PokerStars Festival London: Wong leads High Roller finale, but Schwartz is the headliner

OK. So I know we promised you a High Roller/Platinum Pass winner would be crowned tonight. But the game of poker is a beast that cannot be tamed. If it wants to go on for one more day, then go on one more day it shall.

We had a long old session in The Hippodrome's Alma's room today, as the 47 remaining High Roller hopefuls returned for Day 2. The plan was to play to an early-morning winner, but that was always optimistic. Instead, the players and floor agreed they'd play to the end of Level 21, which has just wrapped up.

Only eight now remain, so we made the official final table at least. That means they'll return tomorrow at 2pm, while the Main Event's Day 1B kicks off at 12pm. Leading the way overnight is Jonathan Wong with 1,065,000.

Wong's out in front

Here's a look at how they'll stack up tomorrow:

NAMECHIPS
Jonathan Wong1,065,000
Sergio Castelluccio 993,000
Luke Schwartz600,000
Dragos Trofimov 584,000
Paulius Plausinaitis555,000
Evangelos Bechrakis535,000
Nicolas Cardyn398,000
Jordi Torner 226,000

Luke Schwartz

You might be familiar with the name Luke Schwartz. Once one of the biggest nosebleed cash game players in the online poker world, Schwartz now plies his trade in live cash and private games. While he doesn't often play live No Limit Hold'em tournaments (Schwartz's prowess in mixed games is proven by his five SCOOP titles), he's had a great run in this event. Schwartz found a double up through Dragos Trofimov in one of the last hands of the night (see 1:10am), and will come back tomorrow third in chips (600,000).

Andrey Andreev

We've got to admit, we're sad not to see Andrey Andreev make it. At the beginning of play on Day 1, we saw him shove all in in what was probably the second hand of play, and his style never got boring throughout today's action. This Russian sure knows how to confuse his opponents, but alas he wasn't able to secure a final table seat, busting in ninth after losing a race to Sergio Castelluccio.

Earlier on we did have the little matter of the bubble, but in the end it ended kinda pleasantly with Hong Wang and Sergi Reixach splitting it between them when they both busted in the same hand-for-hand round. Other players who made the money include Fraser MacIntyre (18th), Richard Manion (11th), Guy Taylor (16th) and Alex Lynskey (20th).

Check out the payouts page here, and scroll down to read all of today's action as it happened.

Then join us back here on the PokerStars Blog tomorrow at noon when we'll definitely, positively, 100% award a Platinum Pass to the High Roller winner.

We promise. --JS

Day 2 coverage archive


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1:15am: Bechrakis doubles in last hand of the night!
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Evangelos Bechrakis must be feeling great right now.

First Luke Schartz proposed that for the last hand, they all just put in one big blind and turn their cards over and flip for it. Bechrakis, in the big blind, said no, as he could potentially shove for 236,000 over the top of a raise.

That's what he did. Schwartz made it 32,000, Nicolas Cardyn called, Bechrakis jammed, fold, call.

Bechrakis - J♥J♦
Cardyn - T♣T♦

The best pair held up. We'll be back with a wrap of the day and official chip counts shortly. --JS

1:10am: Double up for Schwartz
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Dragos Trofimov made it 37,000 in the cutoff and it folded to Luke Schwartz in the small blind. He moved all in for 287,000, and Trofimov seemed interested.

"C'mon, let me live," pleaded Schwartz. "Let me come back tomorrow and you can bust me then!"

No dice from Trofimov who went for the kill, calling with his 8♦8♠. Schwartz was ahead though with his T♠T♥ and the J♦7♠2♥3♥9♠ kept him in front.

He's up to around 600,000 now, while Trofimov drops to 740,000. --JS

1:06am: Last five hands
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

We're playing five more hands tonight, then action will resume tomorrow at 2pm. --JS

1am: Clock
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

The players are getting a little bit antsy with the amount of time Sergio Castelluccio is taking for his decisions. It seems they've decided that if he doesn't quicken things up, the clock is going to be called more frequently. --JS

Sergio Castelluccio

12:50am: Final table photo
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Meet the gang

12:40am: Schwartz increases
Level 21: Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

A small pot to tell you about, but a pot none the less.

It folded to Luke Schwartz in the hijack and, when he realised it was his turn to act (he has some mates railing him), he min-opened to 32,000.

