Sow Wins Back-to-Back Mains at PokerStars Festival London
The PokerStars Festival London kicked off a week of poker action at London's Hippodrome Casino on January 22 with a £170 Super Deep Stack event. Over the course of the week, 10 tournaments were held, featuring no-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha.
The PokerStars Festival High Roller was the first marquee event of the series, with Day 1 running Tuesday, January 23. The £2,200 buy-in got 164 total entries, with 22 of those being rebuys. That set the prize pool at £318,160, to be divided between the top 24 finishers. No Canadians made it into the money of the High Roller, and the event came down to a heads-up battle between Dragos Trofimov of Moldova and Italian Sergio Castelluccio. Trofimov came into heads-up play with the chip lead, and despite an early double by Castelluccio, he was able to hold on for the £73,990 win plus a Platinum Pass. Castelluccio pocketed £50,110 for second.
Canada was also shut out of the Main Event prizes as well. The £990 buy-in event saw 852 players take to the felt looking for poker glory. The combined prize pool ended up at £743,796 with portions handed out to 127 players. High Roller winner Dragos Trofimov managed to cash the Main, getting 61st for £2,100, but it was another previous winner who would take all the glory.
In late 2017, France's Kalidou Sow was already in the Prague Main Event when Daniel Negreanu announced the PokerStars Players Championship to take place in early 2019, and he announced that all the Main Event winners in 2018 would receive Platinum Passes to the Championship. That meant the Prague event would be the last PokerStars Main Event where the winner didn't get a Platinum Pass. Sow went on to win that Prague Main, sans a Platinum Pass.
In London, Sow was once again on his game, working his way through the field to the final table, putting his second title, and the coveted Platinum Pass within reach. He ended up heads up against the U.K.'s Paul Dando, and the two made a deal with the remaining prize money, putting £121,803 up top with £103,197 for second place. Sow told Dando he's dreamed about being heads up against Dando the night before, and his dream came true, including the final win.
This was Sow's second win in his second straight PokerStars Main Event, and the win in London gives him the Platinum Pass he just barely missed out on in Prague. Sow says he plans to play more tournaments this year before next year's PCA to prepare, but for now he's thrilled with his double win.