The 888live London event is in full swing with action all over the Aspers Casino. The High Roller has crowned a champion and Day 1a of the Main Event is in the books as well.
Eric Le Goff Triumphs in £2,000 High Roller
After a thrilling final days play, French player Eric Le Goff (photo) triumphed over Tom Middleton heads-up to win the 888Poker London Live High Roller for £30,000. Matas Cimbolas bubbled while Antonio Esfandiari min cashed. 888 sponsored pro Chris Moorman finished in 4th place.
|Place||Player||Country||Prize in £||Prize in $|
|1||Eric Le Goff||France||£30,000||$36,734|
|2||Tom Middleton||United Kingsom||£18,400||$22,530|
|3||Luke Hayward||United Kingsom||£13,100||$16,040|
|4||Chris Moorman||United Kingsom||£10,300||$12,612|
|6||Antonio Esfandiari||United States||£5,100||$6,245|
With a returning final table of nine players, the players barely had time to sit in their seats and for the cameras to focus on them before eliminations began. We lost four players in an opening hour of play that gave new meaning to attacking poker and almost halved the field, blasting through the money bubble in the process.
First, Jamie Roberts lost when all-in and at risk with pocket fours. Chris Moorman had called the move with ace-ten of clubs and he hit to eliminate his fellow British professional. Next to leave was Jason Ross, who would lose a flip with pocket sixes to the eventual winner Le Goff.
Bubbling the event never feels fun, but Matas Cimbolas took it in great grace when his own move all-in with pocket sixes was called by Tom Middleton's pocket kings. And it was Middleton again who did the damage to bust 'The Magician himself. Esfandiari called all-in on the river with two pair but was shot down by Middleton's turned full house. Esfandiari cashed for £5,100 but would go on to bust the Main Event shortly after late registration.
Finishing fifth was the German Robert Heidorn, whose move all-in with ace-queen suited was called by Chris Moorman. This time the Team 888Poker Pro held pocket nines, and although an ace hit the flop, so too did a nine and Heidorn was set for the exit for £7,700.
Four-handed, Chris Moorman led, but he would get overtaken by compatriot Tom Middleton. It was Moorman himself who would crash out in fourth for £10,300 when his all-in move with pocket tens ran into the coldest deal of the day as Eric Le Goff had been dealt aces!
Three-handed, there was a brief - aborted - discussion about a deal, but nothing came to fruition, and minutes later, Luke Hayward was the latest player to leave the tournament. It was Middleton who did the damage, almost all of it coming when Hayward ran his queens into Middleton's kings pre-flop. It was as cold a deck as they come, and Hayward's loose change saw him depart soon afterwards.
Heads-up proved a brief but exciting affair. After Le Goff took a decisive lead in a hand where he rivered two-pair to decimate Middleton's stack. Shortly afterwards, Middleton was all-in with queen-high and Le Goff called with an ace. His hand held and he took the title, but as Tom Middleton told us afterwards, he was still delighted with the result. A tough field from start to finish provided many thrills along the way, and the victory represents Eric Le Goff's second-highest cash of all-time and his best live result in well over four years. Formidable!
Volpi and Sapiano Lead After Main Event Day 1a
Andrea Volpi has just 500 chips more than Albert Sapiano after the two men ruled supreme over the 97 entries on Day 1a of the 888Poker London Live Main Event.
Play started timidly for a Main Event, with only two players busted in the first three levels. But once the action heated up, players could hardly stay in their seats.
Team 888Poker Pro Dominik Nitsche busted and in doing so, won his conqueror a bounty of £880. Other flag-bearers for the 888Poker team were flying high. Kara Scott would end the day highest-placed on 271,900 chips after some superb river calls to elevate her stack and keep her above average for almost all the day.
Elsewhere, Natalie Hof hung in contention and trebled when her ace-eight suited ousted pocket nines and tens from pre-flop when she turned an ace. Antonio Esfandiari quickly left the tournament, but others were destined for big stacks. Charles Chattha (127,600) and Christopher Brammer (129,300) shared the felt most of the day, and both progressed with a healthy chance of running deep on Saturday's Day 2. Kevin Allen had more than both put together. After a superb session at the felt, the Londoner ended on 290,000.
With play in tomorrow's Day 1b set to begin at 12 noon, we look forward to welcoming more players to the £200,000 guaranteed Main Event... and seeing if anyone can grab the bounty on Team 888Poker player Sofia Lovgren's head.
Here's the Top 10 after Day 1a, for the full list of chip counts, visit the 2016 888Live Poker Festival London live reporting.