888Live returned to Aspers Casino in Stratford on Thursday 3rd March with Day 1a of the £220 buy-in £50,000 guaranteed Main Event, kicking off the 2016 Live Local event series.
The poker room at Aspers will have year round 888 branding in a deal which sees a series of monthly events created to promote the live game, and provide a fun and rewarding experience to our players.
Kara Kicks Things Off
Kara Scott, making her first appearance as our newest 888 ambassador, got the tournament underway by announcing how excited we are to be the official sponsor of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) for the second year running. She also mentioned that she would once again be hosting coverage for ESPN.
Scott revealed that, in addition to the trophy and first placed prize, the 888Live Local London Champion will receive a Vegas Experience package worth $2,200. Also on the table were other bonus prizes, such as an iPhone 6 Plus for the first royal flush of the tournament and a PlayStation 4 for a winning with a full house of eights full or better.
With the Main Event underway, it was time for a bit of fun in the Media Tournament where invited journalists battled it out against the Team888 ambassadors Kara Scott, Dominik Nitsche and Sofia Lövgren and ex-footballers Andy Cole and Danny Mills.
After a lot of laughter and some unorthodox play, the winner was Mark Bonington from PokerNews. He bagged a package to our next 888Live event in Costs Brava running from the 18th-22nd May. The prize included flights, accommodation and entry to the tournament. Bonington was the last journalist standing, but it would be Lövgren who went on to win the tournament and claim the all-important bragging rights.
Danny Mills summed up the spirit of the event afterwards when he spoke to Team888's Kara saying, “I think the pros were unnerved by my technique. I tried to get in their heads and played some hands blind, but really I play for fun. I think the majority of the population plays for fun, and if you win, then that’s a bonus.”
With the Media Event out of the way, it was left to the players in the Main Event to test their mettle over fourteen 30 minute levels.
Time for Some Real Poker
At the close of registration, Day 1a had attracted 168 entries (143 unique with 25 re-buys). Each player began the day with a 25,000 chipstack with blinds at 50/100, meaning there was plenty of play in this deep stack structure. Many the Aspers regulars turned out to support the event in the hope of grabbing a slice of that £50,000 guarantee.
A few levels into the tournament the full house prize of the PlayStation 4 was claimed by one of those regulars, Adrian Binisan Petru. His king-eight flopped trips, and all the money went in on the turn when another king hit the felt. Petru is originally from Romania but now resides in London, and he can be found most days in the poker room playing the game he loves.
Team888 ambassador Sofia Lövgren played in the Main Event after triumphing in the media tournament, but was eventually eliminated in level 10. She was followed shortly after by fellow ambassador Dominik Nitsche. Kara Scott plans to play tomorrow’s Day 1b.
Action was scheduled to end at 3am with those surviving with chips to bag up, making it through to Day 2 on Sunday.
Play resumes tomorrow with Day 1b kicking off at 7pm and then Day 1c on Saturday, before the final day on Sunday where we will play down to a winner.
Make sure you check back here regulary for the latest news and updates.