Nicolas Cardyn defended his big blind to see the A♥6♦T♠ flop, which went check check to the A♦ turn. Schwartz made a delayed c-bet for 16,000 when it checked to him but Cardyn didn't budge, and the river was the 5♦.

There'd be no more betting though, and Schwartz showed the 8♠8♣. Cardyn mucked.

35 minutes left before the bags are brought out. --JS

12:15am: Andreev's entertaining run comes to an end in ninth
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

We're now on the official final table, as Andrey Andreev has just met his tournament end.

He open-jammed from middle position for 144,000 and it folded to Sergio Castelluccio in the small blind. He moved all in too, and it was his A♠J♣ racing against Andreev's 6♣6♥.

He'd improve instantly on the A♦T♣7♦ flop, and Andreev could find no help on the 8♦ turn or J♠ river. He's out for £7,380. --JS

Andrey Andreev

11:45pm: Chips and seats
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

After a short break to get settled around one table, here's how they're seated:

1. Paulius Plausinaitis - 460,000
2. Andrey Andreev - 235,000
3. Luke Schwartz - 210,000
4. Jonathan Wong - 925,000
5. Sergio Castelluccio - 1,000,000
6. Jordi Torner - 230,000
7. Nicolas Cardyn - 730,000
8. Evangelos Bechrakis - 340,000
9. Dragos Trofimov - 700,000

11:35pm: Unofficial final table time
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

For the first time in this tournament, every player will be sat around a single table.

Some call it the final table, but we don't. For us it's the Unofficial final table (we need one more bust out before the photos get taken).

The short-stacked Jogvan Kristiansson Glerfoss is the man who won't be joining them. He got it in good when he jammed over Nicolas Cardyn's 25,000 cutoff open and was called, holding the A♠Q♥ against the 8♣9♣.

But the 2♦9♠7♠T♣4♠ runout paired Cardyn. GG.

Glerfoss wins £6,200. --JS

GG Glerfoss

11:20pm: Latest goings on
Level 20: Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Jonathan Wong has doubled up through former chip leader Paulius Plausinaitis, and now hold the chip lead himself.

Here's how they all stack up right now:

Jonathan Wong - 930,000
Evangelos Bechrakis - 615,000
Sergio Castelluccio - 600,000
Paulius Plausinaitis - 570,000
Dragos Trofimov - 570,000
Nicolas Cardyn - 530,000
Luke Schwartz - 355,000
Andrey Andreev - 272,000
Jordi Torner - 260,000
Jogvan Kristiansson Glerfoss - 142,000

10:50pm: Manion down
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Andrey Andreev made it 20,000 under the gun, but when it folded to the small blind of Richard Manion he jammed for 144,000. Dragos Trofimov asked for a count, and then re-jammed which got a quick fold from Andreev.

Manion had the K♦J♦ and was up against the 8♠8♣, so the T♠4♣Q♣ flop made things interesting. "Now that's a sweat," said Luke Schwartz.

The 2♥ turn didn't help Manion though, meaning he'd need a king, jack, ace or nine to survive. Instead the 8♥ improved his opponent.

Manion wins £6,200 for 11th, while Trofimov is up to 360,000.

We're now on the final table bubble. --JS

Richard Manion

10:45pm: Schwartz collects from Trofimov
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Action folded to Luke Schwartz on the button and he made it 22,000 to go. Dragos Trofimov called from the big blind to see the Q♦2♠J♠ flop, and both checked to see a 2♦ turn.

A quick glance over to the other table meant the action was missed, but one of them bet (around 15,000 I think) and there was a call. That brought the T♦ river, on which Trofimov led for 32,000. Schwartz made the call announcing he had a deuce (eventually showing the K♣2♣) and Trofimov said "That's good."

He drops to 162,000, while Schwartz increases to 340,000. --JS

10:35pm: Who's leading?
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

A quick update from the top of the chip counts.

Paulius Plausinaitis is still out in front with 980,000, while Nicolas Cardyn is the second largest with 800,000.

Oh, and we've just lost long-time short-stack Jacob Ohlund in 12th (£5,410), bringing us down to 11. --JS

10:25pm: One more down
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

We've just lost one-time chip leader Daniel Barriocanal in 13th place, meaning he'll bank £5,410. We're now playing two tables of six. --JS

Daniel Barriocanal

10:20pm: Three-way all-in...and no bust-outs
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Jordi Torner jammed the hijack for 71,000. Then Jogvan Kristiansson Glerfoss re-jammed on the button for 128,000. It folded to France's Dragos Trofimov in the big blind who asked for both stacks to be counted. Then he called.

