Yiannis Liperis Adds to His Resume With Dominating Run in the 888poker LIVE Coventry Main Event
Yiannis Liperis has proven throughout his career to be a talented player on any day. But give him the cards, the chip lead, and the ability to run over the table, and it becomes almost an unfair fight. Thats exactly what happened today at the final table of the 888poker LIVE Coventry Main Event as the Cyprus-born, Birmingham-based poker pro went on the run of a lifetime.
Liperis built up a massive chip lead at the final table on his way to capturing the title and 120,000 first prize after a five-way deal, defeating Charles Chattha in a brief heads-up clash. Liperis already had more than $3 million in live winnings in a career that has cashes going back to 2009, but for someone who has been playing for so long, he recognizes how rare days like this really are and what an accomplishment winning a tournament like this is.
Its pretty high because to win a tournament outright is so rare, he said following his victory, reflecting on where this achievement ranks among a career full of them. Even if I have a handful of times before, Ive been playing for so many years, so many tournaments, its really not that often at all you get to experience this feeling and walk away with the trophy. It feels pretty good. And it was like 30 minutes away from my house, which is also extra special.
Liperis didnt wait long to make his presence felt here this week inside the Coventry Building Society Arena. A total of 672 players packed the tournament room over four starting flights, but Liperis finished ahead of all of them as the Day 1 chip leader. He was still in the top 10 after Day 2. And then, of course, came his incredible run on the third and final day.
Its the hottest run ever because the cards did a lot of the work. I picked up a lot of good hands and I knocked out a lot of people. If anything, the hands I lost I was bluffing so that was a lesson to me to let it come to you. I didnt have to do too much, he said.
Liperis was already having a good year on the felt before he took the short drive over here to Coventry. He finished third in an event in the Bahamas back in February, a final table that also included Carl Shaw whom he would run into again today. The biggest score of his career came in April when he won 406,670 by capturing a title in Monte Carlo. Liperis had the deepest resume, the most experience, and a proven record of beating tough fields among the players who returned today. In the end, he beat all of them.
888poker LIVE Coventry Main Event Final Table Results
*reflects a five-way deal
Day 3 Action
The third and final day of the Main Event began with 21 players remaining. A flurry of early eliminations saw William McMurray (21st), Wendy Watson (20th), Jose Aguilera (19th), Man Li (18th), and Paul Ephremsen (17th) bust within the first 15 minutes of the day, bringing the field down to the final two tables.
Following the elimination of Ryan Otto in 16th place, Liperis doubled up with aces against Ka Wai Man, who was then eliminated in a three-way all in. Man had deuces, Richard Pearson pocket nines, and Teodor Evstratiev ace-ten in the massive clash. Evstratiev hit his ace on the flop to bust both players, Man taking 15th and Pearson 14th as the bigger stack.
Liperis busted Lin Chen in 13th, then picked off a massive bluff from Evstratiev as he began climbing toward the top of the leaderboard. Evstratiev had a turn as chip leader at one point during the day, but his downfall was completed when he played a classic flip against Shaw, losing with ace-king suited to Shaws pocket queens with nearly 2,500,000 in the middle.
Shapiur Rahman (11th) and Fabian Donovan (10th) were the next to fall as the nine-handed final table was set. Liperis led with 4,835,000, nearly 2,000,000 ahead of Min Ji in second place.
Final Table Action
On one of the first hands, Liperis tangled with Tuan Le in a pot that ultimately changed the dynamic of the rest of the final table. Liperis three-bet to 350,000 and Le called to a queen-high flop. Liperis continued for 275,000, then called when Le raised to 800,000. The turn brought a second five and Le moved all in for 1,700,000. Liperis snap-called, creating a 6,000,000-chip pot between the two top stacks in the tournament. Le had top pair with ace-queen, but Liperis had spiked trip fives to win the pot and move up over 8,000,000, more than double his closest challenger. Liperis from there began opening nearly every pot, encountering little resistance from his tablemates.
Maximum pressure. Obviously, were playing for big money and with a chip lead that big, you just have the keys to the kingdom and just really put your foot down and do whatever you want, he said.
Liperis next woke up with jacks to bust Hong Pham in eighth place, Phams second final table run at an 888poker LIVE Main Event this year after she finished sixth in London. Liperis led the final seven at dinner break with 9,300,000, while start-of-day chip leader Christopher Johnson was in second with 2,700,000.
Liperis then picked up another big pair, looking down at kings on the button and snap-calling when Shaw shoved for 2,000,000 in the big blind to bust the WSOP bracelet winner and EPT Barcelona finalist in seventh place. Brandon Harris then spiked a king on the river to eliminate Cosmin Penescu in sixth place before the final five agreed to a deal, Liperis taking home 120,000, Harris 66,860, Johnson and Ji 46,000, and Chattha 40,000.
With the money locked up and nothing but the trophy left to play for, action opened up considerably. Johnson was the first to fall, calling for 1,500,000 with two fives but Harris made a pair of queens on the flop. Chattha doubled up with trip sixes to knock Ji down under a big blind. Ji tripled up once but couldnt survive for long as Liperis busted him in fourth place with a pair of queens.
Chattha doubled up again off Harris as Harris began shoving blind. Liperis eventually looked him up with ace-four but was dominated by Harris ace-six until the river brought not only a four but also a flush for Liperis. Liperis led Chattha 15,000,000 to 5,000,000 at the start of heads-up, and it wouldnt take long before he flopped two pair and Chattha shoved his last 4,500,000 with a pair of sixes.
Liperis established himself early on today as the man to beat. With such a big chip lead and his experience, it wouldve been easy for Liperis to think he already had one hand on the trophy during the final table. Only he didnt want to think that way.
I dont always manage, but today I managed not to think about it too much, he said. I just let it all come to me without thinking, okay, Im going to win or this is going to happen. Just really focused on keeping my hands moving, my chips moving, and just going to work as soon as it started snowballing in my favor.
Liperis had played in many big tournaments before. He had tangled with some of the games best in his more than decade-long career. But winning a major title like this one doesnt come around that often, and even for someone with the resume of Liperis the 888poker trophy stands out among all his other accomplishments.
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