. Not only did he win the High Roller event here a couple of days ago, he also secured one of the coveted Platinum Passes to the PokerStars Players Championship event that takes place next year.

It seems he still has a poker God or two looking down on him when the last hand took place. He shoved A♦Q♠ on the button only to be looked up by Attila Farkas with A♣K♠.

The flop brought a K♥ in the window, followed by Q♥Q♦. There were no further kings on the turn or river for a redraw. Pretty sick for Farkas but dreamy for Trofimov who stays alive with 175,000. –LY

6:50pm: Chip leaders
Level 18: Blinds: 4,000/8,000 ante 1,000

As the players head to dinner it looks like Gerald Ringe is the chip leader. He has 990,000 and is closely followed by Kalidou Sow (920,000) and Thomas Winstone (840,000). –NW

6:40pm: Recently departed
Level 18: Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

This lot are sadly no longer with us:

Mitch Johnson, Alex Goulder, Zhen Hong Heng, Morgan Lavoillotte, Alessandro Peretti, Tomas Lazauskas, Angelos Nastos Megas, Chao Xia, Tony Blanchandin, Maureen Blochlinger, Einar Thorolfsson, Thomas Hunter, Raul Martinez, Sergio Benso, Andrew Wilson, Plamen Pashov, Danny Tran, Mateusz Zbikowski.

6:25pm: What do you think he had?
Level 18: Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Michael Kane made an under-the-gun open to 17,000 and Tjarco Reitsma upped it to 43,000. After a call from Kane, the pair went to the flop.


There was a check from Kane on the flop and Reitsma continued for 36,000. Kane peeled and the dealer put a 3♣ on the turn.

This time when Kane checked, Reitsma bet enough to set him in (he had about 135,000 or so behind). Kane tanked for a while but ultimately folded and it is a nice pinch for Reitsma; but what do you think he had? –LY

6:20pm: Sow’s back on top
Level 18: Blinds: 4,000/8,000 ante 1,000

Every time someone so much as hints at taking the chip lead, Kalidou Sow seems to magically reappear with the most chips. He’s up to 920,000 currently, while Fraser MacIntyre is in the dangerzone with 145,000. –JS

6:10pm: Cody busts
Level 18: Blinds: 4,000/8,000 ante 1,000

Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody is out of the Main Event and he was kind enough to relay his bust out hand to us. He told the PokerStars Blog: “From the hijack I opened to 18,000 with Q♠10♠ from a stack of just under 300,000 and the cutoff (Thomas Winstone) three-bet to 48,000 and I called. The flop was A-T-7 with two hearts and I check-called a bet of 52,000. The turn was the Q♥, I shoved for about 170,000 and he called with ace-queen.”

That pot takes Winstone up to 860,000, which looks good for the chip lead right now. If there’s a silver lining for Cody it’s that his good friends Ash Mason and Chris Moorman busted at a similar time, the three were busy making dinner plans whilst in the payouts line. –NW

Jake Cody

6pm: Ferroni’s finishes what he started
Level 18: Blinds: 4,000/8,000 ante 1,000

A short time ago (see 5.50pm post) Florian Ferroni doubled through Viktorija Goulder and he just took the rest of her chips. She was all-in for roughly 40,000 with K♣J♥ and up against A♣A♦. The J♣8♠8♣7♥K♥ board meant both players made two-pair, but Ferroni’s was better. –NW

5:55pm: MacIntyre moves up, whilst Cody drops
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Fraser MacIntyre just scooped a very nice pot. The board was Q♦6♦8♣J♠7♥ and though we didn’t arrive in time to see how the hand played out to this point, there was a hefty pot in the middle. MacIntyre’s bet of 56,000 on the river was enough to win the pot without showdown and he now has about 540,000 in front.

Meanwhile we also saw the end of a hand play out with Jake Cody at the centre of the action. It was a blind versus blind situation and he was out of position to Thomas Winstone.

