Manuel Cabello Florensa took down the 888Live Costa Brava Main Event title just after 2 a.m. local time on Sunday morning, topping a field of 165 entries to bring to a close a four-day "Poker Fiesta" put on by 888poker from May 18-22 May in Costa Brava, Spain. What's more is that Florensa started the final table as the short stack, but ran it up to claim victory and €11,000 in first-place prize money.
A Festival of Poker
Qualifiers from around Europe had won packages that included accommodation at the 5-Star Guitart Monterrey Hotel, entry into the $50,000 guaranteed Main Event, beach activities and, on the final night, an exclusive Bounty Freeroll and VIP party at Disco Tropics nightclub.
888poker ambassador Kara Scott played host to the activities, welcoming guests at a champagne reception on the night of their arrival, taking to the sea on a jet ski for the beach activities, playing in all the tournaments, and finally commentating on the final table that was streamed on Twitch.tv for the first time.
UK poker pro Rupert Elder was a special guest, noted for his own Twitch streaming, and he joined in the festivities and joined Scott in the commentary booth.
Relaxing and Freerolling
Thursday was a day of relaxation and fun on the beach before the poker began with a freeroll event at the spacious poker room in the modern Gran Casino Costa Brava. There were 130 entries for the hotly contested tournament tickets into the big one the next day, and it was past 2 a.m. local time before the winners of nine tickets were decided.
Main Event Breaks Guarantee
The two-day 888Live Main Event attracted an impressive 165 entries, comfortably surpassing the guarantee. A generous 25,000-chip starting stack and 14 30-minute levels of play saw 58 players make it through to Day 2. Scott made it through with an average stack, but there would be some way to go before the bubble burst with 18 players making the money.
On the final day, Scott would fall short of the money when she went all in with the and was called by Chuc Khun holding the and Craig Newton with the . The board ran out and Newton claimed two victims to kick off a bloody few levels.
The bubble was soon burst by Andrei Kolotov when he moved all in with the and got called by a player holding the . The board ran out to make a flush at the end. Kolotov was presented with a pair of Sony wireless headphones as a consolation prize.
Just over four hours later the final table of nine was set with Newton and his stack of 929,000 comfortably in the lead. Heading into the final table, Florensa was dead last in chips with just 158,000.
Manuel Cabello Florensa Takes It Down
The tournament was eventually heads up between Florensa and David Nunez Arguello just before 2 a.m. Playing fairly even stacks of 20 big blinds each, all the chips went in the middle on a board of . Arguello tabled the for top pair, but Florensa had him beat with with . The turn and river sealed the deal and Florensa was the champion.
Florensa is from Catalonia and won his seat online at 888poker.es. Speaking after his victory, a delighted Florensa told PokerNews that this was by far his biggest live cash, but he is a big winner online in cash games and multi-table tournaments. He came to the final table as the short stack, but was happy with the way he worked his way up.
Asked what he was planning to do with the €11,000 first-place prize, Florensa answered, "Use it for my poker bankroll."
That's spoken like a true player.
Final Table Results
|1||Manuel Cabello Florensa||€11,000|
|2||David Nunez Arguello||€7,950|
|4||Albert Ortiz Garcia||€5,400|
Some Photos from the "Poker Fiesta"
*Images courtesy of FabPhotos.