Torner: A♠T♠
Glerfoss: J♣J♦
Trofimov: 6♠6♣

"Aw come on baby!" said Glerfoss as he saw his jacks were well in front, particularly against Trofimov.

However, the A♥5♥K♦ flop paired Torner straight away, who called "Vamos!" as he saw the good news. The 7♠ and 8♠ completed the board, meaning Torner trebled up to 215,000, Glerfoss won the side pot for 110,000, and Trofimov dropped to 330,000. --JS

10:10pm: Dimitrov falls in 14th
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Having lost a large chunk of his stack in that previous hand, Stefan Dimitrov is now out.

He got his money in with the K♥9♥ against Paulius Plausinaitis' A♥T♠, and the 5♥8♠J♥Q♠A♦ board was no good for him.

He'll collect £4,930, while Plausinaitis is up to 840,000. --JS

10:05pm: Wong doubles
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

There was a big hand before the break to tell you about.

When we picked up the action, Daniel Barriocanal had a bet of 52,000 in front of him, which Stefan Dimitrov then shoved over for 270,000. Jonathan Wong called all in too with a shorter stack, and Barriocanal eventually called the clock on himself before folding ("I never call the clock, I just wanted to go smoke!" he said after the hand).

Dimitrov - A♠K♠
Wong - Q♥Q♣

The 4♥K♥2♣ flop was bad for Wong, who was now drawing thin. The A♥ gave him hope though, and gave Dimitrov two pair.

"Yes! Come on!" said Wong when he saw the 7♥ river complete the board and his flush. He doubled up to 400,000, while Dimitrov is now short with around 100,000. --JS

Wong's still alive

10pm: Another three levels
Level 19: Blinds 5,000/10,000 (ante 1,000)

Cards are back in the air. We're being told that the plan is to play until 1:20am tonight and then call it a day, meaning the final table and Platinum Pass presentation will now (very very likely) take place tomorrow. --JS

9:40pm: Break time

Join us back here at 10pm. --JS

9:35pm: Fisher falls to Schwartz, Schwartz runs to the loo
Level 18: Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

We've just lost Robin Fisher in 15th, as he shoved his last 172,000 in at the wrong time. He was called by Luke Schwartz, and when the hands were flipped Schwartz's A♣A♠ was way ahead of his 5♦6♦.

"I've gotta go, be right back," said Schwartz, as he dashed out to the toilet. The dealer was told his hand was still live, and she ran out a board of T♠K♥K♣3♠8♦ to eliminate Fisher.

Schwartz is up to 346,000 now. --JS

9:25pm: Bechrakis puts the pressure on
Level 18: Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

Stefan Dimitrov made it 16,000 to go under the gun, which Evangelos Bechrakis called one seat over. It then folded to Italy's Sergio Castelluccio, and he squeezed it up to 49,000. Only Bechrakis called.

The flop came 6♠3♥K♠ and it checked to the raiser. Castelluccio continued for 41,000, and without missing a beat Bechrakis announced he was all in. This was no small shove either; Castelluccio had 300,000 behind. That's how much he now sits with, as he'd fold.

Bechrakis was up to 700,000 after that one, but would lose a few in the next hand when he called Dimitrov's shove on a 9♦A♥Q♠7♠A♣ board only to see him turn over tge A♠7♣ for a boat.

Bechrakis has 600,000 now, while Dimitrov doubles to around 250,000. --JS

9:10pm: Post-dinner lethargy?
Level 18: Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

We haven't since much to note since getting down to 15. Luke Schwartz doubled up Andrey Andreev earlier, while Richard Manion hasn't been afraid to shove his short stack in. No callers yet though. --JS

8:50pm: Taylor's outta here
Level 18: Blinds 4,000/8,000 (ante 1,000)

We missed the action, but the UK's Guy Taylor has just been eliminated in 16th for £4,450. Just 15 players remain in contention for the win and Platinum Pass. --JS

8:30pm: Final two tables
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Table 1

1. Dragos Trofimov - 510,000
2. Andrey Andreev - 100,000
3. Jordi Torner - 102,000
4. Nicolas Cardyn - 470,000
5. Robin Fisher - 320,000
6. Jogvan Kristiansson Glerfoss - 122,000
7. Luke Schwartz - 380,000
8. Richard Manion - 147,000

Table 2

1. Jonathan Wong - 236,000
2. Sergio Castelluccio - 450,000
3. Paulius Plausinaitis - 640,000
4. Guy Taylor - 152,000
5. Jacob Oehlund - 83,000
6. Daniel Barriocanal - 520,000
7. Stefan Dimitrov - 235,000
8. Evangelos Bechrakis - 350,000

8:20pm: Down to two tables
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Two eliminations in quick succession have seen us get down to 16 and the last two tables.

