A week has passed since the final hands were dealt at the first Cash Game Festival of the year at Aspers Casino in the British capital of London. Now that the excitement has calmed down, there is no better time than now to reflect back at some of the highlights of the amazing festival including Kevin Malone adding yet another Cash Game Festival trophy to his record collection.
Tim Chung Takes Early Lead on Day 1
The CGF London began with players invited to enjoy a glass of prosecco or bottle of Heineken before hopping into action. As is often the case, especially in London, there were already many players that couldn’t wait for the official start of the festival and were already battling it out on the tables.
Not too much later the first feature table began with stakes at £1/£2 NLHE and hosted by CGF commentator Christin Mäemets. Hakim Alwi hit the ground running and won a table-high £205 (102.5 big blinds) in profit to put him temporarily on top of the leaderboard for the CGF London trophy awarded to the player that won the most big blinds throughout any of the 10 televised feature tables during the festival.
The stakes moved up to £2/£5 NLHE for the late Day 1 feature table. Tim Chung pushed Alwi off the trophy lead after winning £1,350 (270 big blinds) in profit.
The Return of Ed Furniss and Mick Smith Stealing the Thunder
For many players with the hospitality package, Day 2 began with players enjoying an early 3 p.m. “dinner” at Cabana Brazil. Of course, the drinks were flowing, which might have loosened up some of the action later in the day at the feature tables.
Ed Furniss, who has been a fixture at the Cash Game Festival despite missing the last few, made his return in a big way by winning the most at the first feature table on Day 2. He won £1,052 (525 big blinds) on the early £1/£2 NLHE feature table or almost double the amount of big blinds won by Chung on Day 1.
Furniss’ status as King of the Hill on the leaderboard was short-lived. At the next feature table, 32Red Poker qualifier and Cash Game Festival family member Mick Smith won £1,270 or 635 in profit to make him the man to beat to win the trophy.
Packed House on Day 3
The house was packed on Day 3 with 27 tables simultaneously in action with many of them running through the night. This was just one table away from the Cash Game Festival record of 28 tables.
Despite how packed the poker room was, there was never a wait for a seat as Aspers Casino was prepared for the festival considering this was their seventh time hosting it.
Kevin Demunter performed the best at the first feature table of the day after winning £1,058 (211.6 big blinds) in £2/£5 PLO. A short while later, Oskar Blomqvist was the star of the highest stakes feature table by winning £2,030 (203 big blinds) in profit. Although Demunter and Blomqvist both impressively booked four-figure scores, both players didn’t come close to knocking Smith off the mountain for the trophy competition lead.
While poker was certainly the theme of the day, players with the hospitality package did enjoy a beer pong party at The Bat and Ball. In addition to beer pong, there was also table tennis, plenty of beer and nonalcoholic drinks, and tons of snacks.
Big Action Continues on Day 4
The action was almost as big on Day 4 as it was on Day 3 with more than two dozen tables in motion. The day began for hospitality package players with beer tasting at Tap East. Although it was dubbed as tasting with more than a dozen different beers available to be sampled, players could drink as much as they wanted. Some tested all the beers while others went ahead and dug in deep into one they liked.
Emilia Riot rocked the house during the first feature table after winning £1,006 (503 big blinds) in profit on the early £1/£2 no-limit hold’em table. Shortly after, Artur Palaj banked £386 (73.2 big blinds) in profit on the later £2/£5 NLHE feature table.
The Trophy Came Down to the Final Hand
Players with the hospitality package began the final day of the festival early with a guided tour around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
On the tables, the suspense was building throughout the day. Mick Smith held onto the lead for three days but players were hungry to knock him off his perch knowing that the trophy was still within their reach.
Martin Blake made the best run at the first feature table of the day after winning £1,050 (210 big blinds) in profit in a £2/£5 NLHE affair. This was still well short of the 635 big blinds Smith won on Day 2.
Smith was among the players battling it out on the final £2/£2 PLO feature table along with many other experienced players and Daniel Pilgrim who won a Facebook contest for a free £200 stake to the table.
It was looking decent for Smith early on with the pots not getting too big. This didn’t last too long as Kevin Malone, who at the time had two Cash Game Festival trophies under his belt, won a big hand and temporarily had more than 635 big blinds in profit in front of him. Of course, Malone could have stepped away from the table right then and there, but where’s the sportsmanship in that? He battled it out and gave enough back where Smith’s lead was safe again.
As the very last hand was being dealt, Smith had a look at Malone’s stack and saw that he was just a handful of big blinds behind for the trophy. The stacks of Malone and Smith not only went into the middle preflop but so did the stacks of 32Red Poker qualifier Christian Braeuer and Simon Chamoun.
Smith and Braeuer both flopped trips with Malone flopping just bottom pair in the hand. However, Malone improved to lower trips on the turn before an ace spiked the river to give him a full house and a massive pot of more than £2,000.
In total, Malone booked £2,065 (1,032.5) in profit, separating himself from two-time trophy winners Jon Kyte and Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk, for his record third Cash Game Festival trophy.
A shoutout to Smith’s sportmanship as he was all heart and helped celebrate with Malone and others his win until the early hours of the morning.
Don’t Miss Bratislava
If you were unable to join in on the excitement in London, rest assured you will not have to wait too long to enjoy the next festival.
The Cash Game Festival will return to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava at Banco Casino for the third time for six days of nonstop cash game action on April 3-8.
You will not be disappointed as always we will offer amazing games with buy-ins low and high. You do not have to be a professional or a hard-core player to enjoy the festival. Remember the Cash Game Festival is about having fun and we attract many recreational players out for a poker vacation.
There are many paths to win packages at Cash Game Festival’s online partner site 32Red Poker. Sign up to 32Red Poker here if you don’t already have an account.
Please note that the registration for Bratislava nonstop cash games and TV tables is already open. Simply click here and register! You will hear back from us.
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