On 6 January 2022, 888poker LIVE Festival headed to The VIC Casino – The Poker Room UK for an amazing twelve days packed with poker action!

The 12-day event promised a tournament series offering massive prize pools with a multi-flight Main Event capping off the action. And, boy, did we deliver!

The Grosvenor Victoria (VIC) is one of the most well-known and respected casinos, located in one of the most exciting cities in Europe!

With 888poker celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, you knew that this event would prove to be special – despite the challenges!

Celebrating 20 Years with New Cultural Ambassador

We were delighted to celebrate our 20th anniversary by appointing former two-time IBO-super middleweight world champion Chris Eubank Jr. as our new Cultural Ambassador. We made the announcement on 13 January during the 888poker LIVE London Festival.

Chris, who is currently ranked number one by the World Boxing Association and BoxRec’s in the global middleweight division, is an avid and highly-skilled poker player outside of the ring,

He has played in high-stakes poker games around the world. We look forward to welcoming him at the 888poker virtual and live poker tables!

Celebrating 20 Years with New Cultural Ambassador - Chris Eubank Jr.

Kicking Things Off with the Opening Event

The series kicked off on 6 January with the much-anticipated Opening Event. The tournament had a £444 buy-in with a 30,000 starting stack and a 40-minute clock.

  • Day 1A of the four multi-flight tournaments attracted 139 entries.
  • Day 1B saw 142 entries pack the poker room for the Opening Event.
  • Days 1C and 1D (Turbo) brought in a further 300 entries.

A total of 581 entries made up a total prize pool of £232,400, with 59 paid, a £950 min-cash and £57,670 up top.

Ultimately, UK circuit regular Ciaran McCullagh bagged the first-place prize and a whopping £40,487 (after a final table deal)!

Kicking Things Off with the Opening Event - Ciaran McCullagh

The Voyage Takes You On a Journey

Buy In: £130 Voyage next hit the 888poker LIVE London decks on 9 January. The event drew 141 entries for a prize pool of £18,330.

Taking top honours this time around was Mahamd Altarikt, who survived the 141-entry field to walk away with a £4,455 top prize!

The Voyage Takes You On a Journey - Mahamd Altarikt

The Turbo Deepstack Turns Things Up a Notch

By 10 January, things were truly starting to heat up in the 888poker LIVE London Festival. Enter the Turbo Deepstack with its very affordable (and appropriately set) £88 buy-in

In this event, 111 made the leap to contribute to a £9,768 prize pool. The final table action saw Ka Man take top honours with a first-place win, the 888poker trophy and £2,368 in cash!

The Turbo Deepstack Turns Things Up a Notch - Ka Man

The Big Shot Shoots for the Stars

The Big Shot is an 888poker online tournament staple and extremely popular on the poker client. As part of the new, revamped collection, this tournament is made for the everyman poker player!

The live version of this tournament proved to be just as attractive to the players who made their way to The VIC Poker Room UK on 11 January.

The £180 buy-in brought in 196 Entries, contributing to the £35,280 prize pool.

Coming out on top was Calogero Morreale, who won beat the 196-entry field to win £6,020!

The Big Shot Shoots for the Stars - Calogero Morreale

Aiming High in the HIGH ROLLER

The 888poker LIVE London High Roller was a special event. The event attracted 93 entries to record a very respectable prize pool of £186,000.

The higher £2,200 buy-in didn’t deter players from flocking to this tourney – including some well-known names on the UK poker circuit.

Luke Schwartz was the final table bubble boy, finishing in 10th place for a respectable £4,650. London local Terry Jordon fared a little better, making the final nine but falling short of the top prize. He did bag £9,300 for his sixth-place finish,

In the end, it was Yorkshireman Jamie 'Boz' O'Connor, with $1,118,491 in live and $4,434,546 in online earnings, who bested the 93-entry field to win £57,650!

Aiming High in the HIGH ROLLER - Jamie 'Boz' O'Connor

Bring On the Main Event

The jewel in the crown of the series was the 888poker LIVE London multi-flight Main Event. With five Day 1’s to choose from, this event was destined to be a crowd puller!

Everyone was vying this beauty below, and it looked like the prize pool numbers were going to be pretty amazing too!

888pokerLIVELon - Bring On the Main Event

Main Event – Day 1A

Day 1A saw Terry Jordon back at the tables – although he wasn’t as fortunate this time around. He did hit an 888 full house, netting him the poker pot and a rather snazzy 888poker LIVE London Kit.

All in all, 90 entries played Day 1A, with 14 players making it through to Sunday’s Day 2.

Main Event – Days 1B & 1C Turbo

On Friday, 14 January, Day 1B at Grosvenor Casino’s The Poker Room UK saw another 145 entries make it into the prize pool, with 20 going through to Day 2.

The Day 1C Turbo got underway with a few poker heavyweights taking their seats at the poker table.

2014 #WSOP Main Event Champ Martin Jacobson weighed in along with 2019 888poker LIVE London Main Event Champ Adrian Constantin. Unfortunately, neither made it to Day 2.

2021 888poker Road To Las Vegas qualifier Sachin Joshi battled into Day 2 – ultimately taking 10th place for £5,140!

