Ignacio López, a 29-year-old tax assistant from Madrid, has won the PokerStars Festival in Marbella, and the seven-time World Snooker Champion, Stephen Hendry, talks about his experience in the Marbella event.
There are worse alternatives than Marbella if you want to play some poker, for serious money, outside of the merry-go-round that is the World Series of Poker, and that’s where PokerStars were hanging out this past week.
The PokerStars Festival camped out in the Casino Marbella, and the €700,000 GTD €1,100 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Main Event was the meat in that particular meat and potato pie.
PokerStars has a strong presence in the Spanish market, and it showed with 949 entrants smashing the guarantee, creating a €911,040 prize pool for bankers to purr over.
The largest online poker room in the history of this tiny blue planet brought the artillery with them. PokerStars Team Pros Lex Veldhuis, Marcin Horecki, and Fatima Moreira de Melo all front and centre. But it was the appearance of the red spade’s most recent recruit that was the most interesting.
The seven-time World Snooker Champion, Stephen Hendry, joined PokerStars and BetStars as an ambassador back in June, and he was in this sun-drenched part of the world, hoping to add to the media event he won at the PokerStars Festival London.
The Scottish snooker star, who was a guest on CalvinAyre recently, had a good run, finally running out of chips and luck in the final level of Day 1A when his AQ and someone’s AK squabbled like bickering children, and only AK was allowed out to play from that point on.
What did Hendry think about his latest excursion?
Here is the man to explain.
The one player on the PokerStars payroll who delved deepest in this one was Fatima Moreira de Melo. The Olympic gold medal winner left to taste the salty water of the sea midway through Day 3 when she got it in four ways holding AK, but couldn’t fight her way out of a scrum containing 77, JJ, and AA.
There were more Spaniards at the final table than binoculars at an ornithologists convention, and there was a rare sighting of a former PokerStars Team Pro making her first final table since 2015.
Leo Margets once wore the PokerStars patch with pride until the pair went their separate ways in Jan 2016. Since leaving camp, her visitations to live tours around Europe have diminished, but it was nice to see her back to top form in this one. The long distance runner, finding the legs to finish in third for €95,500 after the final three players cut a deal.
The winner was Ignacio López, a 29-year-old tax assistant from Madrid, who defeated Iñigo Naveiro in heads-up action to take the €152,400 top prize. Naveiro picked up the same purse as Margets.
López, the self-confessed amateur, had only ever cashed twice in live events, winning a total of €560, so one imagines the money will be put to good use once it hits his bank account.
It was an impressive turnout, and a good omen with the PokerStars Championship Barcelona scheduled to offer WSOP players a nightcap Aug 15-27, 2017.
Final Table Results
1. Ignacio López – €152,400*
2. Iñigo Naveiro – €95,500*
3. Leo Margets – €95,500*
4. Fernando Curto – €54,100
5. Ignacio Barcenas – €42,100
6. José Carlos López – €31,200
7. Fabrizio Privitena – €22,300
8. Marco Paul Lander – €15,900
9. John Divers – €12,350
*Indicates a three-handed deal