It was a festival of long nights in London.
In the 888Live London Main Event, which wrapped on Sunday, the night had already advanced into the wee hours when Tom Hall won the last hand.
After a 13-hour marathon in the £2,200 High Roller Jamie Lunt was the last of 69 players at the table as dawn broke in East London.
And while it didn't run quite as long, 2017 Rising Star nominee Vivian Saliba from Brazil put her stamp on the Ladies Event to add another impressive line on her growing poker resume.
Tom Hall Steals the Show
Brit Tom Hall has been a steady presence on the European poker scene over the past few years and announced himself as part of the elite with a win in the 2016 EPT Prague High Roller.
He did nothing to change his rep at 888Live London with another impressive performance.
Hall came into the final with a big lead and kept it for a long time, dominating alongside Spanish player Pol Hernandez.
But when Ning Lu eliminated Paul Scipioni to make things 3-handed he caught up with Hernandez and later even took over the lead. Lu actually started the heads-up with a 3-1 chip lead over Hall.
On the way there Lu had his opponents and the rail shaking their heads in slight disbelief when he took several minutes to call with pocket nines when Scipioni pushed 13 big blinds from the small blind.
There were more gasps when Hernandez pushed his last 15 BBs into the middle from the button and Ning asked for a count before he made the call – with pocket queens!
The heads-up players agreed on a deal before they sat down to play to a winner. Despite “only” £8,888 to play for and despite the levels being shortened to 30 minutes, it took until 4:30 AM before both players finally had hands good enough to risk all their chips.
Hall had the upper hand with A♣ 5♥ over Ning’s Q♣ T♦ and also found an ace on the flop. It was his second tournament win this year after he took down the DTD200 at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham in July.
888Live London Main Event Final Table Payouts
|3||Pol Canals Hernandez||Spain||£39,945|
Lunt Wins High Roller Over Geilich, Sperling
As mentioned it was a festival of long nights in London and the £2,200 High Roller event was no exception.
It was a small affair but it was a top-class field that included 888poker ambassadors Chris Moorman and Dominik Nitsche as well as Scotsmen Niall Farrell and Ludovic Geilich, who were happy to return to 888Live after they both made the Main Event final table in Rozvadov last winter.
Jack Salter, Martin Jacobson, Fabio Sperling, Giovanni Rizzo, Opening Event winner Christopher Kyriacou and Main Event winner Hall were also in the field but it was Lunt who claimed the title at 6 am London time.
888Live High Roller Final Table Payouts
Saliba Rises Above Ladies’ Field
Fifty-one female players and 75 entries got together to sort out their own champion and it turned out to be Vivian Saliba from Brazil.
Saliba, who we caught up with at this year’s WSOP Main Event and who was nominated for the “Spirit of Poker Award” in the category Rising Star, came back from being down to three big blinds and managed to take down the whole tournament.
Saliba captured her first official tournament win which also came with a £13,000 Main Event prize package for the WSOP Europe at the King’s Casino – compare that to the buy-in of just £55!
Meanwhile, 888 ambassador Nitsche lived up to his reputation of being a poker nomad.
He went from the Aspers Casino straight to the airport, travelled 30 hours to Macau and jumped into the HK$250,000 6-max event.
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