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As poker tournaments and cash game festivals continue to crown winners, there is no dearth of action for us railbirds.
The Winamax Poker Open, held in Dublin, witnessed a record-breaking Main Event player pool of 1,191 entries which was topped by Irish pro Karol Wojciechowski who received a payday of €89,716 for his victory.
Not too far away, in the capital city of Slovakia, Cash Game Festival Bratislava at Banco Casino was a huge success. While Youness Barakat, Rauno “Estonian Jesus” Tahvonen, Kevin Malone, Tomas Baramyai, and Matus Gabzdil were seen in action, no one was as successful as Unibet Poker Ambassador David Lappin, who won €4,162 in €5/€5 pot-limit Omaha for 832.8 big blinds and subsequently, the Cash Game Festival Bratislava trophy.
Meanwhile, the 2018 Asia Player of the Year (APOY) race has finally concluded and emerging as the first Filipino to win the prestigious title was none other than World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Mike Takayama.
The 2018 Winamax Poker Open Dublin Main Event was the largest in its history, with 1,191 entries making their way to the felts. After three days of consecutive action, and a four-way deal, Karol Wojciechowski won the event along with an impressive payday of €89,716.
Wojciechowski has been raking in big cashes lately. In August he won the €170 NLHE PokerStars Megastack Dublin for €19,940 and followed it up with several other cashes. At the Winamax Poker Open Dublin series, he finished ninth in the €100 NLHE Turbo event to earn €190, a modest amount, compared to his Main Event feat!
“I will try to play more big festivals now because I’m on a really good run. The poker world is open!”
Talking about Ireland as a poker destination, Wojciechowski said “It’s a great place; it’s not just the capital. There are a lot of places to play poker if you like to do this all over Ireland. So if you like, it’s great opportunity living in Ireland and enjoying it.”
A total of 150 players made the money in the Main Event and 17 of them returned to the felts on Day 3. The field quickly whittled down to the final two tables.
The tournament officials then enforced a hand-for-hand play to improve the pace of the event. The elimination of Rolan Pardoux in eighth place led to the unofficial final table that featured four Irishmen.
French player Antoine Fontaine went short stacked and then put his tournament life at risk after he moved all in from the cut-off with . Wojciechowski who held made the call from the small blind. Fontaine’s hand couldn’t improve on the runout and he bounced off in seventh place. Fontaine’s elimination left six finalists in the fray and action kicked off on the final table, with Wojciechowski in the lead.
Final Table Recap
Adrien Guyon was the first casualty at the final table after his ace-king was cracked by Samuel Baneham’s king-queen with the latter turning a pair of queens. Guyon was railed in sixth place.
Wojciechowski then scored another knockout by sending Qiang Liu Zhi to the rail in fifth place.
After a break, the remaining four players then agreed on a deal that sealed their final payouts, while there was an additional €20,000 left for the eventual winner who would also claim the title.
Shortly thereafter, Samuel Baneham busted out in fourth place.
Start of day chip leader Matthieu Lamagnere was the one to exit next, in third place, leaving Andrew Dooley and Wojciechowski in the field.
Wojciechowski and Dooley then briefly discussed a deal where €5,000 of the €20,000 up top was agreed to be added to the runner up payout. The heads-up was a swingy affair with Wojciechowski firmly in the lead, but Dooley managed to close in. On the final hand, Wojciechowski flopped a full house and Dooley check-called all three streets. The river card brought no help for Dooley who was relegated to the runner-up place while Wojciechowski picked up the title.
Final Table Results (EURO)
1. Karol Wojciechowski – €89,716*
2. Andrew Dooley – €57,386*
3. Matthieu Lamagnere – €59,304*
4. Samuel Baneham – €50,094*
5. Qiang Liu Zhi – €26,000
6. Adrien Guyon – €18,500
*denotes four-way deal
The Cash Game Festival Bratislava that kicked off at Banco Casino in Slovakia on September 19 and continued up to September 23 saw some high-octane action at the tables. After an eventful run, the Festival saw Unibet poker ambassador David Lappin climb at the top as the most successful player at the Festival. Lappin, who won the maximum number of big blinds at two feature tables, won the Cash Game Festival Bratislava trophy.
The trophy is traditionally awarded to the player who wins the maximum big blinds at any of the ten feature tables at the festival. While there were many cash game specialists in the mix, Lappin took the lead after he won €4,162 in €5/€5 PLO for 832.8 big blinds. He was also the biggest winner at the final feature table of the festival when he won €701 or 355.5 big blinds in the €2/€2 PLO.
In addition to the trophy, Lappin who specializes in tournaments, and is the producer of The Chip Race podcast also won a cash game festival package worth €1,000 to a future festival.
“I feel very humble about winning the trophy,” Lappin said, adding, “There were many great players here this weekend and I had a great time. I feel like the headline should read ‘Tournament Donk Luckboxes Cash Game Festival.”
Poker fans have been privy to the excitement via the televised telecasts of the feature tables, commentated on by Bulgaria’s Petyo Andonov and the Festival Media head, Henry Kilbane. In addition to their commentating roles, Kilbane and Andonov also jumped into the cash games action at the feature tables.
Meanwhile, Cash Game Festival regular, Peter La Terra was another strong contender for the Trophy. Terra performed commendably well on the inaugural day of the festival and booked a profit of €1,506 or 753 big blinds at a €2/€2 pot-limit Omaha feature table.
Other players to hog the limelight were 32Red Poker player Youness Barakat, Unibet Poker ambassador Rauno ‘Estonian Jesus’ Tahvonen, two-time Cash Game Festival trophy winner Kelvin Malone, Tomas Baramyai and Matus Gabzdil. Tahvonen won back-to-back on the feature tables on the penultimate day of the festival in two different poker variants.
The Cash Game Festival will now be heading to Olympic Park Casino in the Estonian capital of Tallinn from November 21-25.
World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner and former Billiards pro Mike Takayama has become the first Filipino to win the prestigious PokerStars 2018 Asia Player of the Year (APOY) title.
The 2018 APOY season took place between November 27, 2017 and August 12, 2018. While Takayama had stiff competition in the race, he was a hot favorite and performed commendably in various PokerStars series in the Asian circuit.
“I feel very happy because winning the APOY is a dream!” Takayama said, after winning the APOY race. “A lot of players also aspire to win this award. I hope they use me as an inspiration. There are a lot of excellent Filipino poker players who are still waiting for their big break. Just continue playing and you can also win like me,” he added.
28-year old Takayama who’s had an amazing year attributed his success to taking stock of his mistakes in the past and implementing what he learnt, on the felts.
Apart from big cashes and deep runs, he had a strong start to the year when he won two events in February’s PokerStars LIVE Manila Super Series 5, the â‚±5,000 NLHE- Warm-Up and the â‚±10,000 NLHE Main Event.
Takayama then finished runner-up in the â‚±3,000 NLHE Turbo Event at the PokerStars LIVE Manila Super Series 6 in March. The May edition of the series saw Takayama picking up several big scores, including a third place finish in the â‚±10,000 NLHE Main Event.
Most recently, he climbed up the charts for the APOY contention when he finished runner up in the â‚±150,000 NLHE High Roller Shot Clock & BB Ante Event at 2018 APPT Manila in August.
With the 2018 APOY crown to his name, Takayama has invaluable advice for his fellow players. “Don’t give up. Just keep on playing. When you have a bad beat, accept it freely, it’s the nature of the game. Perseverance is key,” Takayama said.