Sow hard to beat! Prague champ Kalidou Sow takes down the PokerStars Festival London Main Event

Last night, Kalidou Sow dreamt that he would get heads-up in this event with Paul Dando. After nine hours of play today, his dream came true in more ways than one.

Another amazing win for Sow

He told Dando about his dream when the two got heads-up in today's PokerStars Festival London Main Event, with Sow holding a more than 2:1 chip lead. We're guessing his dream ended with him winning the whole thing and the $30,000 Platinum Pass, and after just half an hour of duelling Sow emerged victorious.

The final hand was an interesting one that saw Sow in the tank for around five minutes. He opened the button to 500,000 with the blinds at 100K/200K, and Dando three-bet to 1.6 million. Sow called to see a J♥4♦8♠ flop, and then called Dando's 950,000 c-bet. The turn then came the 5♥, and Dando jammed for almost 6.2 million. Sow thought for a long time, and would have had 8 million left if he called and was wrong...

But this was the stuff dreams are made of. Sow made the call, and saw his A♥J♦ was ahead of Dando's 7♥5♠. The Q♣ river changed nothing, and the Frenchman took it down.

Paul Dando and Kalidou Sow earlier on today

Now, if you're thinking "hmmm, Kalidou Sow looks pretty familiar", that's because it was only a month and a week ago that Sow took down the PokerStars Championship Prague Main Event in Prague for a massive €675,000 payday. After making a deal with Dando tonight, Sow has added £121,803 in winnings, plus that coveted trip to the Bahamas next year.

The man hasn't been eliminated from a poker tournament in almost 70 hours of playing. Sow incredible.

Kalidou Sow


But how did we get to that point? Check out our Day 2 coverage here, and let's rewind to the beginning of the day.

After yesterday's marathon session, today went by like a sprint. The 21 hopefuls who returned at 12pm today ran down to the official final table of eight in just three and a quarter hours, after the likes of Michael Kane (14th - £6,100), professional footballer Jimmy Kebe (15th - £6,900), Arron Woodcock (12th - £7,700), and finally last woman standing Irena Macesovic (who bubbled the official finale in ninth for £10,496) were all ousted.

Here's a look at the counts at the beginning of the final table:

Name CountryStatusChips
Paul DandoUnited Kingdom 9,485,000
Thomas WinstoneUnited Kingdom 4,975,000
David ManderUnited KingdomPokerStars Qualifier3,555,000
Waheed AshrafUnited Kingdom 2,085,000
Attila FarkasUnited Kingdom 2,070,000
Kalidou SowFrance 1,715,000
Thomas Harbrecht-ParkerUnited Kingdom 805,000
Tsz Chung HoUnited Kingdom 795,000

Eventual runner-up Paul Dando

Dando had the chip lead, and it was Hippodrome regular Tsz Chung Ho who was most at risk. Ho won his entry into this event via a last longer competition the casino held, and he certainly lasted longer than most before his A♥3♦ couldn't connect against David Mander's T♣T♦. The 33-year-old went out in eighth, collecting £13,000.

Tsz Chung Ho

He was followed half an hour later by Thomas Harbrecht-Parker, who was down to just five big blinds when he took a punt with the K♣6♥. Both Kalidou Sow and Waheed Ashraf called, and although Harbecht-Parker turned a pair of sixes, Ashraf had pocket nines in the hole which held. Harbrecht-Parker won £18,500.

Thomas Harbrecht-Parker

Attila Farkas came into the day as the chip leader, but his fast and furious style would see him gone in sixth for £26,600. He jammed with the A♣2♣ but that was dominated by Dando's A♠K♣, and there were no ducks on the board to help him.

Attila Farkas

An unlucky turn of events then saw Waheed Ashraf eliminated in fifth. He got it in good with his A♣Q♣ versus Thomas Winstone's A♦J♥, but a jack in the window of the flop would ultimately seal his fate. Ashraf won £35,500.

Waheed Ashraf

It was four-handed when Sow's comeback began. The shortest of the four stacks, he'd first double up through Thomas Winstone (flopping a straight and getting shoved on by Winstone with a rivered top pair), before winning another healthy pot off Dando. His ascent continued when he busted Winstone in fourth. After a pre-flop betting war Sow just flatted a 2.05 million cold four-bet from Winstone, and when the flop came ace high all of Winstone's chips went in. He had a problem with his A♣Q♣ though; Sow had the A♦A♠, which obviously held.

Thomas Winstone

Winstone collected £45,000, and then there were three. Sow had brought his stack up close to Dando's, and then took the lead at the dinner break. When they returned, his stack continued rise, especially after he eliminated the last remaining online qualifier in third.

David Mander was in this event for just $11, having qualified through a Spin&Go on PokerStars. But when his A♦T♣ was out-turned by Sow's 6♥5♥ on a T♥K♥5♠6♠J♣, he couldn't spin it up into a win. Still, Mander won £60,000 tonight - an amazing achievement. What's more amazing is that this was Mander's first ever live poker tournament! We spoke to Mander on the dinner break, and here's what he had to say.

After that, Sow and Dando were heads-up, and you know what happened next. Sow's dream came true...in two different ways.

You'll see Sow in the Bahamas next year!

Congratulations to Kalidou Sow, the winner of the PokerStars Festival London Main Event for £121,803 and the $30,000 Platinum Pass!

PokerStars Festival London Main Event
Dates: January 24-28, 2018
Entries: 852
Buy-in: £990
Prize pool: £743,796

* Indicates a heads up was made
* The winner of this event also wins a $30,000 Platinum Pass!

POSNAMECOUNTRYSTATUSPRIZEDEAL
1Kalidou SowFrance £140,000*£121,803
2Paul DandoUnited Kingdom £85,000*£103,197
3David ManderUnited KingdomPokerStars Qualifier£60,000 
4Thomas WinstoneUnited Kingdom £45,000 
5Waheed AshrafUnited Kingdom £35,500 
6Attila FarkasUnited Kingdom £26,600 
7Thomas Harbrecht-ParkerUnited Kingdom £18,500 
8Tsz Chung HoUnited Kingdom £13,000 

Jack Stanton is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog. Photos by Mickey May.


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Jack Stanton
@J_W_Stanton in Live Poker