From July 31st to August 6th, the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel in Bucharest, Romania played host to the PokerStars Festival Bucharest. The week-long PokerStars Festival offered players a Megastack event, the Bucharest Cup, the High Roller tournament and of course, the Main Event. The most anticipated event of any poker tournament series is the Main Event and the PokerStars Festival Bucharest is no exception. Starting on the 2nd and ending on the 6th, the Main Event attracted 736 players with popular British poker pro, Sam Grafton earning the first-place win.
The Main Event had a buy-in cost of €1,100 with a total of €500,000 up for grabs. On Sunday evening, Grafton was able to secure the first-place win after defeating Anil Ozdemir in heads-up play. This was his largest live tournament win in five years, according to PokerStars.com.
When final table play began, Grafton and Ozdemir would have the dominant position and would maintain the overall lead going into heads-up play. The PokerStars event would go from four-handed play to heads-up after just one hand as two players were eliminated. On this amazing hand, Daniel Nietrzebka, Fahredin Mustafov and Ozdemir would all decide to go all-in, with Ozdemir having everyone covered.
Grafton folded his small blind and watched as Ozdemir’s pocket jacks demolished Mustafov’s A-10 and Nietrzebka’s pocket kings with a Jack on the flop giving the pro not just a pocket pair but trips. With a 5 on the turn and a 2 on the river, Ozdemir won the hand and eliminated Mustafov and Nietrzebka in fourth and third place.
With only Ozdemir and Grafton remaining, Ozdemir held the chip lead with more than a 2 to 1 advantage. Ozdemir would hold on to his lead for some time, even though Grafton was able to double up with queens at one point. Eventually, Grafton would earn the chip lead and the big hand would come that would give him the first-place win. On the final hand, Grafton would shove all-in and Ozdemir would pause before pushing as well. Grafton showed K-9 off-suit while Ozdemir held Q-J off-suit.
The 10-3-2 on the flop kept Grafton in the lead but the Jack on the turn gave Ozdemir the lead. A Queen on the river would secure the win for Grafton, giving him a king-high straight with the final card. Earlier during heads-up play, the two players decided to cut a deal based on chip stacks. Grafton would earn €110,007 while Ozdemir would take home €96,993. The two would then continue to compete for the remaining €7,700 in prize money plus the trophy and title, which went to Grafton. The final payouts reflect the deal made between the two.