Iaron Lightbourne Wins the 2014 Unibet Open London 30th Edition
Over the past four days, a starting field of 399 has been whittled down to just one – Britain’s Iaron Lightbourne. No stranger to the right side of the money bubble, this concludes what has been a spectacular year for Lightbourne, who finished 22nd in this year’s WSOP Main Event and 15th in the $3k WPT Borgata Open. He has now finished off an astounding 2014 by winning his first major title.
The two start days left just 140 players still standing; after a long and gruelling Day 2, just 16 remained with Armenia’s John Yadgar in the lead. Yadgar, however, would be among those who failed to make the final table, crashing out in 13th place after a run-in with Lightbourne and a pair of queens. The exit of Niklas Borg, the last Swede in the field, in 10th place heralded the start of the final.
1 – Tim van de Riet – 2,755,000
2 – Lawrie Inman – 2,045,000
3 – Iaron Lightbourne – 1,945,000
4 – Lucas Oliver – 1,065,000
5 – Janos Kutosi – 1,050,000
6 – Mike Hill – 900,000
7 – Paulo Rodrigues – 805,000
8 – Charalampos Lappas – 680,000
9 – Tomasz Kozub – 625,000
The first finalist to head home was Poland’s Tomasz Kozub, a veteran of two previous Unibet Open finals. He mistimed a squeeze with K-J in one of those hands where everyone seems to have a little something, and was picked off by man of the moment Lightbourne holding A-Q. He took home £6,700 for ninth place.
Lightbourne also took out Lawrie Inman in 8th place for £8,800, and it was at this point that he started really to dominate the table. Nevertheless, it was not Lightbourne but rather Janos Kurtosi who took out Tim van de Riet in 7th place (£11,000); Charalampos “Babis” Lappas then claimed the scalp of Paulo Rodrigues in 6th place for £13,500. Rodrigues, as the last player standing who’d agreed to wear the patch, also won £800 in the rankinghero.com last longer – roughly equivalent to €1,100, or his buy in back.
It was back to form for Lightbourne with the 5th place elimination of Lucas Oliver (£16,800) – Oliver pushed with A-J but Lightbourne woke up with pocket queens and made the call. Babis Lappas was not to be outdone, though, knocking out Janos Kurtosi in 4th place for £22,000 with a prudent A-6 call from the big blind against Kurtosi’s desperate K-3 shove on the button.
Throughout this time, Lightbourne was by far the most aggressive player at the table and by the time they were three-way, well over half the chips in play were in his possession. He did double up Mike Hill, but remained the chip leader even after that, and when Babis Lappas, by now the short stack, moved in with pocket tens, Lightbourne was only too happy to call with A-K. Lappas, a popular figure on the UK circuit, took home £30,000 for third place.
Lightbourne had a huge chip lead when the heads up against Mike Hill commenced, and although Hill won the first hand, the chips were soon flowing in the direction of Lightbourne’s stack. When Hill found pocket nines and Lightbourne K-J, the chips went in, and it was all over. Hill, like Lappas a popular and well-known figure on the UK poker circuit, where he is known by most as “Da Bookie”, had to settle for second.
With that, our 30th event and the 2014 season is over! We’ll be back in 2015 with the usual heady Unibet Open mix of poker, parties and people – keep an eye on the website for details of next season’s destinations! Until then, from all at Unibet and Aspers Casino, it’s over and out.