The new season of 888poker’s LIVE tour kicked off with the 2018 Kick-Off Event at London’s Aspers Casino on February 8. The £440 buy-in Main Event carried a £120,000 guarantee but when 366 runners showed up, creating 547 total entries, during the four starting flights the guarantee was smashed creating a prize pool of over £216,000.
The field was packed with some of the UK’s top talent as well as a number of 888poker ambassadors, including Sofia Lovgren, Natalie Hof, Vivian Saliba, Dominik Nitsche and online poker legend Chris ‘moorman1’ Moorman. But it was local UK grinder Jonathan Bowers ended up taking down the first event of the year, taking home the trophy and the £30,630 first place prize. The victory comes just four months after Bowers finished as the runner-up in October’s 888Live London Festival £2,200 High Roller.
Bowers secured the top spot after the final four players battled it out for hours, attempting to eliminate a player. According to the 888poker blog, with over £100,000 left in the prize pool and the tournament pushing very late into the night the remaining four worked out a deal that gave chipleader Bowers the victory. Local player James Simms officially took second with a career-high cash of 28,460. France’s Eric Le Goff finished in third for 24,068 pushing him close to $300,000 in lifetime earnings. The final player in the chop was Ali Sakallioglu from the UK who also celebrated a career-best cash by taking home 23,280.
In addition to the top 54 players earning a minimum of £975.00, organizers extended the payouts giving places 55-63 a seat to forthcoming World Poker Tour WPT500 event taking place at multiple Aspers Casinos beginning on March 23.
Moorman Cashes In
During the course of the Main Event, 888poker also held their LIVE Celebrity cash game featuring 888poker ambassadors Chris Moorman and Vivian Saliba. Joining them were a slate of local players, as well as Beth Cape and longtime poker broadcaster David Tuchman.
The stakes were low enough to not get too serious – 2/5 with a mandatory 10 straddle. To spice things up, the players added the well-known seven-deuce game to keep things interesting. In the end, Moorman did what he does best, swallowed up the most amount of chips – walking away as the big winner.
Next up for the 888Live tour is a stop in Bucharest, Romania at the JW Marriot Hotel beginning on February 28. The 888 Main Event comes with a €288,000 guarantee and a total of nine events. Qualifiers for the 888poker LIVE Bucharest Main Event are running now on 888poker.