Romanian player Andrei Racolta won the trophy at the 888pokerLIVE Festival Bucharest Main Event and a payday of €71,042. The three-day tournament was the first 888pokerLIVE tour event ever to be held in Bucharest and it saw a strong attendance of 469 participants that contributed to a prize pool of €360,192.
The festival started Friday, 2 March at the Grand Ballroom of the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel and it attracted top poker players from Romania and the region. It was the first time the tournament came to the city and it promised attractive rewards with a guaranteed prize pool of €288,000, which easily surpassed €360,000 due to the €888 buy-in. The event was co-hosted by Pokerfest and ran through Monday when Andrei Racolta came on top, winning the €71,042 first-place prize.
Only 120 players out of the 469-entry field made it to the tables at the Grand Ballroom for Day Two of the festival. Among those who busted before the money bubble were Ran Azor, Manfred Sierke, Ozgur Arda, Dimitrios Kalaroutis, Marius-Alexandru Gicovanu, Iulian Iacob, and Ivan Stankov. WSOP bracelet winner Alexandru Papazian and 888poker Ambassador Natalie Hof also left empty-handed.
A total of 54 players reached the money places, taking home at least €1,800. Among those getting the minimum payouts were temporary chip leaders Nicolae Sorin Son and Tudor Purice who busted at 42nd and 41st spot, respectively. Spanish player Ana Marquez finished 39, taking €2,150, as did the Israeli player Tomer Wolf and the Bulgarian 888poker online qualifier Hristo Pnteleev. Several other foreign players took cash prizes, including Georgios Tavoularis, Alexandros Papadopoulos, Ran Shahar, Levente Pal, and Zhiping Zeng. A couple of other 888poker online qualifiers, namely Sinisa Radovanovic and Krzysztof Chmielowski, have made it to the final table.
2018 888pokerLIVE Bucharest €888 Main Event Final Table
The €888 Main Event wrapped up on Monday with 9 players reaching the final table where the minimum cash prize was €6,900. The chip leader from Day Two Stefan Fabian was the first to go, followed by Radu Pitic, Bogdan Diaconu, and Madalin Cornel Petraru. Another Romanian player, Catalin Pop, was eliminated by Andrei Racolta and his Ace-Ten hand against Pop’s Ace-Eight. Finishing 5th, Pop pocketed €20,500. Racolta then managed to eliminate Serbian player and 888poker online qualifier Sinisa Radovanovic, leaving him fourth and with the decent cash prize of €25,800.
Marian Strachinescu had no chance against Racolta and left third with €32,000. The final action started between Racolta and Polish player Krzysztof Chmielowski, who qualified online in a $109 satellite. The heads-up battle between the two continued for about 35 minutes and ended when Chmielowski moved all in with Jack-Deuce and Racolta called with Ace-Eight. Chmielowski busted taking the runner-up prize of €44,000, while Andrei Racolta scored the first live win in his career. Along with the 2018 888pokerLIVE Bucharest trophy, the Romanian player took home €71,042, which is his largest cash prize so far.
The next 888poker LIVE event will head to Barcelona, Spain and will run from 23 May to 4 June 2018. Online qualifiers are already on, starting at $0.01. 888poker has also partnered with World Poker Tour for the WPT500 London which takes place at the Aspers Casino on 1 and 2 April and offers poker pros a share of the guaranteed $1,000,000.