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Dragos Trofimov wins the PokerStars Festival London High Roller

Dragos Trofimov
  • Dragos Trofimov won the 2018 PokerStars Festival London High Roller for £73,990 and a $30,000 Platinum Pass.

Moldova’s Dragos Trofimov helped himself to the largest live poker tournament cash of his career by taking down the 2018 PokerStars Festival London High Roller at the Hippodrome Casino on Jan. 25.

PokerStars Festival London High Roller Final Table

Buy-in: £2,200
Entrants: 164
Prize pool: £318,160

1Dragos TrofimovMoldova£73,990*
2Sergio CastelluccioItaly£50,100
3Jordi TornerSpain£33,410
4Luke SchwartzUnited Kingdom£27,360
5Paulius PlausinaitisLithuania£21,950
6Jonathan WongUnited Kingdom£17,020
7Nicolas CardynFrance£12,600
8Evangelos BechrakisGreece£9,260

*plus a $30,000 Platinum Pass

Trofimov, a 24-year-old chemistry student, finished second in a €330 No-Limit Hold’em event in July 2017 for €16,850 and a couple of days later banked €3,240 by finishing fourth in a €200 buy-in event, also at the PokerStars Festival Lille. Now he can boast of a £73,990 haul, a prize made even larger by the fact he was also awarded a $30,000 Platinum Pass for the upcoming PokerStars Players Championship.

The eight-handed final table got underway at 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 25 and it only took 20 minutes for the first casualty of the day to be confirmed. With blinds at 10,000/20,000/3,000a, Evangelos Bechrakis opened to 45,000 with a pair of nines and then called when Trofimov three-bet to 165,000. Bechrakis then check-called a 125,000 bet on a four-seven-eight flop before moving all in for 200,000 when another seven landed on the turn. Trofimov made the call with kings, which held when the ace of clubs completed the board.

Nicolas Cardyn of France was the next to go, losing a coinflip with ace-king of hearts against the red jacks of Sergio Castelluccio before early chip leader Jonathan Wong got his stack in on a king-high flop while holding ace-king only to see Trofimov snap-call with middle and bottom pair. Wong couldn’t find any outs and he was gone in sixth place.

Fifth place went to Paulius Plausinaitis whose shove with king-nine was called by Luke Schwartz’s ace-queen and the latter’s hand held to reduce the player count by one.

Schwartz was the next to fall. Down to less than 10 big blinds, Schwartz moved all in and was called by Trofimov. Schwartz told his opponent that he has seen one card — the ace of diamonds — before squeezing the other to show the nine of clubs. Trofimov turned over pocket eights and Schwartz couldn’t melt the snowmen.

Spain’s Jordi Torner crashed out in third place, his ace-ten being no match for the jacks in Castelluccio’s hand, and heads-up was set.

Trofimov held a 3.8 million to 1.12 million chip advantage over his Italian opponent and it proved a gap too wide to bridge. Castelluccio tried in vain to drag himself back into contention, but Trofimov kept grinding him back down.

The final hand happened when Trofimov made it 150,000 to play during the 30,000/60,000/10,000a level and then called when Castelluccio moved all in for around one million chips. It was {A-Clubs}{10-Hearts} for Trofimov and {A-Spades}{8-Spades} for Castelluccio, so when the board ran out {2-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{3-Spades}{7-Hearts}{5-Clubs}, Trofimov eliminated Castelluccio and became the PokerStars Festival London High Roller champion.

The Stars Group owns a majority share in iBus Media.

Lead image courtesy of Mickey May of the PokerStars Blog

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