For as popular as he is, Sam Grafton hasn’t had an overwhelming amount of success in live tournaments. He rarely ventures out from behind his computer screen but the risk paid off this weekend when he took home the Main Event title at the PokerStars Festival Bucharest for €117,707 ($138,375.76 USD).
“Back when I started I didn’t realize what it took to win a live tournament,” he told PokerNews after the win.
By the time the final day of play began, it was down to six players and former chip leader Traian Bostan (the only Romanian to actually make the final table) was the first to go when he got in against the eventual winner. On the next hand, France’s Johann Eclapier went all in against fellow Frenchman Patrick Bueno. Eclapier’s K,Q was beat by an A,K and he was eliminated to the tune of €26,091 ($30,668.67 USD).
Bueno couldn’t hold onto his newly-won chips and fell in fifth just 30 minutes later. He put pocket 10s against the A,K of Poland’s Daniel Nietrzebka and an ace on the river sealed his fate.
Bulgarian Fahredin Mustafov finally got in on the action that would make a champion. Mustafov moved all in with an A,10 and was quickly followed by both Nietrzebka (K,K) and Ozdemir (J,J). With a full house of twos and jacks, the Turkish player eliminated both the third and fourth-place winners in one swoop.
Mustafov earned €43,500 ($51,132.08 USD) for fourth place, while Nietrzebka walked away with €57,600 ($67,714.27 USD) for third.
When head’s up play began, Ozdemir held a 2:1 chip lead over Grafton but the tables quickly turned when the former doubled through with queens. From there, Grafton rode his high to the end and, after a heads-up deal, took home €117,707 ($138,358.69 USD), bringing his total live earnings to about $771,460.
Grafton’s only other first-place prizes came in 2012 when he won the Main Event at the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour in London and earlier this year when he took the 22nd event at the Aussie Millions Poker Championship.
Final table results:
Courtesy: PokerStars, photo by Tomas Stacha, Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd
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