The board read 4♠2♠3♥10♦10♣ and a river bet from Cody of 86,000 didn’t push Winstone off and the call was good as his A♠2♥ beat Cody’s missed flush draw with 7♠8♠. –LY

Fraser MacIntyre

5:50pm: Ferroni’s double leaves Goulder short
Level 17: Blinds: 3,000/6,000 ante 1,000

Florian Ferroni was all-in for 62,000 with 9♥9♠ and Viktorija Goulder was the would be assassin with A♠K♦. Unfortunately for Goulder only one overcard to Ferroni’s pair appeared on the J♠2♥8♥6♥8♦ board and it wasn’t the one she needed. As a result she’s down to just 22,000. –NW

5:40pm: Moorman shoving, Sow increasing, Khassam leaving
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

A few goings on around the room in this post-bubble era:

Chris Moorman has moved all-in at least three times in the past orbit, picking up the blinds and antes and increasing his short stack to 85,000.

Last year’s champ Rehman Khassam has just been eliminated.

And the new chip leader? That’ll be Kalidou Sow again. He’s up to 640,000 now. –JS

5:30pm: Changing fortunes
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Zhen Hong Heng won a flip to bust Ash Miah. Then over on the next table Angelos Nastos Megas secured a double with 10♥10♣ against Manuel Bardon’s A♠8♥. –LY

5:25pm: Bust out bonanza begins
Level 17: Blinds: 3,000/6,000 ante 1,000

Predictably the bubble bursting has caused a series of all-in and calls. I caught two bust outs in the flesh, but we’ve had a dozen already.

In the first hand that I caught live Nikolaus Teichert shoved his short stack of 38,000 over the line and Samuel Mika called all-in for about 20,000. Teichert showed A♦A♣ and Mika had Q♠10♥. The 4♥A♥9♣Q♥K♠ board sent Mika to the rail.

Then, there was twist on the classic race with Mark Wagstaff all-in for 102,000 with A♣K♦, Benjamin Voreland was all-in for exactly the same amount with Q♥Q♣ and Mickael Gaillet looking to eliminate them both with…Q♠Q♦.

The 8♠10♦3♦5♠3♥ board meant Wagstaff was eliminated and Voreland and Gaillet chopped up his chips. –NW

5:13pm: Spisak-Spisacki bubbles Main Event
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

That was a quick bubble. So quick, in fact, that we didn’t even realise it had happened until it…happened.

Thanks to Paul Dando, then, for this re-telling of how it all went down.

Krzysztof Spisak-Spisacki is the unfortunate soul to leave empty-handed. He opened the button to 12,000 and was three-bet to 36,000 by Dando in the big blind. Spisak-Spisacki made the call, and the two went heads up to a 10♦8♦2♦ flop. It went check check to the J♠ turn, on which Spisak-Spisacki led for 55,000. Dando then put the Pole all-in, and he tank-called with king-jack.

Dando had that beat though with 8-2 off for two pair. Spisak-Spisacki would need a king or jack on the river, but it came the 6♥ to see him make a speedy exit.

They’re all now in the money and the bust-outs have already begun. Meanwhile, Dando is sitting pretty with 480,000. –JS

Spisak-Spisacki (seat one) and Dando (seat three)

5:10pm: Bubble time
Level 17: Blinds: 3,000/6,000 ante 1,000

We’re down to 128 players and that means we’re on the bubble here at The Hippodrome Casino. Carl Kjell Tillstrand, David Anderson and Tomas Lazauskas are the players who’ve just missed out on a cash. –NW

5:07pm: Thorolfsson builds
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1000)

We are so close to the bubble now and you can feel it over in the lounge. The clock has been called on some of the shortest stacks as they slowdown as much as possible in order to maximise their chances of making it to the cash.

Meanwhile there was an interesting pot featuring Einar Thorolfsson, Florian-Dimitrie Duta and Maureen Blochlinger.

