PokerStars Festival Bucharest: Bubble bursts in Main and High Roller kicks off

The day has flown by here in Bucharest. Just a few short hours ago play started with 326 runners, all with hopes of claiming a chunk of the €706,560 prize pool. And then, just like that - 112 remained as we reached the money bubble.

You can never really tell when the bubble is going to burst in these things. It could happen in the blink of an eye, it could happen shortly into hand-for-hand or it could take absolutely bloomin' ages. This time around, it took just half a dozen hands before it went down.

And here's how it happened:

Blinds: 2500/5000, Ante 500

It looked like it might be a quick burst, as an "all-in" and "call" was announced during the very first hand-for-hand. It came when a short-stack shoved his remaining 47,000 in late position holding 4♠4♣. The player in the cut-off re-isolated before flipping over to A♥J♣ and action going to the flop. Unbelievably, the short-stacked player managed to dodge the world as the board of Q♥9♥Q♦7♦6♣ ran clean to double him up.

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A near bubble burst

The second all-in and call was a rather uneventful case of A♥K♣ against A♠K♠. The player at risk had the advantage though with his suited combo. But it was a rainbow board that included both the A♣ and the K♥, so the pot was chopped and action continued.

And then came the moment the remaining players had been waiting for:

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The hand the bubble burst

It came when action was folded to Nador Csaba Soloyom on the button who announced all-in against both the big blind and the small blind. Having both of them comfortably covered, it looked like a steal.

The small blind didn't seem to care however and folded fast. But a confident Petre Bogdan Lonescu was having none of it, and wagered his remaining 130,000 chips on a call.

As the first to act, Soloyom flipped over his 8♦7♦ and Lonescu showed A♠K♥.

It wasn't looking good for Lonescu on the flop however, as the dealer laid out a board of 2♥4♣7♣. But the action turn - K♣ gave him hopes of a big double once again.

Cries of "SEVEEEN" came rang out from around the room as the floor annouced the cards over the tannoy. But it wasn't a seven that landed on the river. It was the 8♠ - giving Soloyom two pair, sending Lonescu to the rail, and propelling the remaining field into the money. You can even watch it yourself:

Now the remaining field will all claim a share of the €706,560 prize pool - the full payouts and results can be found here.

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Get the camera mum, I made the money!

But it's not all about the Main Event here - there's plenty of side action taking place that's proving a hit with locals and visitors alike:

The Bucharest Cup

Day 1A of the Bucharest Cup kicked-off in the poker room this afternoon at the JW Marriott - and it's a sell-out. All 140 seats of the €330 buy-in were filled before the tournament even began today. But if you're here and wanting to play - don't worry, there's still a chance! Seats are still available for Day 1B, which will be starting at 2pm tomorrow (Saturday 5th).

The High Roller

The High Roller is also due to start shortly - and a few big names are expected to be among the field. We know for sure that the man of the hour Chris Moneymaker will be in - after all, he is in Romania and when in Romania, you gotta do as the Romanian's do, right?

He'll be joined by Czech ice-hockey legend Miroslav Forman, UK pro Laurence Bayley, Italian high-roller specialist Pasquale Grimaldi and Andreas Klatt the Mote Dam Swing winner and 2nd place finisher in the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Main Event.

So, with all this excitement in store stay tuned for more updates as we whittle the remaining field down to the final table in the Main, kick off the High Roller and bring you the latest on all the side action.

For live updates, check in with our friends at PokerNews here.

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Dan Jones
@PokerStars in Live Poker