Maria Lampropulos Wins the 2017 partypokerLIVE MILLIONS Dusk Till Dawn Main Event (£1,000,000)
The partypokerLIVE MILLIONS Dusk Till Dawn festival promised to be a huge event with three events guaranteeing seven-figure prize pools. The home of poker in the United Kingdom delivered in style. A total of £6,000,000 guaranteed before the first card was dealt in Nottingham, and the £5,300 Main Event broke that number with over 6,500 players taking part through the various stages to create a massive prize pool of £6,017,395.
After several online and live starting days and three following tournament days, the field was reduced to the last eight hopefuls. The final table was set with an incredible combination of stories. There were two women left in contention, one of which qualified twice through partypoker for a combined £131. One of the biggest names in UK poker took his seat and there was the story of the duel for an extra payday of £100,000 as part of a special Golden Chip last longer competition with a special twist.
It would take fewer than 5 hours to set up the heads-up duel for the title and seven-figure score. Jacob Mulhern faced Maria Lampropulos in a 79 versus 77 big blind deep battle. By then, Mulhern had already locked up the last longer competition and was on cloud nine thanks to the support of a massive rail. The 24-year-old from Doncaster quickly pulled away and put tremendous pressure on Lampropulos before the duel ended with a bang after just 40 minutes. Lampropulos shoved with kings and Mulhern called with ace-queen. The board came no higher than a nine and the rail exploded.
Final Result 2017 partypokerLIVE MILLIONS Dusk Till Dawn Main Event
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in £)||Prize (in $)|
|2||Jacob Mulhern*||United Kingdom||£650,000||$833,105|
|3||Jeremy Pantin||Trinidad and Tobago||£450,000||$576,765|
|5||Jon Spinks||United Kingdom||£220,000||$281,974|
|6||Stephen Chidwick||United Kingdom||£150,000||$192,255|
|7||Katie Swift||United Kingdom||£100,000||$128,170|
|8||Neel Murthy||United States||£72,395||$92,789|
* winner of the £100,000 Golden Chip last longer competition
Overwhelmed With Emotions
Mulhern not only took home £650,000 for his second-place finish but added another £100,000 for being the last man standing from all Caribbean Poker Party players that bagged up chips in Punta Cana last November. "I'm chuffed. Maybe I could have folded at the end, but I'd struggle to fold ace-queen heads-up. I didn't think she'd shove for that many big blinds with kings, to be honest. But it all spun from $22 online in a tournament. I can't believe it. It feels unbelievable."
Mulhern then added "My life has changed. It's a massive amount of money for anybody to win, but for a lad like me of 24, it's huge! It means a lot to my family. Yesterday my phone was vibrating all day, they took it off me. It's gone so fast. People talk about getting tired playing poker. I've not felt tired once. It kept me going all day. I've loved it from start to finish."
For five months, Mulhern continued to work and dream of his moment. Today, it came.
"Every time we talked about it with my mates, I've been saying '£1.1 million soon' and they'd laugh, but heads-up I was looking at them all thinking 'there's a chance here'. I'm not disappointed at all, I thought I gave a really good account of myself."
In the interview after all was done and dusted, Lampropulos was overwhelmed with emotions. “It really feels like a magic moment I’m in right now. I’m a little tired after such a difficult final table, but tomorrow I’ll realize what I did. He didn’t want to make a deal. He was convinced that he could win. Perhaps because I am a woman and he didn’t want to deal with a woman, but I trusted in my game, I just thought ‘let’s play’.
Coming into the final table, there was one man who Maria was not looking forward to taking on so much.
“The hardest opponent was Stevie [Chidwick] - he’s a huge player. I have no words because he’s better than so many players, I was afraid of him.”
Lampropulos had the support of her friends on the rail and was cheered home by her poker-playing boyfriend Ivan Luca. It’s clear how much the two rely on each and celebrate as equals in moments like the one we’ve just seen.
“It’s important to have his support. I learned all that I know from Ivan and we play so much together. I’m next to him every day and I learned a lot. I can never be better than him but I’m happy.”
Outside Super High Roller results, Maria Lampropulos has just made history by winning £1,000,000 – an incredible achievement cheered by the female players in the Ladies Event. “I am proud of that obviously. It’s wonderful. Every woman here supported me. When everyone chanted, I felt so emotional. They were all cheering and smiling because they feel ‘OK, I can do it too.’”
Day 5 Action
The day started with 8 hopefuls remaining and short stack Stephen Chidwick turned two pair and doubled through Mateusz Rypulak's top pair. It was then Neel Murthy who became the first casualty on the final table. Murthy picked the wrong timing to three-bet seven-five off suit out of the blinds, bet a ten-high flop and jam as blank on the turn only to see Maria Lampropulos look him up with pocket kings to leave Murthy drawing dead.
The second woman on the final table, Katie Swift, saw her hopes destroyed losing two big hands in quick succession. First Stephen Chidwick doubled through her with ace-jack versus ace-king when a jack on turn and river gave Chidwick a full house. Then, Swift moved all in with pocket tens and was unfortunate enough to have Jeremy Pantin wake up with pocket queens in the small blind.
Stephen Chidwick himself would bow out just a few minutes later. After a raise by Jeremy Pantin, he got it in with ace-queen and Mateusz Rypulak looked down at pocket kings in the big blind. Rypulak, who was the other player in the last longer competition, reshoved to isolate successfully and a ten-high board sent the most-rounded finalist to the rail in 6th place for £150,000.
Down to the last five players, Jon Spinks was the shortest stack and wouldn't find an opportunity to chip up. His elimination came in brutal fashion, as Spinks jammed over the top of a raise by Maria Lampropulos and a call by Jeremy Pantin. While Lampropulos folded, Pantin called with ace-seven off suit and cracked the pocket kings of Spinks thanks to an ace in the window.
Mateusz Rypulak, who started the final day with the chip lead, saw his stack plummet. He defended the big blind with seven-eight suited. On a three-way ten-high flop, Rypulak check-jammed with second pair and Maria Lampropulos called with queen-ten suited for top pair. Another ten on the turn left Rypulak drawing dead and the rail of Jacob Mulhern went wild as the last longer competition was decided.
With three players remaining, the stacks were very similar, before Jeremy Pantin lost a lot of chips with two pair on the river against the straight of Jacob Mulhern. Pantin later ran a big bluff against Maria Lampropulos that would reduce his stack to zero. Lampropulos limp-called the raise of Pantin out of the small blind with ace-three and check-called with bottom pair on the flop and two pair on the turn. A deuce on the river delivered a four-card straight and Pantin went for it with king-jack only. Lampropulos called after long consideration and the tournament was heads-up.
The duel for the seven-figure score and trophy was very intense and Maria Lampropulos fell back rather quickly, as Jacob Mulhern tried to push her around. Two bluff-catchers in a row with ace-high and second pair, however, gave Lampropulos a 2-1 lead and it was over three hands later. Mulhern three-bet with ace-queen and called the four-bet shove to run out dry against Lampropulos' pocket kings.
While the partypokerLIVE MILLIONS at Dusk Till Dawn has come to an end, poker enthusiasts can look forward to plenty of events coming up from the partypokerLIVE team. The Grand Prix Canada runs from April 25 – May 1 and at the same time the Grand Prix Dublin (April 28 to May 1) and the Grand Prix Germany at the King's Casino in Rozvadov (April 27 to May 1). The next chance to become a millionaire then awaits in the partypokerLIVE MILLION North America at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal (May 5-10, with CAD$5m guaranteed) in less than two weeks time. An online Day 1 at partypoker for that event runs tonight, with live reporting on PokerNews.com starting shortly.