Thorolfsson kicked things off with a 14,000 open and was flatted by Blochlinger on the button. Duta pumped it up to 53,000 and that wasn’t enough to push anyone off, so it was three-handed to the flop.


Duta continued for 41,000 and when Thorolfsson called, Blochlinger hesitated before moving aside.

It was a 4♥ on the turn and there was a check apiece. Onto the river and it was the 5♣. Once again both players checked and then showed their cards.


The pocket jacks were good and Thorolfsson tips over the 400,000 mark. –LY

5:05pm: Crane busts, Moorman survives
Level 17: Blinds: 3,000/6,000 ante 1,000

Two hands, two all-ins but only one elimination. David Crane got his shortstack in with pocket eights but ran into the pocket jacks of Caicai Huang and didn’t hit. Meanwhile Chris Moorman was all-in with pocket jacks for 145,000 and in need of help against Thomas Hunter’s pocket kings. He got the help he needed as the board ran 4♠J♥3♦10♥Q♣. –NW

5pm: Cody climbing
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

We haven’t checked in with Jake Cody for a while, so lucky for us when we did we saw him winning a healthy pot.

The board showed the 8♣10♦7♠9♦ and Raul Martinez checked it. Cody had the button in front of him and soon slid 63,000 in front of him too. Martinez made the call to see the 5♠ river, and he’d check it again. With four to a straight out there, Cody counted out 81,000 and put it over the line, and after some thinking Martinez let it go.

Cody’s up to 395,000 now, while Martinez sits with 150,000. –JS

Good stack for Cody at the bubble

4:55pm: Harwood perishes
Level 17: Blinds: 3,000/6,000 ante 1,000

Daniel Harwood, last year’s runner-up in this event, is out of the Main Event. We’re down to 130 players now. –NW

4:30pm: Break time
Level 16: Blinds: 2,500/5,000 ante 500

That’s the end of level 16 and the players are now on a 20-minute break. The bubble is inching ever closer, will it burst in level 17? –NW

4:20pm: The pain of Benso
Level 16: Blinds: 2,500/5,000 ante 500

Sergio Benso is in a world of hurt right now and for good reason. He just took a reasonably brutal bad beat and is down to 37,000 as a result of it. He opened to 11,000 from under-the-gun, the small blind flat called and Joseph Field then shoved all-in for 113,000 from the big blind. Benso re-shoved and that got the pot heads up.

Benso: A♣K♣
Field: A♠5♠

The 10♥5♣[6]7♦6♦ board meant Field connected with his kicker and he doubled up. –NW

4:05pm: Did you have it Fraser?
Level 16: Blinds: 2,500/5,000 ante 500

Fraser MacIntyre let out a sigh of relief and said: “I thought you were going to call there for a minute.” He was addressing Krzysztof Spisak-Spisacki and the pair of them had just played a 440,000 chip pot.

It began with MacIntyre opening to 11,000 from late position, Spisak-Spisacki then three-bet to 39,000 from the big blind and MacIntyre called. On the 3♣K♣J♣ flop Spisak-Spisacki gave up the betting lead and check called a bet of 31,000. The pattern repeated itself on the 7♥ turn with Spisak-Spisacki check calling a bet of 85,000. On the 4♠ river MacIntyre shoved for 117,000 and Spisak-Spisacki went into the tank. He had about 190,000 back and hit MacIntyre with the classic, “will you show if I fold?” line. MacIntyre didn’t respond and after a couple of minutes Spisak-Spisacki mucked his hand saying that he’d folded a strong hand. That pot takes MacIntyre up to 440,000. –NW

4:05pm: More for Moorman
Level 16: Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Chris Moorman has quietly been building himself a decent stack. I say quietly; the main reason we haven’t seen him in any action so far is because his seat is tucked away in a difficult-to-reach corner.

