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London has fast come up on the global poker map as a favored destination for live tournament action. Looking at the way things turned out at the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series last month – especially with the series’ £1.05 Million Triton Million for Charity alone drawing 54 entries – we’d have expected a good response to Poker Central’s first foray out of the U.S. Surprisingly, the 10-event-long British Poker Open (BPO) got a very lukewarm response and though the stop saw some stand-out performances, the turnout was much lower than what we are used to reporting at the USPO.
Driving home the failure of the BPO is the fact that none of the events could attract over 30 entries. The series came to a close earlier today with the £100,000 NLHE Main Event that could muster only 12 players, a glaringly low attendance compared to the USPO $100K Main Event that drew 33 entries through both its 2018 and 2019 editions.
The two-day Main Event saw the four finalists coming back to play Day 2 and outlasting them all, in the end, was Ben Tollerene (cover image) who banked £840,000 for his finish.
With the series now done and dusted, it is Sam Soverel who has locked in the British Poker Open title on the back of his two title wins, two runner-up finishes and a third-place finish that accrued him 780 points on the BPO Leaderboard. Soverel’s closest competitor was Stephen Chidwick, but the latter failed to pick a score in the final event, collecting a total of 420 points.
Tollerene had entered the final table as the shortest stack and managed to chart a stunning climb, running a couple of brilliantly-timed bluffs on the way to the heads-up with Poker Central supremo Cary Katz. In what turned out to be one of the most gripping heads-up clashes at the series, Tollerene and start-of-day chip leader Katz exchanged numerous blows before Tollerene took charge to eventually defeat the latter.
“I came in short today. I got a good hand and three-bet over an open, then I got kings the next hand, so I think in the first orbit I was back to average,” an elated Tollerene said after the event got over. The win takes Tollerene’s live earnings to more than $9.5 Million.
“Everything kind of worked out. I got a lot of bluffs through. The heads up was going great and then, you know, it’s so swingy when it’s that shallow. It shifted back and then I was able to win two flips in a row and I won.”
Quite a few notables including Steve O’Dwyer, Timothy Adams, Darren Elias, David Peters, and Sam Greenwood hit the rail well before the four-handed final table was formed.
Stephen Chidwick (6th) and Matthias Eibinger (5th) were the last two players to be eliminated before the four remaining players bagged up for the night.
At the end of the play on Day 1, Cary Katz was leading the charge with a stack of 750,000, with Mikita Badziakouski (680,000) and Christoph Vogelsang (655,000) trailing him. Tollerene (315,000) who’d been chip leading once play got down to six-handed had since lost big chunks of his stack to Katz and Matthias Eibinger and was the sporting the shortest stack.
Final Table Chip Counts
Final Table Recap
It took nearly three hours for the final table to go from four-handed to the winner.
Only two players were to get a piece of the £1,200,000 prize pool, and Christoph Vogelsang was the first of the four to miss the chance after hitting the rail in fourth place. He got unlucky after running ace-king into Tollerene’s jack-ten that spiked two-pair on the river.
The £50K NLH champion, Mikita Badziakouski, ended up as the tournament bubble after falling out in third place in a dramatic hand where Tollerene bet 60,000 pre-flop and Badziakouski chose to make the call. The flop saw Tollerene three-bet to 50,000, which Badziakouski called. The landed on the turn, and Tollerene fired a bet of 175,000. Badziakouski moved all-in, and Tollerene quickly called.
“Oh, I’m dead,” said Badziakouski who realized they both were chasing the flush, but Tollerene had also paired his king on the flop. Only a seven could save Badziakouski now, but the river brought the , denying Badziakouksi his second title at the series.
Tollerene went heads-up with Cary Katz holding a massive 1.750 Million to the latter’s 650,000. Though he won the first hand to take command of over 89% of chips in play, Katz quickly doubled up twice and won two more hands to race ahead of Tollerene.
Katz’s good fortune, however, was short-lived and the final hand saw Tollerene calling preflop on which Katz moved all-in. Tollerene made the call, turning over to see Katz table . The flop was bad for Katz since Tollerene had made a straight draw and though the on the turn was a safe card, the on the river completed Tollerene’s straight.
Final Table Results (GBP)
Content & Images Courtesy: PokerCentral & PokerNews