The 888poker 2024 live season kicked off with a bang in the heart of Spain at the Casino Gran Via in Madrid. Manuel Ledesma emerged victorious, securing the lion’s share of the prize pool with a €58,000 win, following a heads-up deal with Juan Lyons.
With its €888 buy-in, the Main Event attracted 435 entries across three Day 1 flights, amassing a prize pool of €333,905. The tournament drew not only poker enthusiasts but also notable sports personalities like Venezuelan Olympic gold medalist and women’s triple jump world record holder Yulimar Rojas and professional footballer Alex Vidal, who last played for Espanyol in La Liga.
Among the early fields, 113 players carried on to Day 2, complemented by an additional 58 late registrations. Four 888poker ambassadors began Day 2 with high hopes: Lucia Navarro, Ian Simpson, Alexandre Mantovani, and Vivian Saliba.
Simpson and Mantovani’s runs were cut short, and both exited the tournament before the first break. Navarro and Saliba, on the other hand, went deep into the competition. Unfortunately, luck was not on their side as Saliba finished just two spots away from the money, while Navarro became the stone-cold bubble girl.
Ramon Fernandez led the final table with 110 big blinds, while Ledesma entered as a huge underdog with merely ten big blinds. Ledesma was already on the brink of elimination not even 15 minutes into the final table, but fortune turned when he hit a river flush against Borja Diaz.
The table saw its share of drama and eliminations, with George Chiriac and Carlos Perez-Dosio exiting early. Ledesma, on the other hand, doubled up again and started building his stack. A pivotal moment came when Ledesma, once again the table’s short stack, went all-in preflop with ace-jack against Guillermo Sánchez’s pocket kings, catapulting him to the lead.
Just minutes later, Sánchez’s pocket kings failed to hold for a second time in quick succession, but he exited the table in high spirits. Borja Diaz was eliminated soon after, with Ledesma playing a critical hand that saw him all-in and ahead with pocket aces against pocket tens.
After the dinner break, Ramon Fernandez’s journey came to a heart-wrenching conclusion after a series of losses. Initially, “Spanish Aquaman,” as dubbed by the commentators, found himself in a promising spot with ace-jack, but Lyons, with ace-deuce, hit his deuce for a full double up. Fernandez had only seven big blinds left, and Lyons took those as well with jack-seven against ace-nine.
The heads-up battle between Manuel Ledesma and Juan Lyons was set, leading to an ICM deal that saw Lyons secure €52,000 and Ledesma €47,000, with €11,000 and the trophy still up for grabs. An exciting duel saw Lyons making a correct fold after a lengthy deliberation on the river with trips, while Ladesma was sporting the same hand, just a better kicker.
But the hand took its toll, and Ledesma sealed the victory a few hands later with a flopped set of tens against Lyons’ queen-ten, who couldn’t get away from his hand a second time. Manuel Ledesma’s comeback was complete, marking him as the champion of the 888poker Live Madrid event and adding a nice €58,000 to his poker resume.
2024 888poker LIVE Madrid Final Table Results