Anyway, he just found some value and got paid off to bring his stack up to 280,000. With a 6♣9♥9♦ flop out there, Moorman led for 11,000 from the under-the-gun seat and Andrea Salvatore called on the button. The turn was the K♥ which brought checks from both, before the 8♣ river completed things. Moorman fired again for 29,000, which gave Salvatore something to think about.

After some deliberation, Salvatore made the call but mucked when Moorman showed the K♠7♣ for kings and nines. Salvatore dips to 80,000 after that one. –JS

Moorman likes that result

3:50pm: Names, notables and big stacks
Level 14: Blinds: 2,500/5,000 ante 500

A lap of the Main tournament room has unearthed the following chip counts, including a new chip leader in Marios Andreas. –NW

Marios Andreas – 560,000
Chao Xia – 445,000
Fraser MacIntyre – 440,000
Irena Macesovic – 430,000
Paul Dando – 390,000
Mark Maleschka – 360,000
Dragos Trofimov – 315,000
Mickael Gaillet – 265,000
Mitch Johnson – 260,000
Ash Mason – 210,000
Jake Cody – 175,000
Luke Haward – 150,000
Michael Kane – 150,000
Billy Chattaway – 120,000
Alex Goulder – 72,000
Rehman Kassam – 70,000

3:45pm: “That’s a proper big blind special”
Level 16: Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

So said Madlena Trifonova about the following hand, and she was right.

Play was on the 9♥4♣4♥ flop when we arrived but there were still five players in and action had included a cold four-bet jam by Caicai Huang. A couple of seats to her left, Ittai Gluska tanked and announced his all in too. Once the two initial betters were out the way. The cards were flipped over.

Huang A♥7♥
Gluska 9♦4♠

Gluska had flopped the second nuts and Huang needed a near miracle to turn the hand around. The K♦ turn squashed the miniscule chance she had of winning the pot and with no live outs by the time the 3♠ river was dealt, she waited to see if she had Gluska covered.

She did as it happened, so at least she is still live, albeit with only 18,000 chips. Meanwhile Gluska gets close to a triple, and it’s all thanks to that big blind special. –LY

3:35pm: You reap what you Sow
Level 16: Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

A quick whip round of the big stacks shows that it’s none other than PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event winner Kalidou Sow who has the chip lead.

The Frenchman has 450,000 right now, closely followed by Marios Andreas with 440,000 and Arron Woodcock with 405,000.

Check out all the big and notable stacks here. –JS

Kalidou Sow

3:25pm: Blinds are up
Level 16: Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

That means another hour has passed and 161 players survived it. 34 more need to go before 127 hit the money. –LY

3:20pm: Field day
Level 14: Blinds: 2,000/4,000 ante 500

By the time I picked up the action there was a bet of 9,500 in front of Joseph Field, he’d been called in two spots and Michael Jones had then shoved for 27,000 total. The decision was back on Field and he elected to call. The first caller folded but James Parker also wanted to see a flop and he put in the necessary chips to do so.

The flop fell 2♦8♣2♠, Field slid out a bet and Parker immediately released his hand. Field flipped A♥A♦ and Jones showed pocket tens. The 6♣Q♥ turn and river bought no relief for Jones and he wished the table good luck as he left. –NW

3:15pm: Running like Trofimov
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

On Thursday night, Dragos Trofimov won the £2,200 High Roller and a $30,000 Platinum Pass. While he can’t win a second package to the PokerStars Players Championship (it would go to the runner up should he pull off a miracle win in the Main Event too), he’s putting up a good fight, taking down two healthy pots in a row.

In the first one, we picked up the action on a 5♣8♦3♣10♦ board. Billy Chattaway checked it to Trofimov and the Moldovan led for 32,500, which got a call. That took them to the A♥ river. Chattaway checked once more, and Trofimov fired again for 75,000. This bet sent Chattaway deep into the tank where he’d remain for around three minutes. There was no clock called; in the end Chattaway just decided to let it go on his accord, leaving himself with a very playable 145,000.

