Rehman Kassam has been making his way through England’s poker circuit for years, but he doubled his previous highest score this weekend when he managed to place first in the PokerStars Festival London £990 Main Event, outlasting 944 total entrants at the Hippodrome Casino. The PokerStars Festival London was the first series on European soil and people turned out in a big way – creating a prize pool of £824,112 and doubling the original guarantee.
When the final table of eight began, England’s Daniel Harwood was first in chip count with 86 big blinds, and Eric Cech was in the short stack with just 13. Kassam was in second place and second-to-last in chip count Lam Van Trinh was the first to fall. Alexis Fleur, despite being start-of-day chip leader, fell in seventh when he went head-to-head with Cech, who was slowly picking up speed.
Scotsman Ludovic Geilich finished sixth when he tried to put his K,9 against the ace of Harwood but the latter held an A,K and his kicker dominated the board. Clement Tripodi was integral to Cech’s rise from the short stack, and he allowed the Aussie to double through him twice. The two met during Teipodi’s final hand when he three-bet shoved with an 8,7 suited. Cech called with an ace and managed a flush draw to send the Frenchman home in fifth place.
Deal discussions started with four players left but nothing could happen with Yuriy Boyko still at the table. However, he left soon after, finishing fourth.
When the final three players got down to it, they struck a deal that gave eventual runner up Daniel Harwood the most amount of money and the trio continued playing for £8,000 and the trophy. Harwood had a huge lead over the remaining two players and despite his impressive comeback, Cech wasn’t able to hold on anymore. The Australian called a shove by Kassam with an A,8, but the eventual winner was able to pull out a flush and go into heads-up with a 2-1 chip disadvantage.
Kassam somehow found a double despite the massive chip disparity and the stacks began to even out. On a 10-high flop the pair went all in with an 10,7 (Harwood) and K,10 (Kassam). The turn and the river were blank, giving Harwood the most money but Kassam the title.
Final table results:
Featured photo credit: Mickey May
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