It’s the dream outcome for any poker brand and after 14 hours of live play at Aspers Casino in Stratford, East London, it happened on Sunday night for 888poker. An online qualifier who paid just a few dollars won six figures and life-changing money by taking down the 888poker LIVE London £1,100-entry Main Event.
That man was Romanian player Adrian-Eugen Constantin, who came back from the dead to take the top prize as he turned the odds on their head and beat Leon Louis heads-up. That in itself is a huge achievement as Louis has made heads-up SnGs one of his staple sources of income, and to great profit. The epic duel was something to behold, but it came at the end of an unbelievable grind, with 14 hours of poker leading to the conclusion of the event at shortly before 4:00 am in East London. It had been a very, very long day and night.
The final day began with just 23 players returning to the felt from the 518 entries that made up the field. With a huge £512,820 in the prize-pool, only 63 payers cashed, but the money bubble had already burst on the penultimate day of action.
The 41-year-old Constantin won his ticket to the event in a €33 satellite qualifier on 888poker, and turned it into not only £100,00 in cold, hard cash (especially cold at 4am) but also, perhaps pivotally, a package worth $12,500 for the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, which was recently announced to be returning to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
When the final table reached its nine players, neither man who would end up heads-up were in a great position, Louis and Constantin occupying the lowest two ranks on the ladder at that stage.
Bhavin Khatri was the first player to depart the final table action, however, his exit swiftly followed by another online qualifier in Jose Echevarne Gomez. Leon Louis, who had gathered chips by busting Gomez, then knocked out Valdir Cordeiro dos Santos when his pocket kings couldn’t be overtaken by dos Santos’ pocket tens.
With Nikolay Ponomarev busting in 6th place for £20,100, Aleksandrs Golubevs and Egidijus Alsauskas were both short-stacked and would go in quick succession.
With three players left, Manuel Bueno would earn his own record live tournament score when the German was out of the running, having flopped trip sixes and seeing Constantin turn a straight. That hand put Constantin into a very healthy position, with a 3:1 chip lead over Leon Louis.
Into heads-up, Constantin may have had the lead, but Louis clearly had the edge. It didn’t take long for the British professional to change all that. Louis ground himself into a lead in short order, before putting the Romanian to the test, time and time again.
Seven times, Constantin was all-in after falling behind, and seven times, the Romanian won the hand. Many times, Constantin was behind and needed help. In the end, he got just that, and the second time Louis was all-in and at risk, Constantin found the goods, rivering a straight to end the tournament and achieve his poker dreams. Louis, while disconsolate at finishing runner-up, won his biggest-ever live score too, pocketing £69,770 for a fantastic performance.
888poker LIVE London £1,100 Main Event final table results:
|2nd||Leon Louis||United Kingdom||£69,770|
|5th||Aleksandrs Golubevs||United Kingdom||£24,920|
|7th||Valdir Cordeiro dos Santos||Brazil||£16,660|
|8th||Jose Echevarne Gomez||Spain||£13,280|
|9th||Bhavin Khatri||United Kingdom||£10,000|
*plus an additional package worth $12,500 for the 2020 WSOP Main Event