Trofimov got busy in the next hand too, three-betting Mark Maleschka’s 9,000 open to 32,000 from the big blind. Maleschka called to see the 8♠J♥3♦ flop, on which Trofimov picked up where he left off in the last hand, barreling away. He made it 24,000, and Maleschka called. The turn was the A♥, and when Trofimov fired 44,000 Maleschka laid his hand down.

Trofmov is up to 310,000 now, while Maleschka still has more with 345,000. –JS

Dragos Trofimov

3:10pm: Short stack survivors
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

There were two all ins going on at the same time, but fortunately for us, they were on adjacent tables, meaning we are able to give you the details for both.

Andrew Seabright was the first to shove and he did so over an open by George Evans. His all in was 47,500 (12 big blinds at this point) and Evans liked the price enough to call, unfortunately for him, he was a long way behind.

Seabright K♠K♥
Evans 6♠6♦

The board ran out 3♥10♥J♣A♠J♥ and Seabright doubles to around 100,000.

Next up Catalin Dumitrascu jammed with A♦K♦ and didn’t look too happy to see that he was flipping against Itay Segal’s 2♣2♥. He needn’t have worried though as the 10♦9♠K♠ flop put him a long way ahead and after he’d faded the 4♠ turn and K♣ river, he too was pushing the 100,000 mark with his stack. –LY

3:05pm: They gone
Level 15: Blinds: 2,000/4,000 ante 500

We’re now just 40 players off the money and the rate of bust outs shows no sign of slowing down. Konstantin Farber, Chun Kit Lee, Benjamin Bashforth, Joe Johnson, Benjamin Morrison, Kelly Saxby, Matas Cimbolas, Sam Ho and Ross Mannion are among those who find themselves on the outside looking in. –NW

Kelly Saxby

2:45pm: Multi-way all in
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Over in the lounge three players declared themselves all in.

Guy Harel J♦J♠
Francois Del Peso-Mancebo A♣Q♠
Vigo Carlo Gonzalez A♠10♠

Harel was the shortest stack, needing to beat both his opponents to stay alive. Next shortest was Peso-Mancebo and the player who had them both covered is Gonzalez.


Peso-Mancebo hit the flop, leaving Harel and Gonzalez trailing in his wake. The 7♣ turn put Gonzalez out of the hand and Harel had just two outs to hit in order to avoid the same fate.

It was a J♥ river though and Harel was delighted with his triple. Peso-Mancebo had to console himself with a small side pot and Gonzalez was down to around 25,000 left. –LY

2:40pm: D’Ursel falls to Mason
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Ashley Mason’s stack has just received a healthy injection, while Igor D’Ursel’s tournament life is over.

After an open to 9,500 and a call from the big stack of Gerald Ringe, Mason flatted on the button before it folded to Igor D’Ursel in the big blind. The Belgian shipped it in for around 70,000, which got two quick folds and a snap-call from Mason.

D’Ursel had the goods with the K♣K♥ while Mason had the A♣Q♣, and he’d connect right away on the 2♦2♣A♠ flop. D’Ursel tapped the table and started to gather his things – sometimes a surefire way to hit the card you’re after. Not this time though, as the 4♣ and 10♠ completed the board to send him home (or over to the London Cup which started today).

After that one Mason is up to 210,000, while Ringe is sitting with 300,000. –JS

Ash Mason

2:25pm: Back to it
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

190 players have returned from their break. We’re now working our way towards the bubble, with 127 players getting paid. –JS

2:05pm: Break time

We’ll be back in 20 minutes. –JS

2:05pm: Taylor out to Gallien
Level 14: Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

With just a couple of minutes to go until the first break of the day, Guy Taylor gets to beat the rush out of the room as his A♦8♠ couldn’t get there against Victor Gallien’s 8♥8♦.


