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It was the last big poker festival in Europe before the World Series and it ended with an Italian win.
Luigi Shehadeh is on an absolute heater in his still-young poker career.
Just one month ago he beat a field of almost 2,500 players at the Campione Casino and now he’s taken the title at 888poker’s first Make It Big festival at the Gran Casino de Barcelona.
It was the third festival in the new 888Live Series and, although it was not the largest, it certainly was remarkable.
The Long Goodbye
With the level times going up from 45 min on Day 1 to 60 min on Day 2 the tournament proved too big to play down to a final table yesterday as planned With 25 players remaining at three tables organizers finally called it a day and stopped the action for 12 hours.
When play resumed today it was expected that the small stacks would fall quickly and we’d soon find ourselves at just one table.
Instead, most of the smaller stacks doubled up and the chipstacks grew closer. Consequently the bustouts came slowly and by the time we were down to 15 players, the average chip stack had gone down to about 22 bb.
In this situation the table dynamic changes. As the pay jumps become more and more important the shortstacks have to fold almost everything to stay in the tournament instead of pushing light to try to double up.
Also, there were players in the tournament so tight it was difficult for anyone to win or lose any chips. At the final table, though, time caught up with the players again and we went from 9 to 4 in less than 45 min.
Cate Hall – who recently solved that quarrel with Mike Dentale handily – finally ended her tournament in 4th place when her A-6 couldn’t hold up against Shehadeh’s K-T.
From then on Shehadeh was the clear favorite to win because his chipstack was several times as big as the other two players’ – Carlos Rodriguez and José Gonzalez.
Shortly after Gonzalez was eliminated the final two decided to take a 45-min dinner break – at 11.15 PM – which was the last unusual occurrence of this event.
The heads-up then lasted half an hour. Shehadeh’s chip advantage proved too big to overcome for Rodriguez and the Italian claimed the first 888poker title in Barcelona.
888poker Make it Big Main Event Final Table Payouts
Carlos Garcia Rodriguez
José Alberto Lopez Gonzalez
Jaime Ruedo Sampedro
Javier de Vicente Miquel
Pros and Celebrities
The 888Live festivals are getting more and more attention lately, both from the media and from the big names in the industry.
Outside of Europe-based 888poker ambassadors Kara Scott, Sofia Lövgren and Dominik Nitsche there was also the whole Brazilian squad with Bruno Politano, Bruno Kawauti, Nicolau Villa-Lobos and football superstar Denilson.
Patrik Antonius, Michael Mizrachi, Will Kassouf, Stacy Matuson, Cate Hall, Alec Torelli, Ema Zajmovic, Fernando Pons and Paul Testud all heard and followed the call of 888poker.
Matuson and Kassouf both had deep runs in the event and again it was Kassouf who lasted longer than his American nemesis. Matuson finished her rollercoaster ride in 55th place while Kassouf made it to the final day.
He had his own roller coaster day as he went from dominating chipleader to exactly one big blind to back to the middle of the pack to bust within two levels. He finished just two spots off the final table this time. Some more numbers from 888Live Barcelona:
Start day 2
Barcelona Goodbye, Hello WSOP
With 888poker’s Make it Big festival Barcelona coming to an end the poker community is now facing the biggest of all events – the World Series of Poker.
888poker is once again the main sponsor for this event and you still have the chance to be part of it. Get your account at 888poker and register for the direct qualifiers or any of the sub-satellites to claim your seat.
You can win prize packages both for the main event and for 888poker’s branded Crazy Eights event. 888poker has also recently started a new promotion called The 8-Team where you can become part of an amazing team headed by one of the 888poker ambassadors.