888poker LIVE Bucharest: Stefan Fabian Leads Final Eleven Players

Stefan Fabian

The first-ever 888poker LIVE Festival in Bucharest saw 120 players out of a field of 469 entries return to the tables in the Grand Ballroom of the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel. 888poker was looking to reach the official nine-handed final table on Day 2 of the €888 Main Event. That goal was narrowly missed as 11 hopefuls remain in contention after the scheduled ten levels of play.

The event easily surpassed the guarantee of €288,000, and the top 54 spots earned a portion of the €360,192 prize pool.

Stefan Fabian thrones atop the counts with 2,460,000. His fellow countrymen Madalin Cornel Petraru (1,450,000), Bogdan Diaconu (1,415,000), Marian Strachinescu (1,365,000), Andrei Racolta (1,225,000 ), Ferenc Csaba Pal (900,000), Catalin Pop (895,000), Radu Pitic (475,000) and Andrei Alecu (315,000) will aim to keep the trophy on home soil too. Pop already knows how it feels to lift a trophy on the 888pokerLIVE circuit after winning the Main Event at the King's Casino in Rozvadov for €80,000 and emerging victorious in the €2,200 High Roller in Barcelona in 2017.

Only three countries are represented in the final 11, as the nine Romanians take on the two 888poker online qualifiers Krzysztof Chmielowski from Poland (2,000,000) and Sinisa Radovanovic from Serbia (1,590,000), who are second and third respectively in the overnight counts. Radovanovic qualified for the event after starting his journey in a $5 satellite, in which he won a seat to a $109 qualifier before securing the trip to the capital of Romanian. He has already locked up €5,700 for his efforts.

Seat Assignments for the Final Day

SeatTable 2CountryChip CountBig BlindsSeatTable 3CountryChip CountBig Blinds
1Stefan FabianRomania2,460,000822Ferenc Csaba PalRomania900,00030
3Madalin Cornel PetraruRomania1,450,000484Marian StrachinescuRomania1,365,00046
4Radu PiticRomania475,000166Sinisa RadovanovicSerbia1,590,00053
6Bogdan DiaconuRomania1,415,000477Krzysztof ChmielowskiPoland2,000,00067
9Andrei RacoltaRomania1,225,000418Andrei AlecuRomania315,00011
     9Catalin PopRomania895,00030
The 888poker qualifiers Sinisa Radovanovic and Krzysztof Chmielowski are 2nd and
The 888poker qualifiers Sinisa Radovanovic and Krzysztof Chmielowski are 2nd and 3rd in chips for the final day

Day 2 Action

Within the first two levels, 40 players their hope of securing a min-cash of €1,800 vanished. Among the early casualties of the day were Ran Azor, Manfred Sierke, Ozgur Arda, Dimitrios Kalaroutis, Marius-Alexandru Gicovanu, and Iulian Iacob. The Pokerfest hosts and 888poker announced a bad beat promotion with shots of vodka as consolation and Iacob was the first to do so after his aces failed to hold up against the pocket queens of Ivan Stankov. Both big stacks heading into the day ended up on the rail before the money.

Romania's very own WSOP bracelet winner Alexandru Papazian also departed before the money bubble after a three-way all in. 888poker ambassador Natalie Hof lost a flip with ace-king versus pocket tens to bust too. Mihai Manole and Luca Moschitta were among those to leave the Grand Ballroom empty-handed as well, and 888poker Vivian Saliba all but sneaked into the money after losing a big pot with kings versus aces. On the money bubble it was all about Stefan Fabian, who was the first player above a million in chips after busting Aurel Iovan in a huge pot with queen-jack for flopped top two pair, then busted Dorin Rauta as bubble boy minutes later when his jack-eight suited hit a runner-runner straight against ace-queen.

Saliba had to settle for 53rd place and €1,800, and she was soon joined on the rail by such familiar names as Dan Murariu (46th place for €1,800) and Tudor Purice (41st place for €1,800). Purice was ousted in a three-way all in when his massive isolation shove with ace-queen versus pocket eights was called by Ferenc Csaba Pal with king-jack suited. Ana Marquez (39th place for €2,150) lost several flips, the final one being pocket sevens versus ace-queen.

Marius Pertea racked up several deep runs in the last few months and it all started here in Bucharest when he won the Unibet Open Main Event for €90,925 at this very venue. This time, the local businessman had to settle for 24th place and €2,850. The final three levels reduced the field from three to two tables, and Fabian claimed the top spot after taking the entire stack of Radu Danut in the final two hands of the night.

€2,200 High Roller Draws 32 Entries so Far
The €2,200 High Roller with single re-entry drew a total of 32 entries thus far, of which 20 players bagged up after seven levels of 40 minutes each. Registration remains open until the restart at 12 p.m. local time, and all new entries will receive 30 big blinds worth with upcoming blinds of 500/1,000 and a running ante of 100.

Among those that busted were Alexandru Papazian, Mihai Niste, Danut Chisu, and Marius Pertea. Papazian re-entered successfully and bagged up 43,000. Leading the field into Day 2 is Razvan Bordei with 97,700, narrowly ahead of Narcis Gabriel Nedelcu (94,800). Nedelcu won the €230 Opening Event and cashed in 28th place in the Main Event before immediately jumping into the High Roller action.

Other notables in contention include Ana Marquez (74,400), 888poker ambassador Sofia Lovgren (65,400), Ran Shahar (58,100), Marius-Alexandru Gicovanu (49,800), and €230 Opening Event runner-up Eduard Norel (29,300). Lovgren celebrated her birthday during the festival and was presented flowers and champagne by 888poker before the restart of the Main Event Day 2.

The High Rollers will be back in action as of 1 p.m. local time and the 11 Main Event finalists take their seats at 12.15 p.m. local time. The action recommences in level 22 with blinds of 15,000/30,000 and a running ante of 5,000 and the PokerNews live updates will be published right away before switching over to a 30 minutes delay according to the live stream with commentary and hole cards displayed once the official final table is set.

The PokerNews live updates for the final day of the 888poker LIVE Bucharest Main Event will be according to the 30 minutes delay, and you can watch the stream with commentary and hole cards displayed right here until a champion is crowned.

Radu Pitic and Alexandru Papazian
Radu Pitic and Alexandru Papazian

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