The all flushing board was welcomed by Gallien, “heart” he said and the dealer obliged him, putting a A♥ on the turn. That ended the sweat for Gallien and the 3♣ river was inconsequential. –LY

2pm: Sow soldiering on
Level 14: Blinds: 1,500/3,000 ante 500

It’s been a decent opening couple of levels for Kalidou Sow. The PSC Prague Main Event Champion has increased his stack to 230,000. The only downside to that Is that he’s had to collect all the 100 denomination chips. They’re being raced off during the break at the end of this level. –NW

1:55pm: MacIntyre moving up
Level 14: Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Fraser MacIntyre’s stack may be down on the day, but he did just pick up a nice small pot to help things along.

He opened to 7,000 from the hijack which got two callers: Alin Copos (small blind) and Sebastien Jung (big blind). The three went to a 3♦3♥6♥ flop, and MacInyre made a 6,500 c-bet when it checked to him. Only Jung called.

The dealer burned and turned the K♠ which got checks from both, resulting in a river card: 2♦. Jung now led out for 12,500, and MacIntyre snap-called. Jung showed the 8♠5♥ for air, while MacIntyre had the winner with his A♦6♦.

He’s back up to 210,000 now. –JS

MacIntyre (left) with table neighbour Kevin Allen

1:50pm: More Day 2 bust outs
Level 14: Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

The Main Event dream has come to an end for (get ready for it)…

Christian Thiry, Salvatore Santonocito, David Wallings, Lotfi Boughanmi, Thorsten Walk, Camilla Reventlow, Michael Schaaf, Jia Tse, Renato Ferreira, Arvydas Merfeldas, Maria Kozak, John Duggan, Alejandro Perez Torres, Philipp Kuschnir, Alexandru Rusu, Karolis Ciodaras, Gerald Candy, Xavier Laplace, Danilo Oppo, Gianluca Trebbi, Vadim Cojocaru, Jen-Yue Chiang, Syed Mohammad Zaidi, Peter Sterneborg, Marc Franks, Se Jin Hwang, Quentin Dellis, Dhruv Doshi, Emre Bayram, James Gray and Jesper Hansen.

If they want another chance to win a Platinum Package to the PokerStars Players Championship, they can enter the London Cup. The £330 tournament will be starting shortly. –LY

1:45pm: Field felts Rhys-Davies
Level 13: Blinds: 1,200/2,400 ante 400

Alexander Rhys-Davies shoved for his final 25,000 or so with K♠10♠ and Joseph Field gave him a spin with A♠3♣. The 8♣7♠4♣4♦7♦ board kept Field in front and eliminated Rhys-Davies. We’re down to 210 players in the Main Event. –NW

1:35pm: Chats the way to do it
Level 13: Blinds: 1,200/2,400 ante 400

A big pot has propelled Billy Chattaway towards the top of the chip counts, with the young Englishman now playing a stack of some 340,000. The SCOOP and TCOOP champion started the hand with a raise to 7,000 from early position, the button called and so did Declan Connolly from the big blind.

On the K♣4♣6♦ flop Chattaway c-bet 14,000 and Connolly was the only caller. The 5♠ turn checked through and the 7♣ fell on the river. Connolly, who finished sixth in the PSF Dublin Main Event, led for 19,000. Chattaway went into the tank and then raised to 69,000 total. It was now Connolly’s turn to tank and he eventually elected to call. Chattaway turned over A♣Q♣ aka the nuts, and Connolly mucked. -NW

Chattaway’s got chirping chips

1:30pm: Nationality breakdown
Level 14: Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Wondering where all of our Main Event players came from? Then you’re in luck.

Main Event nationalities

As you can see, we had a lot of players from France in this event, a lot of whom are Spin&Go qualifiers. –JS

And without the UK

1:25pm: Not a great start for Gordon
Level 14: Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

PokerStars Live at the Hippodrome sponsored player Chris Gordon began the day with a big stack worth 264,000. Things haven’t gone well for him throughout the first level though.