The players who've exited are Fraser MacIntyre (18th - £4,010) and Neophytos Neophytou (17th - £4,450).

We'll have rough counts and the seat draws for you shortly. --JS

8:15pm: The fall of Torres
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

In two hands, Alejandro Perez Torres' tournament has come to an end.

First, Stefan Dimitrov opened the button 15,000, after which Neophytos Neophytou shoved for 46,000. Torres then re-shoved for 75,000, and Dimitrov let his hand go.

Torres had the A♣9♠ against Neophytou's 7♥7♦ and the pocket pair held up after the 3♣K♣Q♥3♦J♥ runout.

Torres was down to 29,000 and he'd get it all in in the next hand. Paulius Plausinaitis made it 12,000 in the hijack, and Torres jammed the small blind and got a call. He had the best hand this time with his A♦T♥ versus the J♦9♦. But the 4♣9♠5♥J♣6♠ board changed that, giving Plausinaitis two pair.

Torres will collect £4,010 for his efforts. --JS

8pm: Torner doubles through Trofimov
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Jordi Torner is a short stack. Dragos Trofimov is a big stack. They're sat right next to each other. So it makes sense they'd clash at some point.

Chip leader Trofimov opened to 15,000 under the gun and it folded around to Torner in the big blind who called. The dealer spread an 8♣8♥5♣ flop, on which Torner pulled the old 'stop and go' move, shoving all in for 53,000 in to the pre-flop aggressor. Trofimov got a count, and then made the call with just the K♥T♥ for king high with the eights on board. That was good though, as Torner was drawing with his J♣4♣.

The flush came in instantly on the 3♣ turn though, and so the river meant nothing. Torner doubled to around 110,000, while Trofimov still leads right now with 515,000. --JS

7:47pm Lynskey loses
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

Twenty minutes into the level, we've just lost Australia's Alex Lynskey. He open-jammed for around 60,000 in the UTG+1 seat and it folded to Neophytos Neophytou who made the call. He had the A♦K♣ which was ahead of Lynskey's K♥Q♠, and the 7♣K♠J♥6♠4♠ board changed nothing.

For his 20th place finish, Lynskey banks £4,010. --JS

7:29pm Back to business
Level 17: Blinds 3,000/6,000 (ante 1,000)

We were left with 20 players at the dinner break, following the eliminations of Hannibal Higgins (22nd) and Joseph El Ghazal Mouawad (21st), both of whom won £3,690.

The final 20 are now back from dinner. Time to get to work. --JS

6:30pm Dinner time

Players have gone on a 60-minute dinner break. We'll be back in an hour. --JS

6:25pm Late night poker?
Level 16: Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

Poker fans in the UK can stay awake even longer tonight after the conclusions of events at the PokerStars Festival London, with Episode 3 of the PokerStars Championship Cash Challenge on Channel 4 this evening.

For details of what it's all about, how to watch, and how to catch up on previous episodes, click here.

6:15pm Two bubble boys! Reixach and Wang split 24th money
Level 16: Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

It took almost a full level for the bubble to burst. But bubbles are like buses; you wait ages for one and then two turn up at once.

On one table, Sergi Reixach was super short with just 17,000 and he stuck it all in under the gun. It folded around to the big blind of Hannibal Higgins who made the call.

Meanwhile, on another table, Luke Schwartz and Hong Wang were tangling in a pot. Wang had bet 18,000 on a K♠8♥9♥6♥ board, only for Schwartz to raise it to 60,000. Wang then jammed, and Schwartz made the call.

Wang had the 7♥4♥ for a made flush, while Schwartz was drawing with his A♥7♣. He'd hit the nut flush with the J♥ river though, sending Wong out.

