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888poker LIVE Bucharest: Andrei Racolta Wins for €71,042

Andrei Racolta

The 2018 888pokerLIVE Festival Bucharest has come to an end, and the trophy in the €888 Main Event has remained on home soil. Andrei Racolta emerged victorious after defeating 888poker online qualifier Krzysztof Chmielowski in the final heads-up. Chmielowski, who lives in Italy and bought in for a €109 satellite on to win his package, dominated most of the final day before Racolta took over his run good to emerge victoriously.

Racolta also received a package for the Crazy 8's tournament at the 2018 World Series of Poker.

Ultimately, the battle for the trophy and payday of €71,042 saw Racolta enter with a commanding lead, and it took just half an hour to determine the champion. It was a tough job until then, as Racolta busted on Day 1a and Day 1b before making it through in the turbo Day 1c. On top of the money and the trophy, Racolta also received a package for the Crazy 8's tournament at the 2018 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. A nice little bonus for Racolta who'll we be seeing in Sin City at the WSOP this year.

Nine of the 11 finalists in Bucharest were from Romania. Catalin Pop was one of them, and he was aiming for his second 888pokerLIVE Main Event title after winning this very same event at the King's Casino in Rozvadov in 2017. He later added more silverware to his collection by taking down the €2,200 High Roller at the next stop of the 888poker LIVE stop in Barcelona. Pop was thriving early on but couldn't keep up the pace on the final table, bowing out in 5th place for €20,500. By then, start-of-the-day chip leader Stefan Fabian was already on the rail after departing in 9th place.

2018 888pokerLIVE Festival Bucharest €888 Main Event Result

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (EUR)
1Andrei RacoltaRomania€71,042
2Krzysztof ChmielowskiPoland€44,000
3Marian StrachinescuRomania€32,000
4Sinisa RadovanovicSerbia€25,800
5Catalin PopRomania€20,500
6Madalin Cornel PetraruRomania€15,700
7Bogdan DiaconuRomania€11,700
8Radu PiticRomania€8,500
9Stefan FabianRomania€6,900
888poker LIVE Bucharest Main Event Final Table
888poker LIVE Bucharest Main Event Final Table

The tournament at a glance

The 888pokerLIVE tour headed to the capital of Bucharest for the first time and the festival was co-hosted by Pokerfest. The flagship event came with a guaranteed prize pool of €288,000, and that number was easily surpassed thanks to 469 entries in total throughout three starting days, creating a prize pool of €360,192.

Only 120 players returned for Day 2 and the money bubble burst in the fourth level of the penultimate day. Among those to cash were 888poker ambassador Vivian Saliba (53rd place for €1,800), Dan Murariu (46th place for €1,800), Tudor Purice (41st place for €1,800) Ana Marquez (39th place for €2,150), and Marius Pertea (24th place for €2,850).

Action of the final day

When action resumed on the final two tables with 11 players remaining, Andrei Alecu was the shortest stack, and he never managed to spin it up. The first hand he actively got involved in, Alecu's ace-five suited had a kicker problem against the ace-nine of Marian Strachinescu, and he became the first casualty. Ferenc Csaba Pal was next to follow after being involved in a lot of hands and Krzysztof Chmielowski entered the official nine-handed final table as the chip leader.

Chmielowski failed to get there for his last nine big blinds with jack-deuce suited against Racolta's ace-eight.

Chmielowski's lead grew even more when he won a big flip with ace-king against the pocket jacks of Stefan Fabian. Radu Pitic fell victim next, ending up second best with pocket fours versus king-ten and the same applied for Bogdan Diaconu with ace-eight versus king-eight suited. Madalin Cornel Petraru three-bet all in with ace-queen suited and Andrei Racolta snap-called with pocket kings to reduce the field to the last five hopefuls.

Racolta also ended Catalin Pop's bid for a third 888pokerLIVE trophy when his ace-ten held up against the ace-eight of his fellow countryman. Soon after, Racolta pulled into the lead when he rivered the nut straight, and 888poker online qualifier Sinisa Radovanovic made a move with ace-eight for second pair on a nine-high board.

Marian Strachinescu lost a flip with pocket tens against the ace-king of Andrei Racolta, who immediately flopped two kings and took a more than five-to-one lead into heads-up. Krzysztof Chmielowski was never able to turn things around and failed to get there for his last nine big blinds with jack-deuce suited against Racolta's ace-eight.

888pokerLIVE Bucharest Main Event champion Andrei Racolta
888pokerLIVE Bucharest Main Event champion Andrei Racolta

Ana Marquez wins the €2,200 High Roller

Two new entries before the start of play on Day 2 of the €2,200 High Roller with a single re-entry including Danut Chisu and Andrei Alecu created a field of 34 entries and a prize pool of €65,280, with the top five spots paid. On the last two tables, 888poker ambassador Sofia Lövgren was among the short stacks and survived an all in showdown with pocket nines versus pocket aces for her tournament life before sending three opponents to the rail.

Papazian bubbled after losing the vast majority of his stack with ace-queen versus king-jack

Alexandru Papazian bubbled after losing the vast majority of his stack with ace-queen versus king-jack as Razvan Bordei spiked a jack. 2017 WSOP bracelet winner Papazian hit the rail the very next hand when being forced all in from the big blind.

Danut Chisu was then eliminated by Bordei, and the remaining four players were moved over to the live stream table after the Main Event had finished.

While Lövgren held the lead four-handed, she was still the next to bow out. The 888poker ambassador from Sweden, who had celebrated her birthday two days ago during the festival, first doubled Ana Marquez, and then jammed with deuces from the button soon after. Marquez called as chip leader in the small blind with king-queen and flopped the nut straight.

Lövgren was barely gone when the €230 Opening Event winner and Main Event 28th place finisher Narcis Gabriel Nedelcu had a flip with pocket nines against Marquez's ace-king, and a king appeared in the window. Marquez, who was born in Spain and lived abroad since she was 17 years old, held an overwhelming lead going into heads-up and would take home the trophy to Vienna, Austria after dispatching Bordei with king-nine versus pocket tens.

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (EUR)
1Ana MarquezAustria€26,080
2Razvan BordeiRomania€17,650
3Narcis Gabriel NedelcuRomania€9,800
4Sofia LövgrenSweden€6,500
5Danut ChisuRomania€5,250
Ana Marquez Wins the €2,200 High Roller
Ana Marquez Wins the €2,200 High Roller

The 888pokerLIVE tour will be heading to London next for the WPT500 with a guaranteed prize pool of $1,000,000 and the next festival of the series takes place in sunny Barcelona at the end of May 2018. That marks the end of the PokerNews live reporting from Bucharest, but the next live events on the international poker circuit are just around the corner, so stay tuned for more.

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