Breaking Down the Action:
  • Soverel and Wantman Left Wanting
  • Kempton Misses the Podium
  • Bloom Lands the Crown

4 Minute Read

Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club owner Tony Bloom came out of retirement to win a $360,000 top prize by outlasting Canadian Alex Livingston in Poker Masters Event #8.

The latest Poker Masters event in the 2022 series saw a dramatic final table reach a thrilling conclusion as British Premier League soccer club owner Tony ‘The Lizard’ Bloom came from behind to win and claim the $360,000 top prize and title of Event #8 winner in Las Vegas.

With messers Ali Nejad and cash game supremo Len Ashby calling the action on PokerGO, the stage was set for an exciting final table from the off as half a dozen players gathered. The final six all loved the action and so it proved as the match played down to a winner.

Soverel and Wantman Left Wanting

The first exit came within just 15 minutes of the game beginning on the final day as Sam Soverel left in sixth place for a return of $50,000 – exactly double the entry fee. Soverel was all-in with king-high hand which hit top pair on the flop, but Matthew Wantman had a pair of aces and they improved to a nut flush by the river.

Soverel strode past the illuminated sign proclaiming ‘Making and Breaking Millionaires’ in the PokerGO Studio at ARIA in Las Vegas, leaving five to battle it out. Wantman had won that hand, but it only elevated to fourth in the chipcounts. Bottom of the pile was the eventual winner, but ‘The Lizard may have started five-handed play with his belly close to the dirt but he was soon on the rise.

The same couldn’t be said for Wantman who despite eliminating Soverel, was the next player to lose out. Busting in fifth place for $80,000, Wantman failed to follow either Martin Zamani or Andrew Lichtenberger in winning a 2022 Poker Masters event when he fell to Livingston after having 13 outs on the turn then 17 outs to the river. Livingston was only a very marginal favorite heading to 5th street, but Wantman couldn’t hit twice and left the party.

Kempton Misses the Podium

With four players remaining, Isaac Kempton re-potted before the flop with a pair of kings amongst his holding. Playing for the chip lead, Livingston shoved and Kempton called, with the Canadian holding pocket aces in his four cards. Whoever took the pot would lead the ranks, and Livingston flopped top set, boosting himself to a 95% shot, which carried through the turn and river to see Kempton leave on the rail with $110,000.

Livingston had a clear chip lead and just 75 minutes had elapsed, but the remainder of the tournament would take a lengthy four hours to complete. John Riordan made the podium places but drifted to a super short stack and was forced into committing his stack by the escalating blinds.

Riordan was ahead with an ace, with Livingston needing to find a king from the turn. A deuce on the turn gave the Canadian extra outs to a deuce or three, and a king on the river gave Livingston the pot and sent Riordan home with $160,000.

As Len Ashby referenced during commentary, Tony Bloom is a former Late Night Poker legend of the game. Bloom, or ‘The Lizard’, used his poker and sports betting profits to buy Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club and with The Seagulls currently flying high in the Premier League in English soccer, Bloom went into the heads-up with a decent lead, holding around 3.5 million chips to Livingston’s 2.5 million.

Bloom Lands the Crown

Early on, Bloom kept the pressure up on the 2022 WSOP bracelet winner Livingston, moving into a 2:1 chip lead. As the main cardroom saw play advance on Day 1 of the $25,0000 buy-in NLHE Event #9, the duo faced rising blinds and Livingston had just 20 big blinds.

In the end, Livingston got his final million chips into the middle with A-A-Q-9 across all four suits, and Bloom shoved with T-9-8-6, with the first two cards in clubs and second two in diamonds. Livingston led the probability counts with 54% equity, and the flop improved the Canadian’s chance marginally, with the K-4-2 deal with two diamonds giving Bloom the flush draw.

The turn of a six added outs for Bloom and meant he was chasing 16 cards to the river with a 40% shot. The nine of diamonds on the river gave Tony Bloom the win. Livingston quipped “Can you go back to retirement for another three years?” to a good-natured handshake from Bloom and laughter between the two men.

For Livingston, a well-earned runner-up result worth $240,000. For Bloom, a stunning victory for $360,000. With just two events to go, Bloom has put himself in the mixer for the purple jacket.

2022 Poker Masters Event #8 Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Tony Bloom United Kingdom $360,000
2nd Alex Livingston Canada $240,000
3rd John Riordan U.S.A. $160,000
4th Isaac Kempton U.S.A. $110,000
5th Matthew Wantman U.S.A. $80,000
6th Sam Soverel U.S.A. $50,000


James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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