Alexis Fleur Leads Last 24 After Day 2; Ludovic Geilich and James Mitchell in Contention
Day 2 of the record-breaking PokerStars Festival London £990 Main Event at the Hippodrome London saw a total of 314 players out of a 944-entry strong field return to the tables and after 11 levels of one hour each, only 24 hopefuls bagged up chips with Alexis Fleur in the lead. The Frenchman claimed 2,635,000 for the overnight spotlight, edging past Smit Trivedi (2,500,000) and Lam Van Trinh (2,420,000) in the last few hands of the night.
Other big stacks and notables still in contention include Daniel Harwood (1,870,000), Guillem Cusco Bach (1,780,000), Ludovic Geilich (1,500,000), start-of-day chip leader James Mitchell (1,410,000), High Roller 4th place finisher Yuriy Boyko (1,275,000) and Clement Tripodi (1,100,000).
Especially at the start of the day in four different tournament tables of the casino, the players were being eliminated very quickly and such big names as Chris Moorman, Daniel Wilson, Slaven Popov, Julien Sitbon and Adrian Mateos were all sent to the rail before the money. The bubble then burst in level 15 when Marc Hunter was all in for just two antes with pocket tens. Ibrahim Ilksoy had pocket jacks and Jose Ruben Rubio Garnito the eight-seven suited. The board ran out jack-high and both Hunter as well as Ilksoy made a set only to see Rubio Garnito scoop the pot with a straight and let the bubble burst.
Among the first to join the rail in the money were 2016 United Kingdom & Ireland Poker Tour London champion Usman Siddique, PokerStars Team Pro Felipe Ramos, Benjamin Philipps and Philipp Gruissem. William Kassouf made one pay jump and finished in 141st (£1,690). Luca Pagano received the same payout for his 104th place finish, the Italian failed to improve with pocket fours against the pocket eights of Mladen Ivanov. James Akenhead fell victim to the hot run of Geilich and PokerStars Team Pro Liv Boeree lost a big flip with ace-king suited against the pocket jacks of Jose Astima.
After eight levels, less than 40 players remained and the dinner break kicked in with Geilich atop the leader board. Day 1a chip leader Mihaita Croitoru had to settle for 38th place and Matt Perrins' run came to an end in 32nd. Due to the big field size, an additional 11th level was played and that would see the field cut down to just 24. Naoufel Bennani-Smires failed to hold up with ace-king against the ace-queen of Boyko and the last woman in the field, Sally Stephens, followed right after during the last hands of the night.
The biggest post of the event so far saw Adam Harsanyi hero-call the shove of Fleur on the river of a queen-high board containing four diamonds with king-jack for just a pair of jacks. Fleur had turned the second nut flush with king-jack suited and skyrocketed into the lead.
Main Event Day 3 Seat Draw
|1||1||Ludovic Geilich||United Kingdom||1,500,000|
|1||2||Kevin Steward||United Kingdom||1,880,000|
|1||4||Jonathan Solomon Somekh||United Kingdom||580,000|
|1||7||Smit Trivedi||United Kingdom||2,500,000|
|2||1||James Mitchell||United Kingdom||1,410,000|
|2||2||Paul Skipper||United Kingdom||575,000|
|2||4||Bobinder Sohal||United Kingdom||305,000|
|2||5||Edgar Drozdov||United Kingdom||310,000|
|2||6||Guillem Cusco Bach||Spain||1,780,000|
|2||7||Chun Law||United Kingdom||470,000|
|2||8||Rehman Kassam||United Kingdom||875,000|
|3||1||Daniel Harwood||United Kingdom||1,870,000|
|3||2||Lam Van Trinh||United Kingdom||2,420,000|
|3||5||Bappie De Haas||Netherlands||795,000|
A thorough success, the tournament smashed the initial guarantee and more than doubled the prize pool to massive £824,112 with £4,250 locked up for all finalists thus far. However, all eyes are set on the first-place payout of £112,720, the coveted trophy as well as the honor of being the first ever PokerStars Festival champion on European soil.
The action will recommence on Sunday January 29th as of 12 p.m. local time with blinds of 15,000-30,000 and a running ante of 5,000. As usual, the PokerNews live reporting team will provide all the action until the winner is crowned.