There were 36 different tournaments during the Irish Open 2023 festival – often filling the spectacular Main Hall at the RDS to capacity and providing some very chunky prize pools for players. Nearly all the side events held this year broke records.
To read updates on almost all the major side events, please head to https://irishpokeropen.com/live-updates/. Use the drop-down to select the event you’re interested in and then click Live Blog.
Winners of the biggest side event first prizes were: Michael Kane, who won the €350 Championship Heads-Up event for €6,145 and finished third in the €3k High Roller; he also cashed in both the JP Poker Masters and Hendon Mob Championship. Four-time WSOP bracelet winner Benny Glaser took down the €5k Luxon Pay Championship High Roller for €106,980 while Cosmin Chis won the €3k edition for €106,640.
Here’s details on some of the key Championship side events at this year’s festival
Event 5: Kane wins €350 Heads-Up Championship
Michael Kane won the sell-out €350 Heads-Up Championship after beating Austria’s Alex Moser heads-up. Kane won a shiny trophy and €6,145 while Moser snagged a €4k cash. The tournament was capped at 64 entrants generating a €19,345 total prize pool. Aaron Kweskin, Nicky Levene, Aleksandrs Zenkovs and Daniel Turrisi were the min-cashing quarter-final bust-outs: they all got €1,150. Jamie Wynne and Mark Buckley made it to the semis for €2,300.
Event 7: Stephen Lardner won the €250 Hendon Mob Championship for €16,720
Irish player Stephen Lardner took down the record-breaking €250 Hendon Mob Championship event for €16,720. He beat Daniel Smith heads-up to take the trophy and first prize while Smith snagged €10,620 for his runner-up finish. Irish poker legend Andy Black was third for €7,960. The tournament attracted a massive field of 400 entries – well up on last year’s 332 entries and a record for The Hendon Mob Championship in Dublin. Among the 47 players paid were Colin Lovelock, Michael Kane and last year’s winner Waheed Ashraf. Among those who competed were EPTLive commentator Joe “Stapes” Stapleton, who had a bounty on his head, and PokerStars Ambassadors Benjamin Spragg and Georgina “GJReggie” James.
Event 10: Benny Glaser wins the €5k Luxon Pay High Roller
Benny Glaser won the €5,000 Luxon Pay Championship High Roller to scoop a trophy and €106,980 first prize. Glaser beat former EPT Prague champion Roberto Romanello heads-up in just one hand – a simple shove and call situation in which Glaser came out on top. Romanello snagged €76,055 for his runner-up finish.
Glaser, 33, is one of the UK’s most successful poker players and holds multiple poker records; he has won four bracelets at the World Series of Poker (more than any other UK player) and also holds the record for most online wins in PokerStars’ two Championship of Online Poker series with 15 victories in all. It was second time lucky for Glaser in the High Roller – he was beaten heads-up by Max Silver in the 2019 edition. See PokerNews for all updates.
1st, Benny Glaser, UK, €106,980
2nd, Roberto Romanello, UK, €76,055
3rd, Waheed Ashraf, UK, €49,795
4th, Michael Wilklow, USA, €38,320
5th, Arto Mansner, Finland, €30,345
6th, Paul Hofer, Germany, €23,730
7th, Blake Vogdes, USA, €18,675
8th, Mounir Tajiou, Sweden, €14,590
9th, Ewen Trevidy, France, €11,085
Event 13: Alessandro Pichierri wins the 2023 Irish Open Americas Cup Championship
Italian player Alessandro Pichierri won the €250 buy-in Irish Open Americas Cup Championship for €18,035.50. Pichierri bested a massive field of 298 entries – more than 100 entries up on last year’s field. Caps off to Marty Gorenc from Reno, the only player from the Americas who made the final, who will now be getting an Irish flag to add to his prolific results on Hendon Mob. Gorenc was eliminated by Pichierri in third place for €8,780. Andrew “Picasso” Hedley made the final table but bust in 7th place for €3,090. A total of 39 players cashed.
Event 15: Marian Dumitrache wins Gold in the €250 Irish Amateur Poker Championship
A two-day battle saw Marian Dumitrache outlast a field of 214 players in the no-deals, freezeout €250 Irish Amateur Poker Championship. The Romanian won a Gold Medal, the Irish Amateur Poker Championship title and €9,708 cash prize. Dumitrache went into the final table as chip leader with Mark Murphy second in chips – and it was Murphy who Dumitrache had to vanquish heads-up. Ireland’s Murphy won €6,535 and a Silver medal while British player Shawn Morales scooped a Bronze medal and €4,610.
The Irish Amateur Poker Championship was making its Irish Open debut this year and generated a €45,903 prize pool. Do check out the updates on the Irish Open blog and posts on the APAT facebook page. APAT, the Amateur Poker Association and Tour, has been hosting championship events in Ireland since 2007 but this was the tour’s first event at the Irish Open. APAT, which launched back in 2006, is hosting a string of events across Europe this year including national Championships in Germany, Wales and Scotland.
