Joe "Magic" Johnson Freerolls to Victory in the 2017 PokerStars Festival London High Roller (£59,912)
After an excellent turnout in the 2017 PokerStars Festival London £2,200 High Roller, an extra day had to be scheduled to determine a winner. Local player Joe Johnson led the five survivors out of a 178-entry strong field back into Day 3 and lifted the trophy after just under six hours at the iconic Hippodrome Casino, along with a payday of £59,912.
Johnson was labelled as "Magic Johnson" by fourth-place finisher Yuriy Boyko and the victory is made even sweeter after the Brit basically freerolled the tournament after winning the latest PokerStars LIVE at The Hippodrome Casino Loyalty Race, which saw him take the top prize of £4,000 in buy-ins. After an intense heads-up battle, Johnson cut a deal with Enzo Del Piero when both got even-stacked and the duo left £3,000 as well as the trophy aside.
Final result of the £2,200 High Roller
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (GBP)||Prize (USD)|
|2||Enzo Del Piero||UK||56,678||71,414|
The last five players bagged up at around 2 a.m. the previous night and returned at 1.30 p.m. local time. After more than two and a half hours and several double ups, it was Nicolas Beker who bowed out in 5th place. The Swiss was second in chips at the time and three-bet against chip leader Johnson before the latter four-bet shoved. Beker snap-called with pocket eights and found himself up against pocket queens. The board ran out ten-high and Beker was gone.
Boyko led the event after Day 1 and was the shortest stack coming back for Day 3 before doubling up right away. The Irishman eventually fell short again and called the shove of Johnson blind-on-blind with ace-four off suit. Johnson only had nine-six suited but flopped an unbeatable flush.
This left three Brits to battle for the title and Harry Lodge was the short stack, but managed to spin it up and get everyone almost even before falling back to the bottom of the counts. Lodge then shoved the small blind for his last nine big blinds with king-three off suit. Del Piero called in the big blind with queen-ten suited and flopped middle pair as well as the flush draw. The river was the king of spades and that gave Del Piero the flush.
In heads-up, Johnson started with a two-to-one lead and quickly doubled that. Del Piero struck back and doubled twice before the deal was cut, the levels were also shortened to half an hour. Del Piero doubled again before getting short again. In the last hand, he raised and called the three-bet shove of Johnson for 18 big blinds with ace-nine. Johnson had ace-jack and the superior kicker held up to crown the champion.
With the High Roller now done and dusted, the full focus for the remainder of the festival switches over to the £990 Main Event. With 169 and 164 entries respectively on the first two starting days, the flagship tournament is set to eclipse the £400,000 guarantee and the PokerNews live reporting team will provide updates until the winner is crowned on Sunday January 29th.