The Coventry Business Arena was all about poker over the last few days as 888poker picked the UK city for the final destination on its 2023 LIVE calendar.
The pressure was on as the operator wanted to wrap up the season in style.The £888 Main Event came with a generous guarantee of £500,000, meaning the operator needed more than 600 entries across the four Day 1 flights to meet the hefty promise.
Day 1A got things off to a slow start, with only 85 entries on the board, but those familiar with live poker tournaments know that this is not a big concern. Most players prefer later starting flights, and things started to pick up on Day 1B.
The final two flights saw players come out in force, and by the time it was all said and done, the tournament ended with 672 entries — enough to comfortably break the guarantee and bring the total prize pool to £537,600.
Big Event to Wrap Things Up
It has been a big year for 888poker on the live circuit as the operator hosted several successful events in Europe, visiting iconic cities including Bucharest, Barcelona, and Madrid. Coventry was the last on the 2023 schedule, so expectations were high.
By the time all was said and done, those expectations were exceeded. The 888poker LIVE Coventry Main Event ended up with 672 entries, enough to comfortably cover the half-a-million guarantee with almost £40,000 on top. A total of 70 players made money in the event, earning at least £1,900 for their efforts. The bubble burst fairly early during Day 2, removing some pressure and allowing everyone to focus fully on the top prize of £125,000.
As expected, 888poker ambassadors showed up in great numbers for this one, but Lady Luck was not by their side this time around. Only one team member made it past the bubble, and that was Lucia Navarro, who walked away with a min-cash.
An ICM Chop to Seal the Deal
The final table of the Coventry Main Event came together after several hours of play on Day 3. It started with nine players, and the play continued down to five. After Cosmin Penescu was eliminated in sixth place, the remaining five players agreed to an ICM chop.
Yiannis Liperis was the biggest beneficiary of this deal as he locked up £120,000, just £5,000 shy of the first-place money. The remaining four players all took a very respectable five-figure amount.
Once the deal was sealed, only the trophy and the prestige were on the line, so things picked up speed. Shortly after, the game got down to two players, Charles Chattha and Yiannis Liperis, with Liperis holding a significant chip lead over his opponent. It took only six minutes of play to get all the chips in the middle, with Liperis having top and bottom against Chattha’s middle pair.
There were no surprises this time around as the best hand held up through the river, and Yiannis Liperis became the official winner of the 888poker LIVE Coventry Main Event, which seemed only right after locking up the lion’s share of the first prize in the ICM deal.
With Coventry in the books, 888poker LIVE is done for the year, but we expect more of the same in 2024. The success the operator saw in 2023 will likely encourage them to explore new destinations and bring live poker fun to more players in Europe and beyond.
|£120,000 (ICM Deal)
|£40,000 (ICM Deal)
|£66,860 (ICM Deal)
|£46,000 (ICM Deal)
|£46,000 (ICM Deal)