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PokerStars Festival London Attracts Enormous Field, James Mitchell Leads

James Mitchell
  • James Mitchell leads after Day 1c, 1d at #PSFLondon.

The PokerStars Festival London £990 Main Event has smashed the guaranteed prize pool of £400,000 after four extremely successful starting days. Day 1a attracted 169 entries and another 164 players showed up for Day 1b. That was nothing compared to the spectacle in the Hippodrome Casino on Day 1c and 1d as the former attracted a field of 444 players while the latter added another 166. Players were sent into every possible room with a poker table in it; six different rooms on three different floors were used to accommodate the massive turnout.

After all starting days, a total field of 944 entries - including one no show - were made into the event. Three-hundred-and-fourteen hopefuls will be coming back for Day 2 as of 11 a.m. local time. This massive number outshines the 649 entries of the last United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour £770 Main Event at the same venue one year ago and a new record for the Hippodrome Casino has been set. More than £820,000 will be up for grabs and the exact distribution of this massive prize pool will be released at the start of Day 2.

Leading the pool of survivors is James Mitchell (photo). The Irish Open champion turned his 30,000 starting stack into a massive 373,600 on Day 1c. Spanish PokerStars EPT Champion and (Super) High Roller regular Adrian Mateos had the heaviest bag after Day 1d, ending the day with 185,200. The top five after four starting days is as follows:

PositionPlayerCountryChip Count
1James MitchellUnited Kingdom373,600
2Mihaita CroitoruRomania340,000
3Yuriy BoykoIreland336,200
4Guillem Cusco BachSpain328,500
5Lam Van TrinhUnited Kingdom291,300

Less than 150 hopefuls survived Day 1c with Mitchell storming into the lead late after a massive four-bet shove of table neighbor Attila Farkas with ace-three came at the worst possible timing. Mitchell had pocket aces and the short stack in the hand stood no chance either to award the Brit a massive stack of 373,600 in the bag.

Right behind him is no stranger to the festival here in the center of London: Yuriy Boyko. Boyko was the chip leader of the £2,200 High Roller after Day 1 and eventually finished fourth and the Irishman is second in chips for Day 1c with 336,200. Spain's Guillem Cusco Bach follows in third with 328,500 after Day 1c.

Other big stacks and notables who made it through include 2016 WSOP International Circuit Paris champion Nicolas Noguera (253,300), Smit Trivedi (205,000), William Kassouf (178,200) Matt Perrins (130,000), Ludovic Geilich (104,600) and Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree (32,700). Kassouf scored a very late double against Alexandra O'Brien after flopping the nut flush with ace-deuce suited and getting into the head of O'Brien to pay him off on the river.

William Kassouf scored a very late double after flopping the nut flush and getting into the head of O'Brien to pay him off.

Among those to bust throughout the day were Praz Bansi, PokerStars Team Pro Jake Cody, snooker legend Stephen Hendry, Fraser MacIntyre, James Akenhead, 2016 Irish Open champion Daniel Wilson, the High Roller champion Joe Johnson and runner-up Enzo Del Piero, as well as Martins Adeniya.

Akenhead five-bet shoved a below average stack early on with five-six suited and ran into pocket queens. MacIntyre got it in good with ace-king against four opponents only to see Noguera flop a full house with queen jack. Hendry played very patiently but never managed to build up a stack before running with ace-seven suited into the pocket kings of James Koumis.

All players that busted on any of the three previous starting days were allowed to re-enter the turbo heat Day 1d as of 10 p.m. local time. And a lot of them did, playing the same structured event day all over again but now with levels of just 20 minutes. The fourth and final starting day of the record-breaking PokerStars Festival £990 Main Event saw a total of 166 players take their (second) chance at the iconic Hippodrome Casino. After 12 levels of 20 minutes each, it was Adrian Mateos who emerged on top of the counts with 185,200 as 74 hopefuls bagged up for Day 2.

The Spaniard ended the day with a huge bang by knocking out three opponents with ace-jack of spades, making the nut flush on the river to scoop a big pot. Until then, Akenhead appeared to be the one in the overnight spotlight after a late double up. Akenhead eventually claimed 170,900, good enough for third after Day 1d ended. Jose Astima finished ahead of the Brit with 180,900.

Adrian Mateos
Adrian Mateos

Other big stacks and notables advancing from the turbo heat include Emrah Cakmak (150,200), Benjamin Morrison (133,000), Keisuke Hikosaka (130,400), Kalidou Sow (125,000), Diego Gomez (96,900), Fraser MacIntyre (89,000), Albert Sapiano (78,300) and Chris Moorman (31,200). PokerStars Team Pro Aditya Agarwal made it through with 107,200 while Jake Cody and Liv Boeree were eliminated. Some further casualties included Barny Boatman, Rodrigo Strong, Paul-Francois Tedeschi, Kully Sidhu, Fabio Sperling, Will Givens and Javier Zarco.

Ten levels of 60 minutes are scheduled for tomorrow's Day 2, but due to the field size, the plan for the day may be altered still. The PokerNews live reporting will be there when history is made here in London, so check back regularly for updates from one of the biggest poker events on British soil ever.

Inside the Hippodrome Casino
The Hippodrome Casino, London

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