Event 18: Bennet-Martin takes down €250 Championship Ladies Event
Canadian Irish Open regular Elizabeth Bennett-Martin won the €250 Irish Open Championship Ladies Event for €3,690 after seeing off stiff competition from the 63-runner field. Bennett-Martin first discovered the existence of the Irish Open at the PCA when Nick O’Hara suggested that she try it out, and after a tester trip in 2016, she has been back every year, with an ever-growing host of Canadians (and now Americans, too).
Michelle Bricknell was runner-up for €3k with PokerStars Ambassador Georgina James out in third place for €1,790. The Ladies event is one of the consistent fixtures on the Irish Open schedule and always attracts a substantial field. Among those who took part were MainEventTravel’s Retail Marketing Consultant Kelly Saxby, Charlie Waters (whose husband Tom was third in the Main Event), Natalie Bromley, June Jenkins, Kim Kilroy, Dusk Till Dawn’s Rachel Heneghan, Mor Kamber, Debs Worley-Roberts, Sin Melin, Suzie ‘Shizzle Sizzle’ Williamson and Maxine Preston. Last year’s winner – Lithuania’s Migle Kriksciunaite – also took part along with runner-up Grace Hession from Ireland. The total prize pool this year was €13,513.
1, Elizabeth Bennett-Martin, Canada, € 3,690
2, Michelle Bricknell, United Kingdom, € 3,000
3, Georgina James, United Kingdom, € 1,790
4, Katie Ramsden, United Kingdom, € 1,430
5, Tina Abery, United Kingdom, 1,110
6, Smadar Kruvi Shalhav, Netherlands, € 865
7, Una Ortell, United States, € 690
8, Caitlin Mooney, Sweden, € 540
9, Lisa Marie Zotzenbach, Germany, € 400
Event 26: Gerry Walsh wins €550 JP Poker Masters Championship
Gerry Walsh won the JP Poker Masters Championship for €23,418 after beating Jarlath Kilgallon heads-up. Walsh’s victory – his biggest live cash – came after a five-way ICM deal which then morphed into a three-handed deal. Kilgallon takes home €18,545. There were 347 entries – well up on last year’s field of 302. Overnight chip leader Marius Ignat was fourth for €14,440 while 2022 Americas Cup winner Mor Kamber was seventh for €5,800. Will Kassouf finished 8th for €4,265. The total prize pool was €169,163. More details here.
Event 29: Paul Rigg wins €350 Championship PLO 6-Max
Paul Rigg is the new €350 PLO 6-Max Champion. When play reached four-handed, Rigg plus Nicklas Dehli, Syed Zaidi and Stephen Ward cut an ICM deal and it was all over – with Rigg taking the €9,455 top prize and the trophy. Carl Dobrzelewski, who was runner-up in the very first event of the festival and 34th in The Hendon Mob Championship, finished fifth for €4,065. Overnight chip leader John McGinn from Ireland was seventh for €2,335. Others who made the money included Frode Fragerli, Andrew Grimason, Adam Bromley and June Jenkins. There were 195 players in total creating a prize pool of € 58,930. For more details, check out the Irish Open blog.
Event 30: €3k Championship High Roller
Cosmin Chis from Romania won the €3k Championship High Roller for €106,640 after besting a stellar field of 168 entries. After two days of some of the toughest poker seen during the 2023 Irish Open and an absolutely gruelling heads-up against Andrew Hulme, Chis triumphed to claim the €106,640 top prize and shiny trophy.
Chis has good form at this sort of thing – he won the Irish Poker Festival Super High Roller in Killarney last year, and came to this year’s Irish Open fresh off a deep run at the recent European Deepstack. He also went really deep in the Main Event here in 2019, finishing in 34th place back then. Nevertheless, this represents by far the biggest live cash of his career.
A total of 23 players got a share of the €458,640 prize pool including third-placed Michael Kane, who won the €350 Heads-up Championship earlier in the week and Waheed Ashraf – who was third in the €5k High Roller.
Event 31: Simon Nickmans wins €250 Mini Irish
Belgian player Simon Nickmans bested a record-breaking 421-strong field to take the biggest chunk of the €90,305 prize pool in the €250 Mini Irish Championship. It took just one day to whittle 421 players down to eight, and only about three hours more to do away with the rest of the finalists. Heads-up, Nickmans and Barry McMahon – who was chip leader at the start of the final – agreed to a chop, playing on for the trophy and €2,470.
Event 33: Antonius Samuel wins the €350 Liam Flood Memorial 6-Max Turbo Championship
Antonius Samuel polished off the final table of the €350 Liam Flood Memorial 6-Max Turbo Championship in fairly short order, riding the waves of short-stacked variance to emerge exhausted (probably). He won €15,312 and probably still had time to get to the players’ party. There were 211 entrants in the festival favourite generating a prize pool of €63,774. The tournament is held every year in memory of Liam Flood, who ran the Irish Open for many years before he died in 2014.