Wow, what a week it’s been! The 2023 Irish Open Main Event, sponsored by PokerStars and Paddy Power – the biggest poker tournament ever held in Ireland — ended with young Scottish pro David Docherty taking home a first prize of €365,000 following a thrilling heads-up battle with popular poker scene fixture Declan “Deccy” Rice. The €1,150 buy-in Main Event attracted a staggering 2,491 entries – absolutely smashing the €1 million guarantee and generating a total prizepool of €2,428,725, up 22% on last year.
It was a vintage final all round – Luxon Pay managing director Tom Waters and Irish poker legend Andy Black were among Docherty’s tablemates for the final eight, with Benny Glaser, Steve Watts and Kevin O’Donnell among the 16 players who missed out on the final table but made it through to the last day.
Final table finishing positions and payouts:
The final four days of the festival were livestreamed with award-winning commentators James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton joined by PokerStars Ambassador Nick Walsh and 2017 Irish Open champion Griffin Benger.
Watch as many hours of recorded stream as you can handle at your leisure via one of the links below:
The 2023 festival featured some 35 tournaments from April 3-10 at the Royal Dublin Society in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Actually 40 events were scheduled, but owing to the astounding turnout, several side events had to be cancelled because there just weren’t enough tables and dealers to cope with the demand – almost every event was a record-breaker. Thanks to this year’s partnership with PokerStars and Paddy Power, the Main Event field was boosted by 622 entries from players who won their seats online. For many of those taking part, it was their first experience of the Irish Open – an event celebrated as much for the “craic” as it is for the poker.
With 120 tables, the spectacular Main Hall at the RDS was packed for most of the week. In the lavish PokerStars and Paddy Power Players’ Lounge, players chilled out with a bar, giant screens, FIFA matches and traditional favourites like shuffleboard, foosball and beer pong – our kind sponsors donated a number of 2024 Main Event seats as prizes for the wildly entertaining and borderline-chaotic competitive bar sports overseen nightly by our fabulous master of ceremonies, Phil Baker. There was live music every night in the RDS bar, which was renamed the Chancers Arms especially for the festival.
There were trips to the dog races at Shelbourne Park and another free outing to the Fairyhouse Easter Festival, one of Ireland’s top National Hunt meets. Parties galore eased the pain of bad beats and bustouts – including the official Players Party at Krystle nightclub on Sunday night and the après-poker party that took place every night in the Chancers Arms. Old friends reconnected. New friends were made. Cards were played and everyone might have had a few drinks. What else is there to say? It’s the Irish Open. Sláinte. ❤️🍻
– €350 6-Max Championship (April 3 2023)
– €350 Championship Heads-Up (April 4-5, 2023)
– €5k Luxon Pay Championship High Roller (April 4-5 2023)
– €350 Championship Ladies event (April 6, 2023)
– €3k Championship High Roller (April 8-9 2023)
– €350 Championship Liam Flood Memorial Turbo (April 9, 2023)
– €250 Seniors Championship
To review key action and off-the-felt shenanigans from these events, select from the drop-down menu above!
All players cashing in eligible events at this year’s Irish Poker Open will be included in the 2023 PokerStars UKIPT leaderboard. Tour details will be announced shortly. Prizes will be awarded to the top three players: a UKIPT 2024 Package worth £15,000 for the winner; live event credits worth £2,200 for the runner-up and £1,100 for the third-placed finisher.
It’s a wrap, then, from the record-breaking Irish Open 2023, a truly spectacular edition of the longest-running tournament in Europe. Until next year!