PokerStars Festival London: James Mitchell leads record-breaking Main Event


Mitchell has run up a massive stack

Anywhere tournament staff could fit poker tables today they did. You suspect if they could have put felt over the tables in the Hippodrome Casino's steak house that they would have. They needed to too as 444 players showed up to play Day 1C of the PokerStars Festival London Main Event. At one point they were spread over five different areas of this wonderful venue.

Those of you who have been following our coverage this week will have spotted two things. Firstly that this flight alone meant the £400,000 guarantee on the main event was eclipsed and secondly that today's field was larger than Day 1A and 1B combined.

If you spotted a third milestone then either you work for PokerStars or you have too much time on your hands, because the 777 players who have entered so far make this the biggest field in a comparable stand-alone PokerStars Main Event in London. We say so far because at 10pm tonight there's a Day 1D in the form of a second chance turbo. It's open to anyone who entered Days 1A, 1B or 1C but got knocked out. We're told there are 98 players already registered with the total expected to climb to 150.

But back to Day 1C for now. To reach Day 2 without the need for a tilt at the turbo, then players had to negotiate a dozen 45-minute levels. When bagging and tagging time arrived it was James Mitchell who had increased the 30,000 starting stack by the greatest margin. He will bring back 373,600 when Day 2 starts tomorrow and takes the overall lead from Mihaita Croitoru, who topped Day 1A with 340,000.

That Mitchell leads is down to a huge pot he won against Attila Farkas in the final level. Farkas shoved for 170,000 with ace high to isolate a short stack who was all-in, Mitchell had two aces behind him and won a massive pot.

Other players who put on a strong showing include Yuriy Boyko (336,200) Guillem Cusco Bach (328,500), Mikal Blomlie (259,700) and Nicolas Noguera (253,300).


Boeree battles on

Team PokerStars Pro was represented today by Liv Boeree and Jake Cody. Boeree survived the day with 32,700 (a little over 13 big blinds) but Cody is out for now. He may well try his luck in the turbo flight.


Kassouf has run up a stack

Some other big names who joined Boeree in making it through were: Will Kassouf (178,200), Matt Perrins (130,000), Nik Persaud (48,300) and Simon Deadman (16,000). We'll have full chip counts of Day 1C survivors up shortly. The full chip counts and seat draw for Day 2 will have to wait until Day 1D finishes in the early hours of the morning. Keep an eye on the blog, the PokerStars Live App or the @PokerStarsLive account for that information.

What goes up must come down of course and only around 170 of the 445 players advanced. High Roller winner Joe Johnson was one of those who fell by the wayside. His ace-king was cracked by the ace-queen of Daniel Heimen, who turned a queen. Also out - for now - are Richard Evans, Paul-Francois Tedeschi, Benjamin Morrison, Martins Adeniya, Daniel Wilson, Chris Gordon and Craig Bayliss.

One more name to add to the vanquished is seven-time World Snooker Champion Stephen Hendry. He didn't do quite as well as last night, when he took down the media event. But sportsmen have that will to compete and survive. He battled gamely for three-quarters of the day before running A♣7♣ into pocket kings. We're told he'll be back tomorrow for the PokerStars Cup.


Hendry battled on a different type of felt today

That's all from us for tonight but you can follow the turbo Day 1D flight via our friends at PokerNews.

All the PokerStars Festival London schedule information is available on the PokerStars LIVE App, which is available on both Android or IOS. Also make sure to follow the @PokerStarsLive Twitter account of event information and announcements.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Live Poker