Back to the other table (which had been paused), Reixach revealed his J♥J♦ was up against Higgins' K♥Q♣. Higgins would make a higher pair on the 4♣Q♦9♣2♠9♥ runout, sending the Spaniard out too.

Still, no one left with nothing. Both Reixach and Wong will split 24th place money (£3,690). --JS

Reixach - one of two bubble boys

Hong Wang - the other one

5:50pm: Three table draw
Level 16: Blinds 2,500/5,000 (ante 500)

We're still on the bubble with 24 left. Here's how they're seated and stacked up at the start of three-table play. --JS

Table 1

Jogvan Kristiansson Glerfoss - 305,000
Jacob Oehlund - 250,000
Jonathan Wong - 150,000
Robin Fisher - 255,000
Richard Manion - 60,000
Hong Wang - 180,000
Evangelos Bechrakis - 270,000
Luke Schwartz - 185,000

Table 2

Nicolas Cardyn - 493,000
Jordi Torner - 196,000
Dragos Trofimov - 400,000
Daniel Barriocanal - 450,000
Andrey Andreev - 121,000
Hannibal Higgins - 90,000
Sergi Reixach - 36,000
Joseph El Ghazal - 85,000

Table 3

Paulius Plausinaitis - 170,000
Stefan Dimitrov - 490,000
Neophytos Neophytou - 320,000
Alejandro Perez Torres - 200,000
Fraser MacIntyre - 55,000
Sergio Castelluccio - 65,000
Guy Taylor - 82,000
Alex Lynskey - 95,000

5:15pm: Kisacikoglu falls two off the money
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

The final 24 players are now re-drawing for the last three tables.

First we lost start-of-day chip leader Lars Bonding in 26th, before high roller regular Orpen Kisacikoglu was just eliminated in 25th.

Kisacikoglu had opened and then called off his stack after a three-bet shove from Jordi Torner. Kisacikoglu had pocket tens but had run them into Torner's pocket aces, which held up after the runout.

We're now on the stone bubble and playing hand for hand. The next player eliminated will leave with nothing, after which everyone will be guaranteed £3,690. --JS

5:05pm: Bechrakis 2 - Schwartz 0
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Evangelos Bechrakis has just picked up two consecutive pots, both courtesy of Luke Schwartz.

In the first one, Schwartz min-opened to 8,000 on the button and Bechrakis defending his big blind to see the 7♣T♣6♣ flop. Both checked and the turn was the 2♦ on which Bechrakis led for 9,000. Call.

The 4♦ completed the board and there'd be no more betting. "Pair," announced Schwartz, before Bechrakis turned over the 7♠8♠ for a pair of sevens. "Yeah you're good. I wanted the spades," he said, showing the K♠2♠.

Undeterred, Schwartz would open the next pot to, making it 8,000 to go from the cutoff. Bechrakis then three-bet the small blind to 26,000, and that got a fold.

"You got a big hand?" Schwartz asked as he went to muck. "I fold one time, big hand," he added before showing his ace-jack off. Bechrakis showed only the A♥ and raked in the pot. --JS

Luke Schwartz

4:55pm: Fisher reels in the chips
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

Robin Fisher has just found a double up. He opened, before being three-bet by Joseph El Ghazal. Guy Taylor made the call in the big blind, before Fisher jammed and El Ghazal called. That got Taylor to lay his hand down (he later revealed to us he folded pocket tens).

Fisher had the K♥K♦ against El Ghazal's pocket queens, and the board ran out 6♠J♣6♦T♠3♥.

Ouch for Taylor (results oriented isn't the way to go!) but a nice double for Fisher who is now up to 262,000. --JS

4:45pm: Down to 26
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

In two eliminations time, we'll both redraw for the final three tables, and we'll be on the money bubble.

The most recent casualties are Nils Henningsson, John Mooney, Guillermo Sanchez Otero, Paul Siddle, Carlos Sanchez Diaz, and Ghassan Bitar. --JS

4:30pm: Up and downs for Siddle, just ups for Orpen, just downs for Lebedev
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

John Mooney limped in middle position and it folded to Paul Siddle in the small blind. He announced all in, and when Mooney got a count the amount was confirmed at 43,000. Mooney made the call, but was in bad shape with his A♠T♠ against Siddle's A♦J♣. The best hand held up after the 7♠9♦5♦2♥3♣ runout, and Siddle doubled up.

His joy would be short-lived though.