His stack had already took a good hit when we caught up him. In his latest pot, Spain’s Raul Manzanares opened to 7,000 under the gun and it folded to Gordon a couple of seats over. He then three-bet to 18,600, and when the action got back to Manzanares he four-bet jammed, putting Gordon all-in.

He counted through his chips to see he had 57,000 behind, and opted to lay it down and fight in another hand. –JS

1:15pm: Short stack wars
Level 14: Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

The recent blind increase has made a significant difference to the shorter stacks left in. We have just seen Rokas Asipauskas get just over 10 big blinds in pre with A♦4♦ and the price was right for Jen-Yue Chiang who found A♥Q♣ on the button, isolating over the top.

With no other callers, the flop was dealt 4♠A♠7♥ and Asipauskas went soaring into the lead with two pair. The 3♦ turn didn’t help Chiang and he needed a queen or a seven to win. Sadly for him it was a 6♠ and Asipauskas got the double, putting him on over 60,000. Chiang has some work to do as he drops to 20,000. –LY

1:10pm: Big hit to Cimbolas
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Having final tabled the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event back in December (7th – €104,000), Matas Cimbolas’ chances of making another major final table here in London have just been diminished somewhat.

The hand started with a 6,000 open from Gerald Ringe, which Ashley Mason then three-bet to 16,500 on the button. Over to Cimbolas in the big blind, he came in for a four-bet to 36,500, before Ringe five-bet shoved for 80,300! Mason got out of the way quickly, but after getting a count Cimbolas made the call.

Ringe – K♣K♥
Cimbolas – Q♦Q♠

Not what the Lithuanian wanted to say. His queens were in bad shape, and couldn’t improve after the 4♠3♦9♠A♣J♣ runout.

Cimbolas’ stack has dropped to 55,000 as the blinds go up to 1,500/3,000, while Ringe doubles up to around 180,000. –JS

1pm: Cupset
Level 13: Blinds: 1,200/2,400 ante 400

As per usual it’s been a fast and furious start to Day 2. Over 30 players have been eliminated in the opening 45 minutes of play including: Gabriel-Robert Ene, Nigel Pinto, Adam Steel, Ernestas Lisauskas, Paul Skipper, Jon Thorvaldsson and Murray Jameson. The upset of being knocked out of the Main Event may be tempered somewhat by the fact that they can hop in the £330 PokerStars Festival London Cup, which starts at 2pm, if they wish to. –NW

12:50pm: A step in the right direction
Level 13: Blinds 1200/2400 (ante 400)

It has been a rocky start for Camilla Reventlow to say the least. She started the day on 130,000 but the first two big pots of the day did not go her way.

She got a little reprieve in the last hand though. Sat in the small blind, she got the chance to get her last chips in and she did just that. Guillermo Otero Sanchez called from the big and players turned over…

Reventlow A♥4♦
Sanchez K♦9♠


Reventlow’s ace high holds and she takes around down the pot of around 35,000 pot. It’s still a long way off average, but hopefully for Reventlow this is just the beginning of her recovery. –LY

12:45pm: The rich get richer
Level 13: Blinds: 1,200/2,400 ante 400

It’s been a good start to the day for a couple of the big stacks. Karan Dewan – the Day 1A chip leader – is up to 310,000 and Washeed Ashraf has also been busy, he’s built his stack up to 330,000. –NW

12:40pm: Pushing and shoving
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

It’s a proper old fashioned shove fest in the main poker room right now. On one table Jen-Yue Chiang jammed with pocket fours and was called by the slightly bigger stack of Rokas Asipauskas, who held ace-king. The fours held up, and Asipauskas stack took a big hit.

On another table Boris Sumskevicius opened to 5,500 only for Danny Tran to jam over the top for around 80,000. Back to Sumskevicius, he was forced to fold.

And on a third table, Salvatore Santonocito limped before Kfir Igvi shoved. Andrea Cortellazzi then re-shoved, and Santonocito let it go.

