This past weekend, there was a wealth transfer from Spain to Finland after Tero Laurila took down the latest Main Event from 888poker LIVE. More than €350K was up for grabs in the Main Event that capped a two-week schedule of poker events in the Catalonian capital of Barcelona.
The 13-day 888poker LIVE Barcelona kicked off on May 10, and there were 18 events plus a bevy of satellite games on the side through May 22. The Main Event was €1100 to get into the game with four starting days that kicked off on May 17 and played the final day on May 22.
Finnish player Tero Laurila managed to nearly match his previous lifetime earnings with the win, banking €64k after a heads-up deal. The Finn previously had $74,655 (USD) in earnings according to the Hendon Mob, so after the conversion, this win basically doubles his lifetime earnings.
Barcelona marked the final scheduled event for 888poker LIVE prior to the big summer games in Las Vegas. The focus of the poker world is turning to Sin City for the next seven weeks but look for new stops on the 888poker LIVE schedule coming up after the 2023 WSOP wraps up in mid-July.
Finland vs Germany Heads-Up
The endgame of the Main Event came down to a battle between Germany and Finland, but it was a fairly friendly battle. Laurila and German runner-up Nils Lechner, who was an online qualifier booking what looks to be his first Hendon Mob cash, made a deal heads-up that meant Laurila secured €64,000 for the win while Lechner pocketed €46,000 for second place after spinning €11 into second-place money.
In total, there was more than €230k in play at the final table, with the only non-European recipient of FT cash being Venezuelan Tullio Bertoli. The other eight players were all Europeans, and both Spain and Italy had two players each in the final nine. Finland also scored a second FT spot, while Portugal and Germany fielded one FT player.
|1||Tero Laurila||Finland||€64,000 (HU Deal)|
|2||Nils Lechner||Germany||€46,000 (HU Deal)|
Influencers Crush the Pros
The Main Event was well-attended both in terms of the 888poker ambassadorial team and high-profile influencers. In an interesting turn of events, the influencers came out on top on the green felt in terms of Main Event results, with a Canadian-US chess wizard and streamer, Alexandra Botez, going deep into the endgame of the Main.
In addition to Botez, there were several other high-profile influencers invited to Barcelona, including:
- Sports Presenter and TV Personality Josh Denzel
- 2006 Swedish Champion of Magic Julien Magic
The 888poker ambassadors were also out in full force, with Ian Simpson bagging a stack from Day 1c after a misfire, and Vivian Saliba and Lucia Navarro found their bags on Day 1b.
Cultural ambassador Caue Moura couldn’t find a bag on 1c, but he did have a story for his social media followers. In a brutal beat, he exited the 1c stage after quad treys crushed his top boat.
Ultimately, none of the poker ambassadors managed to make a deep run in this one. Simpson and Navarro fell early on Day 2, while Alexandre “Cavalito” Mantovani had a bit of early Day 2 run-good, but it did not last long enough to put him in the money. Only Saliba managed to make it into the 44 money spots, finishing her run in 40th, for a €2500 min-cash.
Chess Invades Poker?
It was not a huge surprise when former world chess champion Magnus Carlsen was spotted at a recent big live poker event, but it seems as if there might be something of a chess invasion into the poker world as Canadian-US chess Master Alexandra Botez made a deep run in Barcelona.
The popular Twitch and YouTube creator had a lot of time on the feature table during 888pokerTV broadcast, and it was noted that her Twitch channel, which was hosting the live stream, actually had more viewers than the main broadcast. She managed to bag the 12th-place stack from Day 2, but her epic run came to an end in 16th place on Day 3, with €5k in her pocket.
That brings the Barcelona stop for 2023 to a close as the poker world’s attention turns to the American desert. Stay tuned to the 888poker LIVE page for details on what is to come on the live felt.