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888poker LIVE London: Romanian Qualifier Turns €33 Satellite into £100,000 Main Event Victory

Adrian Constantin

A marathon final day of nearly 14 hours has wrapped up at the Aspers Casino at Westfield Stratford City and a new champion has been crowned in the 2019 888poker LIVE Festival London £1,100 Main Event as Romania's Adrian-Eugen Constantin staged an incredible comeback in heads-up against Leon Louis to claim the trophy, top prize of £100,000 and package for the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, courtesy of event sponsor 888poker.

The flagship event of the festival boasted a field of 518 entries, with the prize pool of £512,820 split among the top 63 finishers. The lion's share was being awarded on the final day, which saw 23 hopefuls return to their seats. Ultimately, Constantin prevailed with the fortune on his side after he survived six all-in showdowns against Louis, who himself doubled once for 90% of the chips in heads-up play and still came up short eventually.

Constantin's name may have a particularly familiar ring to it on the 888poker LIVE circuit as fellow countryman Adrian Costin Constantin lifted the trophy for the winner shots at Casino Barcelona back in 2018. What makes the winner story even more remarkable is the fact that the 41-year-old businessman from Bucharest won his entry to the event in a €33 online satellite on 888poker.

2019 888poker LIVE London £1,100 Main Event Final Table Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize (in GBP)Prize (in USD)
1Adrian ConstantinRomania£100,000*$129,274*
2Leon LouisUnited Kingdom£69,770$90,194
3Manuel BuenoGermany£44,920$58,070
4Egidijus AlsauskasLithuania£33,230$42,958
5Aleksandrs GolubevsUnited Kingdom£24,920$32,215
6Nikolay PonomarevRussia£20,100$25,984
7Valdir Cordeiro dos SantosBrazil£16,660$21,537
8Jose Echevarne GomezSpain£13,280$17,168
9Bhavin KhatriUnited Kingdom£10,000$12,927

*plus an additional package worth $12,500 for the 2020 WSOP Main Event

For Constantin and runner-up Louis, it was the biggest payday on the live poker circuit thus far and third-place finisher Manuel Bueno even recorded his first-ever live cash. While he may have a very Spanish-sounding name, Bueno was born in Hamburg / Germany and currently lives in Brighton, just a short ride away from interesting poker evens in the British capital.

Fourth-place finisher Egidijus Alsauskas is a regular at the Aspers Casino and had several cashes in the 888poker LIVE Local Series to his name already. The Lithuanian won his Main Event ticket through a £60 live satellite at the card room and turned that into a payday of £33,230.

Three other 888poker online qualifiers reached the final day including Jose Echevarne Gomez (8th, for £13,280), Matthew Anderson (18th, for £5,120) and Teresa Purti (23rd, for £3,990). Other notables that returned to their seats for the final showdown were Ramlal Basdeo, 888poker WPT500 London champion Gary Miller, Mark Yi, Valdir Cordeiro dos Santos and Nikolay Ponomarev.

Final Table Group Picture
888poker LIVE London Main Event Final Table Group Picture

Final Table Action

Leon Louis and Adrian Constantin, who would end up in 2nd and 1st place eventually, were the bottom two stacks at the start of the final table and it was Bhavin Khatri that headed to the payout desk first, followed by 888poker qualifier Jose Echevarne Gomez. It was Louis that did the qualifier in and Louis then also knocked out Valdir Cordeiro dos Santos when his kings held up pocket tens.

Nikolay Ponomarev lost several key showdowns in half an hour to become the next casualty and Constantin upped his aggression to chip up with several successful three-bets. The next casualty was Aleksandrs Golubevs who fell in a battle of the short stacks with Egidijus Alsauskas and that suddenly left just four players in contention.

With plenty of chips at his disposal during three-handed play after winning key pots from Manuel Bueno, Constantin amped up his aggression and pulled away further at the top of the leaderboard. Louis then sent Alsauskas to the rail when he flopped a full house with pocket tens and rivered quads for the second time on the final day for good measure. First deal negotiations broke out but no agreement could be found.

Only a few hands into the three-handed action, Constantin finished the job he had started earlier and sent Bueno to the rail in third place. The German flopped trips sixes and Constantin turned a straight to enter heads-up against Louis as a 3:1 chip leader. However, only 15 minutes later it was Louis that scored the double and was suddenly in the driver's seat.

Constantin was on the ropes several times and all his following seven all-in showdowns ran out in his favor. He doubled six times, some of which came in utterly dramatic and heart-breaking fashion for Louis. When the Brit ended up at risk for the second time in heads-up, he turned two pair with queen-four and Constantin looked him up with ace-jack for top pair and a gutshot. A ten on the river gave Constantin a straight and the event came to a conclusion past 3.30 a.m. local time.

Adrian Constantin Wins 2019 888poker LIVE London Main Event
Adrian Constantin Wins 2019 888poker LIVE London Main Event

888poker ambassador Sofia Lovgren wins Ladies Event

While the £1,100 Main Event played down to the final three tables on the previous day, the Ladies Event took place and the £50 buy-in attracted a field of 37 unique players, who purchased an additional 22 rebuys to create a prize pool of £2,765. The top seven spots were paid and three 888poker ambassadors finished in the money.

One year ago at the same location, Sofia Lovgren was denied the trophy when she finished second to Natalia Drytchak. This time, Lovgren defeated fellow 888poker ambassador Daria Feshchenko heads-up to claim the trophy.

Final Result Ladies Event

PlacePlayerCountryPrize (in GBP)Prize (in USD)
1Sofia LovgrenSweden£900$1,165
2Daria FeshchenkoRussia£635$822
3Helen LambUnited Kingdom£410$531
4Ana MarquezSpain£330$427
5Thanh Thom PhamUnited Kingdom£245$317
6Andrea TincombeUnited Kingdom£165$214
7Katie LindsayUnited States£80$104
Sofia Lovgren Wins Ladies Event
888poker ambassador Sofia Lovgren wins the Ladies Event

That wraps up PokerNews live reporting from London and the preparations for the next 888poker LIVE festival are already in full swing.

At the end of January 2020, the popular mid-stakes tour will be heading to Madrid for the first time and the €888 Main Event at the Casino Gran Via will feature a guaranteed prize pool of €800,000.

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