Kalidou Sow wins PokerStars Festival London Main Event
France’s Kalidou Sow is in the form of his life. Sow won the €5,300 PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event in December for €675,000, and on Jan. 28 Sow he took down the PokerStars Festival London Main Event for an additional £121,803 and a $30,000 Platinum Pass.
PokerStars Festival London Main Event Final Table
|Position||Player||Country||Prize in £||Prize in $|
|2||Paul Dando||United Kingdom||£103,197||$145,365*|
|3||David Manders||United Kingdom||£60,000||$84,516|
|4||Thomas Winstone||United Kingdom||£45,000||$63,374|
|5||Waheed Ashraf||United Kingdom||£35,500||$49,995|
|6||Attila Farkas||United Kingdom||£26,600||$37,461|
|7||Thomas Harbrecht-Parker||United Kingdom||£18,500||$26,053|
|8||Tzd Chung Ho||United Kingdom||£13,000||$18,308|
*reflects a heads-up deal
A bumper crowd of 852 entrants participated in the £990 buy-in event at the Hippodrome Casino in London. Some 127 of those starters received prize money for their efforts, including the likes of Florian Duta, Chris “Moorman1” Moorman, Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody, recently married Alex and Viktorija Goulder, PSF London High Roller winner Dragos Trofimov, Fraser MacIntyre, Michael Kane, Adrien Allain, Jimmy Kebe and Irena Macesovic, the latter bursting the final table bubble with a ninth-place finish.
Tsz Chung was the first casualty of the official final table, his ace-three proving no match for the pocket tens in the hand of David Manders. Chung was followed to the sidelines a short while later by Thomas Harbrecht-Parker who was down to 335,000 chips at the 30,000/60,000/10,000a level. Harbrecht-Parker moved all-in and was called by both Sow and Waheed Ashraf, who checked down the board. Harbrecht-Parker showed king-six, Sow a pair of fours and Ashraf pocket nines.
Sixth-place went to Attila Farkas whose timing was a little of when he was dealt a baby ace. Sow opened the betting to 125,000, Farkas and Thomas Wnstone both called before Paul Dando raised to 525,000. Sow folded, but Farkas opted to move all-in for 2,500,000 and only Dando called. Farkas flipped over ace-deuce of clubs and was in big trouble against Dando’s ace-king. The community cards ran out void of deuces and Farkas headed to the cashier’s cage.
Manders had qualified for this event for only $11 online at PokerStars and now he has a £60,000 score to brag about.
The dangerous Waheed “Wadey” Ashraf was the next player to fall and in unfortunate circumstances. With blinds of 40,000/80,000/10,000a, Dando opened to 175,000 in the cutoff, Ashraf three-bet all-in for 2,250,000 in the small blind and Winstone called in the big blind; Dando ducked out of the way. Ashraf showed ace-queen and looked set for a timely double as Winstone showed the dominated ace-jack. Any thoughts Ashraf had of adding more chips to his stack were soon dashed as a jack was the door card on the flop. The other community cards failed to come to Ashraf’s rescue and his tournament ended in fifth-place.
Winston became the fourth-place finisher during the 50,000/100,000/10,000a level. Dando raised to 225,000 in the cutoff, Sow made it 650,000 to play from the button and Winstone four-bet from the blinds to 2,050,000. Dando folded and Sow called. The dealer spread the flop, Winstone jammed all-in and Sow instantly called. Winston hald ace-queen and was strong, but Sow had flopped top set courtesy of his aces in the hole. The queen and king of diamonds completed the turn and river, Winstone bust and Sow grew his stack to approximately 9,500,000.
David Mander’s impressive run came to an end in third-place. Manders had qualified for this event for only $11 online at PokerStars and now he has a £60,000 score to brag about. Manders’ final hand saw him open to 250,000 on the button with ace-ten and Sow defend his big blind with six-five of hearts. The flop gave both players something. Sow led for 280,000 and Manders called. The six of spades on the turn saw Sow bet 1,250,000 and then call when Manders moved all-in. Manders needed a non-heart ace, king or ten to stay in the tournament, but the river was a black jack and it was game over for the online qualifier.
Sow went into the heads-up battle with Dando holding a 17,040,000 to 8,425,000 chip advantage yet still discussed a deal. Fifteen minutes after discussion began, the final two players chopped up the remaining prize pool and decided to play for the $30,000 Platinum Pass.
Around 30-minutes into the one-on-one match, Sow raised to 500,000, Dando responded with a 1,600,000 three-bet and Sow called. Dando continued with a 950,000 bet on the flop and Sow called. The turn saw Dando move all-in for 6,195,000 and Sow called, albeit after five minutes in the tank. Sow flipped over for top pair and Dando the for a pair of five with outs to a straight. The landed on the river to send Dando home in second place and a delighted Sow was crowned the PokerStars Festival London Main Event champion.
Lead image courtesy of Mickey May of the PokerStars Blog
Finding a trustworthy room to play online poker can be a monumental burden. That's all the more true if you're just looking for a place to play poker for free. We've listed five of the best play-money poker sites to enjoy and help hone your skills.