In the very next hand, play folded to Sergey Lebedev in the hijack who moved all in for 36,000. Orpen Kisacikoglu got a count, then re-jammed from the cutoff only for Siddle to then shove over them both with the biggest stack on the button. When the blinds folded, the hands were revealed.

Would Lebedev's prediction come true?

"Flush," said Lebedev, as he turned over his A♥4♥. He was trailing Kisacikoglu's A♠Q♠, but both were behind Siddle who had the K♥K♠.

Then the flop happened. 5♠8♠2♠.

It turned out it was Kisacikoglu, not Lebedev, who would flop the nuts. His flush held up after the 3♥ Q♣ turn and river, eliminating Lebedev and more than doubling up Kisacikoglu.

After all that, Siddle was left with 27,000, Mooney had 33,000, and Kisacikoglu is now up to around 160,000. --JS

Great result for Kisacikoglu

4:23pm: Back to it
Level 15: Blinds 2,000/4,000 (ante 500)

As players return from break and action resumes, we can tell you that one of today's late arrivals, Daniel Barriocanal, currently has the chip lead with 400,000.

Meanwhile, start-of-day chip leader Lars Bonding hasn't had the best start and now sits with 130,000. --JS

4:03pm: Break time

Players are now on a 20-minute break. Join us back here then.

Sadly, we won't be joined by Ghassan Bitar or Benjamin Morrison as they've both been eliminated. --JS

3:50pm: Double up (and a nice Chianti?)
Level 14: Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

The awesomely-named Hannibal Higgins has just found a dream spot for a double up. Action had folded to the small blind of Alejandro Perez Torres who put Higgins all in from the big blind. Higgins woke up with the A♦Q♦ though and made the call, in great shape against Torres' A♣4♥.

The board ran out 8♣3♠7♦T♦8♥ bringing Higgins up to 58,000. --JS

3:35pm: Bechrakis' sigh of relief
Level 14: Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

A more than 100-big blind pot just played out, and the winner of it is Evangelos Bechrakis.

It started with an under the gun open to 7,000 from Jacob Oehlund, which was then three-bet to 23,000 by Robin Fisher (yes, he arrived!) in the hijack. It folded to Bechrakis who called on the button. Luke Schwartz then folded his small blind, and when it got to the big blind of Richard Manion he moved all in with the biggest stack.

That shove quickly shook off Oehlund and Fisher, but Bechrakis had a real decision. He looked up to the skies (i.e. the Hippodrome ceiling) before slamming down a call for his entire 145,800.

Manion turned over the A♣Q♣, and Bechrakis seemed happy to see that, seeing as he had the Q♦Q♥. One thing he didn't like to see was an ace in the window of the flop though.

Bechrakis let out a big sigh, but that sigh soon turned into one of relief. The board had actually flopped A♦Q♠3♠, giving him a set and Manion two pair. The set held up on the 6♥ and 2♠ turn and river, and that gave Bechrakis a huge double up.

"You saw that ace!" said Schwartz after the hand, and Bechrakis gestured in a "With that flop, what was I supposed to do?!" kinda way.

Anyway, Bechrakis is up to around 320,000 now, while Manion drops all the way down to 70,000. --JS

3:20pm: Liperis misses
Level 14: Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

Yiannis Liperis has just been eliminated by John Mooney in a short stack versus short stack battle.

Action had folded to Mooney on the button when he moved all in for around 65,000. It folded to Liperis in the big blind and he made the call with the A♠4♣ up against Mooney's 2♠2♦.

The T♥6♣9♦ flop changed nothing, but the 6♥ turn meant that any ten, nine, ace, or four would give Liperis a better two pair. However, the 6♠ river filled Mooney up to a full house, and brings his stack up to just over 100,000 while Liperis makes his exit. --JS

3:10pm: Blinds and outs
Level 14: Blinds 1,500/3,000 (ante 500)

We've moved into Level 14, with all levels from here on being 60 minutes.

Those who couldn't survive the first level of play include Jan Mohammed Nader Zadeh, Philippe Souki, Florian-Dimitrie Duta, Ajay Kumar Kejriwal, Jeremy Routier, Nicholas Giuseppe Di Paolo, and Jonas Mols.

Down to 38. --JS

3pm: Double up for Andreev
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Andrey Andreev continues to give his opponents trouble. This time his efforts resulted in a double up.

