The €1,100 Main Event of the 2017 888Live Poker Festival Barcelona easily eclipsed the guarantee as a total of 609 entries generated a prize pool €584,640. After two days and 22 levels of play, only 25 hopefuls remained at Casino Barcelona to play for a top prize of €15,000.
Luigi Shehadeh, a 23-year-old online MTT specialist from Italy who made the trip to Barcelona alongside his brother Fares, eventually emerged victorious after a dominating performance on the final day. Shehadeh entered the nine-handed final table with almost one third of the chips in play and defeated local recreational player Carlos Garcia Rodriguez in a brief heads-up encounter.
Cate Hall was leading the finalists into the last day and the American poker pro also reached the final table, but eventually, Hall was ousted in fourth place. The other big name among the Day 3 players was William Kassouf, and the master of speech play fell just short of making the final table after bowing out in 11th place.
888Live Barcelona Main Event Final Results
|2||Carlos Garcia Rodriguez||Spain||€75,000|
|3||Jose Alberto Lopez Gonzalez||Spain||€50,000|
|7||Jaime Rueda Sampedro||Spain||€18,000|
|9||Javier de Vicente Miquel||Spain||€11,240|
Day 3 Recap
When the field trimmed down to 20, Kassouf took the lead after doubling with pocket aces against the pocket fives of Marco Regonaschi in a three-bet pot and six-high flop. Regonaschi had an open-ender but failed to get there. The last two tables were set after the eliminations of Fernando Campomar Concha and Filippo Lazzaretto, while a second move by Jonas Kannosto with ace-king suited on a jack-high flop went horribly wrong. Francisco Jose Garcia Martin snap-called with jack-ten suited for trips and turned a full house.
Among the next casualties were Besmir Hodaj and Do Chung Tran, before Jaakko Wilska exited in 14th place. The Finn shoved with ace-jack and Hall called with pocket threes to dodge both over cards and a gutshot straight draw. Soon after that, Kassouf was left with less than two big blinds after calling the shove of Marco Hakli with sevens and ending second-best to the king-jack of the Spaniard.
Kassouf tripled and doubled up while Hakli and Alessio Sardone both departed on the feature table. It was all over for the Brit when his king-queen was no good against Hamza Miri's ace-jack. A move by Francisco Jose Garcia Martin with nine-ten off suit came at the worst possible timing, as Luigi Shehadeh snapped him off with pocket aces and barely had anything to worry about on a jack-high board. This set up the following nine-handed final table.
|Seat||Player||Country||Chip Count||Big Blinds|
|1||Carlos Garcia Rodriguez||Spain||1,125,000||11|
|4||Javier de Vicente Miquel||Spain||1,200,000||12|
|7||Jaime Rueda Sampedro||Spain||1,860,000||18|
|9||Jose Alberto Lopez Gonzalez||Spain||2,020,000||20|
Shehadeh had a commanding lead over the rest of the field and it was also the Italian that sent the first opponent to the rail. Javier de Vicente Miquel doubled through Hall, however, the Spaniard would then bow out soon after in 9th place when his pocket sixes would lose the flip against the ace-king of Shehadeh. An ace fell on the turn and de Vicente Miquel had to settle for €11,240.
Marco Regaschoni was the next player to join the rail. Garcia Rodriguez open-shoved for 21 big blinds and the Italian called all in from one seat over for 18 big blinds with pocket tens. Garcia Rodriguez had pocket queens and there was no surprise on the board.
The elimination of Jaime Rueda Sampedro shortly after came in brutal fashion. He three-bet jammed with pocket kings and the initial raiser Hall looked him up with pocket queens. The flop instantly provided a queen and Rueda Sampedro was gone after two blanks on the turn and river to see a third player depart from the final table within just 10 minutes.
Miri came back from two big blinds and laddered up to sixth place, but his ace-nine suited would not get there against the pocket nines of Stefan Eriksson. The Swede was the last 888poker online qualifier and turned €30 into a payday of €27,000. Eriksson called a raise by Shehadeh with pocket threes and jammed a three-way king-high flop only to see the Italian snap-call with ace-king. Neither turn or river were a three and Eriksson was on the rail in fifth place.
Hall's roller coaster day ended with her collecting a fourth-place payout. A win would have brought the live tournament earnings up to a cool million, but instead, it was yet another deep run and €35,000 for the efforts. Hall three-bet shoved her short stack with ace-six out of the small blind and Shehadeh called with king-ten. An ace on the flop was good news for Hall, but a jack on the turn improved Shehadeh to a straight.
Down to the last three players, Shehadeh had an overwhelming lead that got even bigger after he sent Jose Alberto Lopez Gonzalez to the rail. The Spaniard shoved from the button with pocket threes and Shehadeh called with ace-jack, a jack immediately appeared on the flop.
Shehadeh started heads-up with an 8-1 lead and Garcia Rodriguez doubled up in one of the first hands. Right after, the duo headed into a 45-minute dinner break before it took another 30 minutes to wrap up a one-sided duel. Down to 13 big blinds, Garcia Rodriguez shoved with ace-seven and Shehadeh called with pocket eights. The Spaniard flopped an open-ender but the turn and river bricked off to crown Shehadeh as champion.
That marks the end of the PokerNews live reporting from Casino Barcelona, and the festival exceeded all guarantees to offer far more than the initial €700,000 in guaranteed prize pools. Next up is the PokerStars Championship in Sochi before a busy summer awaits with the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
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