Cortellazzi had the K♣K♥ which was up against Ivgi’s A♠6♠, and the man from Israel couldn’t hit an ace on the Q♦2♣8♣4♣8♦ runout. Ivgi’s gone, and Cortellazzi has 60,000 now. –JS

12:30pm: Mason builds
Level 13: Blinds 1200/2400 (ante 400)

Matas Cimbolas kicked things off with an early position raise to 5,800 and he got a call from Itay Segal on the button. Round to the big blind and Ashley Mason squeezed to 17,500. It was a pass from Cimbolas but Segal decided to come along to the flop.


Mason continued for 15,000 and Segal set him all in. It was a snap call from Mason and he turned over K♣K♠, which was dominating against Q♥10♥.

The 3♠ turn shut down the possibility of Segal hitting a backdoor flush draw and it was only a queen or ten that would signal the end for Mason. The 2♠ river was a safe card though and he doubles to over 150,000. –LY

12:25pm: A shot of Jameson for Mika
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

When Andrea Cortellazzi jammed from early position and it folded to the big blind of Samuel Mika, the Slovakian really looked like he wanted to call. He’d think it over and eventually fold though, showing an ace.

So when Murray Jameson shoved for his last 14,200 in the very next hand and Mika looked down at another ace in the small blind, he decided that kicker or no kicker he was going to call. He tabled his A♥7♦, and was ahead of Jameson’s Q♠9♠, but the 6♦Q♣2♠ flop put the at-risk player ahead.

Only until the turn though, when the A♦ changed everything. The 8♠ then completed the board, and Jameson’s shot at the £140,000 and Platinum Pass was over. Mika is up to around 150,000 now. –JS

12:19pm: Prize pool confirmed
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

We’ve now got details of the entire prize pool and payout structure. We already knew that the winner would pick up £140,000 but we can now fill in the blanks.

Total prize pool: £743,796
Number of places paid: 127
Min-cash: £1,600

12:09pm: Jones the first to fall
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

It’s been a very short day for the Blog’s own Dan Jones, but then again he did come back with a sub-ten big blind stack.

Jones told us that on the second hand it folded around to him in the small blind and he jammed with ace-five, only to run into the big blind’s pocket queens. The ladies held up, and Jones is outta here. –JS

12:04pm: £140,000 for the champ
Level 13 – Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Cards are now in the air here on Day 2. While we don’t have a full payouts yet, we do have some exciting news: The winner of this event will win a massive £140,000 plus the $30,000 Platinum Pass.

As for the action, Anthony Bonan shoved in the first hand but got no takers. –JS

11am: An exciting day ahead

Morning everyone, and welcome back to our coverage of the PokerStars Festival London from The Hippodrome Casino in the heart of Leicester Square. Today sees the total remaining field under one roof for the first time, as they battle it out to first make the money and ultimately survive through to tomorrow’s third and final day.

Ready for Day 2?

Now that all of our four Day 1 starting flights are over, that means the prize pool and payouts will be announced early on today. The bubble will be bursting over the course of today’s 10 one-hour levels, so stay tuned throughout.

It’s Day 1C chip leader Irena Macesovic who leads overall, as she managed to spin her 30,000 starting stack up to more than ten times that (310,100). She’s followed by Day 1A chip leader Karan Dewan (273,000), Day 1B chip leader Stylianos Nykteridis (264,600), PokerStars Live at The Hippodrome sponsored player Chris Gordon (264,000), and friend of the Blog Fraser MacIntyre (262,300). PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody will also be returning for action today, having bagged a top ten stack back on Day 1A (173,100).

Check all the chip counts here, and the start-of-day seat draw here.

Irena Macesovic – Overall chip leader right now

Action kicks off at 12pm, so get yourself comfortable. It’s going to be an exciting day. –JS

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the £990 Main Event: Jack Stanton, Nick Wright and Lisa Yiasemides. Photography by Mickey May.

Opening a PokerStars account is easy. Click here to get an account in minutes.


Next Story