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The £2,200 High Roller at the 2018 888poker LIVE Festival London was a two-day long extravaganza which crowned a champion in Lithuania’s Matas Cimbolas (cover image), who claimed the trophy and the top prize of £42,505 following a heads-up deal with British-pro Tom Hall.
Cimbolas outlasted a 74-entry strong field, which consisted of 59 unique players and 15 re-entries, generating a prize pool of £146,520.
Cimbolas has been very active on the international circuit lately. He narrowly missed winning the title at the 2018 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Grand Final Main Event where he finished 8th for £15,000.
Even though Cimbolas was one of the shortest stacks at the start of the nine-handed final table, the Lithuanian pro played wisely and strategically to build up his stack and reached the heads-up stage with Hall.
“It was like a home game, everybody knew everyone,” Cimbolas said in the post-event interview, referring to the final table line up, and the relaxed and friendly atmosphere at the event.
While only the final nine received payouts, several notable were seen in action over the two days including 888poker ambassadors Dominik Nitsche, Chris Moorman, Martin Jacobson and Parker Talbot, along with Jack Sinclair and Michael Mizrachi.
1. Pascal Pflock – 1,093,000
2. Thomas Muehloecker – 1,091,000
3. Martin Donoghue – 1,016,000
4. Tom Hall – 822,000
5. Paul Hizer – 814,000
6. Carlos Sanchez Diaz – 803,000
7. Gerald Ringe – 783,000
8. Matas Cimbolas – 680,000
9. Christopher Kyriacou – 374,000
A few hands into the final table, Pascal Pflock raised and called the all-in shove from Martin Donoghue in the big blind.
The board ran and Pflock picked up a pair of queens on the turn, eliminating Donoghue in ninth place.
Spaniard Carlos Sanchez Diaz was down to his last 393,000 when he decided to move all-in from the button with . Thomas Muehloecker called from the big blind holding . Muehloecker took the lead on the flop , putting Diaz at risk. The turn gave Muehloecker a set of aces and the river was inconsequential, as Diaz exited in eighth place.
Following Diaz to the rail was UK’s Christopher Kyriacou whose ran into [Tom Hall’s . The board fanned out and Hall flopped a pair of jacks, ending Kyriacou’s run in seventh place.
Finishing in sixth place was Thomas Muehloecker who moved all-in from the button with and Paul Hizer shoved all-in over the top, with . The runout missed both players, but Hizer’s pocket eights were good enough to send Muehloecker to the rail.
Immediately thereafter, Paul Hizer opened for 90,000 with and Gerald Ringe jammed from the big blind with . Hizer made the call and it was off to the races. The on the board failed to improve Ringe’s hand, leading to his fifth place elimination.
Four-handed play continued for a while before Pascal Pflock moved all-in from the cutoff with . Hizer countered the move by re-shoving from the button with . The flop showed and Pflock took the lead with a flopped pair of jacks, while Hizer had outs to a gutshot straight. Hizer hit the straight on the turn and with the river not helping Pflock, the latter walked out in fourth place.
Down to three-handed play, holding , Hall jammed from the small blind and Paul Hizer snap-called from the big blind with . The community cards opened and Hall found a top pair of kings on the board, bringing an end to Hizer’s deep run in third place.
Tom Hall (2,785,000) and Matas Cimbolas (4,640,000) had their stacks counted and locked in an ICM chop. Since Hall was trailing Cimbolas in chips, he agreed to leave the trophy for the latter. Cimbolas pocketed a winner’s payday worth £42,505 and the beautiful trophy.
1. Matas Cimbolas – £42,505*
2. Tom Hall – £37,515*
3. Paul Hizer – £20,000
4. Pascal Pflock – £15,000
5. Gerald Ringe – £11,000
6. Thomas Muehloecker – £8,000
7. Christopher Kyriacou – £6,500
8. Carlos Sanchez Diaz – £4,000
9. Martin Donoghue – £2,000
*denotes heads-up deal
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