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Opening to a field of 63 participants, the 2018 Unibet Open Bucharest €2,200 High Roller created a prize pool of €122,220 ($142,300). Topping the field, which included the likes of Unibet Poker ambassadors Ian Simpson, Rauno “Estonian Jesus” Tahvonen, and Dara O’Kearney, was Romania’s Alexandru Gavrilut (cover image), who took home his career-best score worth €38,630 ($44,717).
With tournament scores dating back to 2014, Gavrilut has mainly participated in European tournaments. Ranked 202nd on the Romania All Time Money List, he currently has $89,138 in total live earnings.
Talking about his win in the post-event interview, Gavrilut said, “It is a nice feeling because winning helps you forget about all of the bad beats and bad hands.”
Final Day Recap
39 runners returned to the felts on the second and final day, with nine more players joining the action before late-registration closed. Andrei Nodea started the day as chip leader, while Gavrilut was placed 22nd in chips.
Many players were eliminated short of the money including Nathan “NBK” Schmitt, Simpson, Tahvonen and O’Kearney, while Narcis Gabriel Nedelcu bubbled the final table in 10th place.
Final Table Recap
The Bulgarian Simeon Spasov led the nine-handed final table, while eventual winner Alexandru Gavrilut was the shortest stack at the start of play.
After a full level of play had concluded, United Kingdom’s Jack Sinclair became the first elimination of the final table when his pocket queens were cracked by Andrei Nodea’s pocket jacks, leading to the former’s ninth-place exit.
On the very next hand, Romania’s Cosmin Voinea shoved his short stack against fellow Romanian Petre Laurentiu Chiriac. But his ten-five proved to be no match for Chiriac’s ace-queen and Voinea was eliminated in eighth place.
Soon thereafter, Lithuanian Vladas Tamasauskas 3-bet jammed against Spasov. With the board not running in his favour, Tamasauskas bounced out in seventh place with his pocket nines losing out to Spasov’s higher pair of aces.
Next to go was the man from Greece, Paraskevas Tsokaridis. He pitted his ace-eight against Spasov’s king-queen and was busted in sixth place.
Gavrilut was single-handedly responsible for the next four eliminations starting with Israel’s Amir Shomron who finished in fifth place after his ace-king found no help on the board against Gavrilut’s pocket jacks.
Andrei Nodea found himself heading towards the rail in fourth place when Gavrilut’s pocket queens turned out to be too good for his pocket sixes.
After a while, Petre Laurentiu Chiriac jammed the last of his short-stack with deuce-trey and was called by Gavrilut with ace-four, but in the end, Chiriac was busted out in third place.
The heads-up play began with Simeon Spasov holding a 2:1 chip advantage over the eventual champion Gavrilut. The chip lead changed hands several times throughout the course of the game, however, soon after Gavrilut had amassed a 3:1 chip lead over Spasov, the final hand of the event was dealt. Holding jack-nine, Spasov moved all-in after he hit a pair of jacks on the turn. Gavrilut held queen-eight and called with a lower pair of eights. While Spasov was in the lead for the majority of the hand, an eight on the river bettered Gavrilut’s hand to three-of-a-kind eights to not only win him the pot but also the title and the first-place prize money worth €38,630 ($44,717).
Final Table Results (EURO)
1. Alexandru Gavrilut – €38,630
2. Simeon Spasov – €23,980
3. Petre Laurentiu Chiriac – €16,540
4. Andrei Nodea – €12,250
5. Amir Shomron – €9,420
6. Paraskevas Tsokaridis – €7,250
7. Vladas Tamasauskas – €5,800
8. Cosmin Voinea – €4,640
9. Jack Sinclair – €3,710
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