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In this edition of PokerGuru 3-Bet, we talk about two winners and a poker pro calling it a day announcing retirement at the age of 30. We start with Tom Hall’s story of surviving a marathon heads-up battle that won him the 888Live Main Event title, then we move over to Finland-based Keimo Suominen, who outlasted a field of 534 players to emerge as the MPNPT Tallinn Main Event champion. And lastly, we conclude this edition with news of long-time poker pro Dani Stern announcing his retirement on Twitter.
The £1,100 Main Event, the last tournament of the 12-day 888Live Poker Festival London that was held at Aspers Casino Westfield attracted 427 entries over three starting flights to generate a £427,730 prize pool.
Seventeen survivors returned for the final day to battle it out for the title and the coveted trophy with a champion emerging in Tom Hall. Hall managed to ship the event after twelve-and-a-half-hours of grueling battle on the final day and a marathon heads-up contest.
Hall began the day and the final table in the chip lead but considering ICM and even stack sizes when play was down to three-handed, made for a tense and at times overly cautious play.
Hall, Ning Lu and Pol Canals Hernandez all picked up the lead at some point during the battle and it was Hernandez who fell in third spot setting up the heads-up match between Lu and Hall.
The duo quickly agreed a deal that seemed to favor the experienced Hall as in spite of Lu holding nearly 2:1 chip advantage, he agreed to take £72,142 and the play resumed for the title, the trophy and an additional £8,888.
In an intense almost three-plus hours’ battle, no player was able to outrun the blinds till Hall managing to pull through in the end. The final hand of the event saw Lu’s up against Hall’s with the board reading .
Final Table Results (British Pound)
1. Tom Hall – £78,888*
2. Ning Lu – £72,142*
3. Pol Hernandez – £39,945
4. Paul Scipioni – £29,590
5. Daniel Stanway – £22,190
6. Charles Akadiri – £17,750
7. Paul Nugent – £14,795
8. Shao Zhen – £11,835
9. Pascal Pflock – £8,875
*denotes heads-up deal
Keimo Suominen of Finland bested the field of 534 runners to emerge as the MPNPT Tallinn Main Event champion. The online qualifier through Paf Heart Poker pocketed the €45,200 top prize following a heads-up deal with Davis Modans. The event went on to become a grand success with the €150,000 guarantee getting easily crushed as the total prize pool amounted to €258,990.
The final day of the event saw the 14 survivors returning to play down to a winner and action was fierce once the nine-handed final table was formed.
Final Table Recap
Aleksei Karev was the first to exit from the final table followed by one of three Finnish finalists, Juha Ovaskainen, who settled at eighth place.
Then came the next tournament demise in Priit Vanem who was soon followed by Antti Halme.
After the elimination of electrician and Omaha specialist Andres Abakanov in fifth spot, the field opened for a stubborn foursome fight.
Two levels passed before Sergey Luchishin’s elimination came leaving the battleground for the eventual champion Suominen, Latvia’ Davis Modens and Estonia based Martin Mänd.
Mänd became the third-place casualty leaving no option for Suominen but to fight with the bigger-stacked Modans. Suominen quickly pulled out all weapons in his arsenal and he managed to first take the chip lead and then conquered the title after a heads-up deal was agreed upon between the two.
Final Table Results (EURO)
1. Keimo Suominen – €45,200*
2. Davis Modans – €41,000*
3. Martin Mänd – €27,770
4. Sergey Luchishin – €20,120
5. Andres Abakanov – €13,630
6. Antti Halme – €10,620
7. Priit Vanem – €8,020
8. Juha Ovaskainen – €5,430
9. Aleksei Karev – €4,015
*denotes heads-up deal
Long-time poker pro Dani Stern recently announced his retirement on Twitter. “Farewell poker world,” Stern said, “it has been a wild and crazy ride, and I will miss it. On to new adventures.”
Farewell poker world. It has been a wild and crazy ride, and I will miss it. On to new adventures âœŒï¸
— Dani Stern (@TheRealAnsky) October 14, 2017
Like many of the first generation of online pros, Stern began his poker journey in the wake of Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 WSOP Main Event success by playing for change with his high school friends. He started grinding online soon after turning 18, and was playing the highest stakes at NLHE cash game tables by his junior year in college. Stern eventually dropped out of McGill University to turn pro with just three semesters left.
As the games got harder Stern recognized he was falling behind and he sensibly took a couple of years grinding PLO at the mid-stakes before returning to the higher stakes in 2014.
The announcement, however, surprised many, as 2016 was the best year ever in live tournaments for this 30-year-old. He made over $1 million last year; however, he picked up just one score at WSOP 2017 for $4,500. According to HighstakesDB, Stern lost $1.4 million over the past year or so playing high-stakes pot-limit Omaha on PokerStars.
All in all, he retires with about $3.7 million in lifetime live tournament earnings.
Although the biggest win of his career was a fourth-place finish for $548,315 in the WSOP’s 2009 40th Anniversary $40,000 event, he also scooped the LA Poker Classic in 2013, as well as back-to-back Aria High Rollers in 2016.
Stern came to the attention of the wider poker audience after he called for a boycott of PokerStars in the wake of their highly-publicized and much-criticized changes two year back.
The tweet attracted a number of responses from friends and fans who wished him well and thanked him for being an inspiration for both as a player and as a defender of players rights.
In response, many renowned players of the poker fraternity tweeted with their best wishes and respect to Dani including former WSOP Main Event champion Greg Merson, PokerStars Championship Bahamas winner Christian Harder, Daryll Fish, Sam Grafton, Nial Farrell, Joe Ingram among plenty more.