He'd opened from middle position to 6,000 and got two callers in Joseph El Ghazal (small blind) and Guy Taylor (big blind). The three went to a K♣6♣J♣ flop which checked to Andreev. He continued for 10,000, which shook off El Ghazal, but got the interest of Taylor.

The Brit asked to see Andreev's remaining chips (21,500) before putting him all in. Andreev snap-called, with very good reason: He flopped a flush with his Q♣9♣. Taylor had the K♠T♣ but was drawing thin unless he could improve to a full house. The 9♥ turn and A♣ river didn't make that happen.

Andreev is up to 100,000 now, while Taylor slips to 90,000. --JS

2:50pm: Main Event time for Maini?
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

We've just lost another one, as Vishal Maini has been felted by Evangelos Bechrakis.

Action folded to Maini in the small blind and he jammed his short-stack (around 50,000) which Bechrakis called from the big blind. Maini was behind with his K♥T♠ versus Bechrakis' A♣Q♣, and the Q♠6♣3♠J♠T♣ run out didn't save him.

That pot brings Bechrakis up to around 250,000, while it could be time to hop in the Main Event for Maini. --JS

2:40pm: Johnson first to depart
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

It's taken almost 40 minutes of play but we've finally lost our first player of the day.

Mitch Johnson is the departed. Picking up the action on a 3♠J♠2♠J♥ board, Johnson checked from the small blind seat to the button of Joseph El Ghazal, who led for 25,000. Johnson then jammed for what looked to be around 70,000, and Ghazal paused for a moment before making the call.

Johnson: K♠J♦
Ghazal: 2♦2♣

The cooler saw Ghazal turn a boat while Johnson had turned trips with the king-high flush draw to go with it. He hit a meaningless flush on the 9♠ river, and he was gone.

Ghazal is up to around 320,000 now. --JS

2:30pm: Late arrivals
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

We can now confirm that Luke Schwartz, Fraser MacIntyre, Daniel Barriocanal and Gmassan Bitar have all now arrived.

The only player still missing is Robin Fisher. --JS

Schwartz arrives

2:20pm: Andreev picks up where he left off
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

The ever-entertaining Andrey Andreev has got right back to work here on Day 2, playing super fast, getting his chips in, and putting his opponents in tough spots.

Andrey Andreev

In this latest pot, the big-stacked Jonathan Wong opened the cutoff to 6,000 which Andreev called on the button. Fraser MacIntyre is still not here, so there was no small blind and Dragos Trofimou defended his big blind. The three saw a T♥J♦J♥ flop which checked to Wong. He continued for 8,400, only for Andreev to instantly raise it, tossing in 15,000. That wasn't double the bet though, so instead he made it 16,800. Only Wong called.

On the T♣ river, Wong checked and Andreev instantly moved all in for around 70,000. Wong didn't take long to let his hand go. --JS

Jonathan Wong

2:10pm: Missing in/the action
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Play has kicked off here today, but so far we've got a few empty seats. Daniel Barriocanal, Gmassan Bitar, Robin Fisher, Fraser MacIntyre, and Luke Schwartz have yet to arrive. --JS

2:03pm: Action underway
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400 (ante 400)

Cards are in the air here for the second and final day. --JS

1:45pm: High Roller Champion. Platinum Pass winner.

Tonight we'll be giving out both prizes to the same player.

Who will win the Platinum Pass?

Welcome back for Day 2 of PokerStars Festival London £2,200 High Roller. Yesterday we saw 164 total entries (including 22 re-entries), but when all was said and done after 12 40-minute levels, just 47 players remained.

If you want to go back and remind yourself how we got to this point, you can read all of our blow-by-blow Day 1 coverage here.

The man leading the pack right now is Lars Bonding with 318,500, but only just as Jonathan Wong is right behind him with 315,600. They'll be returning to 1,200/2,400/400 blinds, and also in contention are high roller regulars Orpen Kisacikoglu (68,700) and Sergey Lebedev (94,700), plus UK legends Luke Schwartz (110,000) and Fraser MacIntyre (131,200).

Bonding leads

Action resumes at 2pm today, and we'll be here every step of the way until one player has all the chips, plus the coveted Platinum Pass, in front of them. --JS

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the £2,200 High Roller: Jack Stanton. Photography by Mickey May.


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Jack Stanton
@J_W_Stanton in Live Poker