Main Event – Days 1B & 1C Turbo

Main Event – Days 1D & 1E Turbo

On Saturday, 15 January, the 888poker LIVE London Main Event hosted Days 1D and 1E Turbo at The VIC Poker Room.

  • Day 1D drew 243 entries, with 35 players making it through to Day 2
  • Day 1E drew in a further 101 entries, with 17 players making it through to Day 2

The 888poker LIVE Main Event proved to be a massive success, with a total of 

642 entries contributing to a prize pool of over half-million pounds - £513,600!

We entered Day 2 with 122 runners remaining –

  • 68 places were paid
  • £1,800 min cash
  • £126,340 up top to the ultimate Champ!

888poker LIVE Main Event – Day 2

888poker LIVE Main Event – Day 2

Day 2 saw the field whittled to just 13 players who came back to play down to a winner on the final Day 3!

A healthy top 68 of the Day 2 runners got paid, starting with a min-cash of £1,800.

888poker LIVE Main Event – Payouts

888poker LIVE Main Event – Day 3

Day 3 of the Main Event saw 13players back at the tables with an eye on the top prize of £126,340. Everyone was now guaranteed a minimum payout of £4,620.

Here are the chip counts and seat draws are the start of Day 3:

888poker LIVE Main Event – Day 3 Seat Draw

  • 13th - First to exit the felt was Lorenc Boci in 13th place for £4,620. He entered the day in the middle of the field.
  • 12th - Next up was Vik Mehta in 12th place, who also took home £4,620 for his efforts.
  • 11th - Poker Room legend Ken Wong took 11th place. He was all-in for his tournament life with 10bb holding Pocket Tens vs Ace-Jack. A Jack on the river sealed his fate, and Ken exited for £5,140.
  • 10th - Sachin Joshi got his 20bb all-in holding J-10 on a Jack-high flop. Unfortunately for him, he was outkicked by Oliver Price’s K-J. There was no saviour on the turn or river, and Sachin headed out in 10th place for £5,140!

888poker LIVE Main Event – Final Table

The final fable action saw the following players at Grosvenor Casino’s The VIC Poker Room UK, battling it out for the top prize of £126,340.

  • Oliver Price-3,080,000
  • Shah Athar-2,690,000
  • Ian Simpson-1,655,000
  • Paul Trotter-1,525,000
  • Steven Game-1,140,000
  • Nick Marchington-885,000
  • Bhavin Khatri-770,000
  • Oliver White-740,000
  • Joseph Bodner-370,000

888poker LIVE Main Event – Final Table

After a couple of hours of play, Joseph Bodner went out in ninth. He had entered the day as the short-stack, but his finish was still good for £6.160.

Next to fall short was Nick Marchington. He ran Pocket Sevens into the Jacks of Bhav Khatri. His 8th place netted him a £7,190 payday!

Steven Game shoved all-in with A-K and was called by Oliver Price holding J-J. Both players whiff on the board as Ollie's Jacks hold. Steven Game went out in 7th place for £9,750!

Olive White was our 6th place finisher. He took home £12,840 for his deep run.

After making two final tables in two events, Ian Simpson finished up in 5th place. Ian cashed for £19,520!

Day 3 chip leader Oliver Price finished in 4th place for £32,360 after playing an excellent tournament!

Out in 3rd was Paul Trotter. His Main Event third-place was good d for £53,930!

888poker LIVE London Main Event – Winner!

888poker LIVE London Main Event – Winner - Bhavin Khatri!

Bhavin Khatri entered heads-up with a 3:1 chip lead over Shah Athar.

But by the time we were all-in, about 30 minutes into heads-up play, that lead was down to 2:1 – Bhav’s 8.3M vs Shak’s 4.3M.

Shah could even flip the script on Bhav in one hand!

With both players going for it, Bhav’s KsJh vs Shah’s Ac5s – Shah had the edge.

But the window card on the turn and the gutter Ten on the river did Shah’s A5 in – crowning Bhav as the latest 888poker LIVE Champ!

Bhav as the latest 888poker LIVE Champ

888poker LIVE London – Side Events

Two smaller side events rounded off the 888poker LIVE London trip.

The 888poker LIVE London Omaha Event saw 76 entries in a £180 buy-in tournament. The £13,680 prize pool was respectable, with Pradeep Davis prevailing to take home the trophy and a decent payday of £4,180!

888poker LIVE London Omaha - Pradeep Davis

The Ladies Event is always loads of fun, and this one proved to be no different! 34 lucky ladies bought into this £50 event

Cheryl Gale ultimately took down the 888oker LIVE London Ladies Event for £350! Not bad for a night’s work!

888poker LIVE London - Ladies Event - Cheryl Gale

Finally the £130 buy-in Dash Rumble - another tournament that appears on the 888poker client - took place on 16 January. 166 entries built a £21,580 prize pool.

Mark Southwood took first place and £6.370 in prize money along with a dapper 888poker LIVE London trophy!

£130 buy-in Dash Rumble - Mark Southwood

888poker LIVE London was an absolute blast! See you at the next live event!


Hyacinth Swanson is a part-time live and online poker player who enjoys writing and editing poker content. She currently runs marketing firm PurpleGob.com.