PKR Live III Main Event champion vd12345 with PKR CEO Malcolm Graham
A field of 134 began their quest for a slice of PKR history on Saturday, and after over 18 hours of play, Londoner Vincent 'vd12345' Diver emerged victorious as the PKR Live III Main Event champion!
PKR Live III Main Event 21-22 November 2009
Prize pool: $134,000
A tournament that began with Vincent 'vd12345' Diver busting the first player out (with A-A to HYPERGAMBLER's Q-Q) to gain the chip lead, ended with Vincent, Vince or Vinny (depending on who you are) busting UK tournament circuit regular Toby 'badboy579' Lewis to win PKR's biggest ever prize along with a fine trophy.
The 21-year old Londoner, a regular on PKR's Forums since he joined in 2007, became the third PKR Live Main Event champion, following in the footsteps of escalope and discomonkey. Having won his $1,000 seat through a $5 satellite, he went on to notch the biggest win of his poker career so far, taking home $33,500 - the single biggest payout in PKR's short history.
Vincent arrived at the final table with 117,000 in chips, just short of the 130,000 average but still in third place behind the two big stacked aggressors, badboy579 (314,000) and bulletproofJ (302,000). Having hung in while others fell by the wayside, Vincent eventually got his chips in on a flip to double up, before playing his way to heads-up against the dangerous badboy579, the accepted favourite to win from 20 left. Despite a chip deficit of 440K-to-850K, Vincent was not deterred, and doubled up, taking the chip lead in the most crucial hand of the tournament with A-Q to badboy579's T-8, Vincent calling his opponent's four-bet shove pre flop.
After that hand, and with the blinds at 8,000/16,000/1,000, badboy579's stack fell below 300,000 and his number was up. On the final hand, badboy579 moved in with A-T, and after tanking for some time (telling his opponent "this is my favourite hand"), Vincent made the call with 2-2. Five bricks later, and the room erupted with cheers for their man, a Community member, forumite and now PKR Live champion, immortalised in our history!
In the money
Unsurprisingly from the toughest PKR Live field to date, the final 20 featured many popular faces, with LockeLamora the unlucky bubble boy, busting in the early hours of Sunday morning. He was outlasted by the in-form AcesElky, Grand Slam qualifier Brahimh, MTT rankings leader flynndig, long-time big stack PirateNation and cash gamer ScottyStarburst.
The final ten featured five Brits alongside players from France, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal and Norway, with an age range of 20-37 years old.
Eventual runner up badboy579 entered the final table with the chip lead gained from a huge pot won with A-Q v J-J (and some classy play to boot), and navigated his way stylishly to heads-up. However a mistep early into heads-up play (with T-8 v A-Q) cost badboy his chip lead, the momentum and arguably the title.
Portsmouth's bulletproofJ, friend of Kingand77, earned his status as one of the favourites to win with some selective, fearless poker, yet his run came to an end at the hands of badboy579, to the chagrin of his own rail.
Switzerland's pokerkate88 found his way quietly to the final table, but a scarcity of playable hands saw his stack dwindle to just a few big blinds and after jumping several places up the payout ladder, he busted in fourth place for a tasty $11K payout.
Veteran cash game regular Najammq carried the hopes of many on his shoulders, turning his miniscule Day Two stack into over 200,000, having arrived 30 mins late and moved in every hand til he doubled up! Every inch the cool and calm but deadly shark, he played some great poker at the final table, taking on nemesis badboy579 in several tense pots before finally busting in fifth place to worthy applause from the assembled crowd.
Frenchman Waswini attracted much attention from the large contingent who crossed the Channel, playing a patient yet spirited game to finish sixth.
Community man geoffbrent reached the final table with the second smallest stack (50,000), and despite huge support both online and on the rail, could never get anything going and departed in seventh place, a smile on his face throughout the event.
Spain's panolis entered the final table with 91,000, the third smallest stack, and despite a handy double-up, busted the very next hand when his K-9 suited steal fell short. He picked up $4,690 for his fine effort.
Portugal's TreeFree reached the final table in a precarious position with just 39,000 - the short stack, but managed to climb one spot courtesy of an A-A double up, before busting in ninth place.
Many people's pick to win, EspenKR began the final with 103,000 but saw his chance disappear after losing two crucial races to the big stacks at the table. The Norwegian took the dubious honour of first out at the final, picking up $2,948 as consolation.
Read the champ's first day-after post, and check out all the stories from the weekend in the PKR Live III Lounge.
PKR Live Bounty - read all about karlthekiller's superb win here!