The record-breaking Irish Open Main Event continued today – a mammoth 2,014 entrants counted once the final registrations bought in before the start of play. The largest Irish Open Live field in history resulted in a prize pool of €1,989,000 and a confirmed first prize of €318,700.
It set the scene for a fantastic day of poker, replete with drama, fun, friendly but highly competitive poker, and Dan Wilson was the man who had soared into the chip lead by the close of play.
Wilson has tasted Irish Open success before, winning the 2016 Main Event trophy for €150,000 and is within touching distance of repeating the feat, his closing stack of 1,757,000 putting him comfortably in the chip lead as the chips were bagged. He still has a tough journey ahead of him if he is to join Colette Doherty, Noel Furlong and Mickey Finn as previous double winners though.
He’s not even the only player with the opportunity to do this historic double, Patrick Clarke (900,000) being well-placed to make a run at a second Irish Open title to add to the one he collected in 2014 for €200,000.
Both will face stiff competition over the remaining two days – not least from the players lurking with intent just below them in the chip counts – Espen Sandvik (“The best player in Norway” – one of his compatriots told us) (1,350,000) & Chris Williams (1,343,000), looking to add their own names to the Irish Open Hall of Fame wall.
Before the day could reach its denouement though, there was the small matter of reaching the payout spots. The bubble was mercifully swift, the shortstack torturing hand-for-hand period ending when Darragh Smith, Sean Prendiville and Eamon McNamee were all eliminated in the same hand.
As their triple simultaneous dismissal reduced the field to one player less than the official number of payouts, all three chopped the 263rd place prize of €1,970 (€656,67 each) and all were given free entry to the Mini Main tomorrow. With the bubble popped, applause rang out, an Irish Open flag and cash assured for all remaining!
In total 118 players made it through the day – notables making it through to the latter stages including nosebleed MTT crusher Alex Gomes (405k), mixed game supremo Richard Ashby (490k), high stakes cash game specialist Paul Newey (605k), tournament edgelord Steve O’Dwyer (686k), Will “Well I’ve got middle pair, if you call, you’d better have that beat, can you beat it? If so, I guess you have to call but then again I could have a king, it’s possible, I can’t see how you can fold if you’ve got top pair but you know, I can easily have a set here. Are you Italian? Check your hand is bella bella before you call!” Kassouf (620k) & the quiet but ever-consistent Daragh Davey (712k).
We’ll be back tomorrow at 12:00 for Day 3 as we close in on the final table and move further down the road to crown the latest champion. As usual, there will be a host of side events, including the final day of the €550 JP Masters & the €350 Pokio PLO 6-Max. The €2,000 Highstakes HighRoller will also play out the final day and the €250 Mini Irish Open will begin at 13:00 should you fancy becoming a mini Irish Open champion.
As if that weren’t enough, there’s the €1,100 NLH Mystery Bounty at 16:00, the €250 Liam Flood Memorial 6 Max Turbo at 18:00 and even a cheeky €150 NLHE Deepstack Turbo at 20:00.
The feast of poker continues – come and have a nibble. You won’t regret it – it’s a brilliant craic. See you tomorrow!