PokerStars Festival Dublin: Mega win for Armesto
PokerStars Live events come in all shapes and sizes. At one end of the scale you've got the Super High Rollers, which command a buy-in of a minimum of €50,000. These events are but a pipe dream for all but the super talented or super wealthy. At the other end you've got grassroots offerings and chief amongst them in 2017 has been the PokerStars MegaStack.
It's affordable poker, with a buy-in of 170-220 of the local currency, be it pounds, euros or dollars. The first MegaStack was held in London back in April and with 526 runners it proved an instant hit for those looking for some fun weekend poker. The format was soon rolled out across Europe, with 24 such events scheduled in 2017 across Ireland, Scotland, Malta, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, USA and Manila.
The secondary innovation with the MegaStack events came when the live events team decided to make them the kick-off event for some of the festivals. It was a simple enough leap to make. Much like the €1,100 National Championships feed into the €5,000 Championship Main Events, the €170 MegaStacks can feed into the €1,100 Festival Main Events.
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The PokerStars Festival Marbella was the testing ground and when 761 players entered, the tournament had to extended by a day. The MegaStack also kicked off the Festival in Bucharest and this week did likewise in Dublin. A total of 465 players meant the €50,000 guarantee was eclipsed with room to spare. The buy-in didn't put off the great and the good of Irish poker. Andy Black (53rd, €310), Mick Graydon (55th, €310) and Patrick Clarke (12th, €890) all came to play.
None though could stop Llargues Armesto from winning the tournament. The Spanish player earned just the second live cash of his career and by far his largest to date. He collected €13,078 and defeated Ross Glenn heads-up to seal the deal.
He's not the only player to have secured side-event success so far in Dublin. Stephen Spence tasted victory in the €100 NLHE Warm Up tournament, good for €1,340 and Tomas Geleziunas was the four-card master as he claimed the €275 pot-limit Omaha Double Chance title. He took €1,733 for the win, Roy 'The Boy' Brindley finished third in that same event.
There's plenty more side-event action here in Dublin and another five spadies will find homes before the Festival finishes.