Sunshine for Helio – chip leader at the end of Mini Day 1a

Brazilian Libardi Helio was the man who refused to submit to the poker gods’ whims on the first day of the €500k guaranteed Irish Open Mini event last night. He headed the counts at close of play with 720,000. He has Xavier Agapit (635,000) and Pawel Madynski (490,000) snapping at his heels in second and third, but expect this to change in a big way over the coming days with plenty more Day 1 flights to play out before the final on April 1. There were 302 entries for the Mini yesterday with 23 making it through to the final. Click here for yesterday’s report and here for today’s event updates. The action resumes for Day 1b at 6pm tonight.

Event 1: €350 NLH 6-Max Championship – Plotnikov takes the trophy and €16,401

Congrats to Lithuania’s Pavel Plotnikov who took down the very first event of this year’s Irish Open, the €350 NLH 6-Max Championship after a three-way deal with Stephen Freeman and Sandro Carucci.  There were 385 entries in all – 100 more than last year – creating a €116,366 prize pool. Carucci ended up in third place for €14,131, and Freeman earned the biggest payday of €17,483. A total of 55 players were paid with a min-cash worth €570. Award-winning PokerStars Live commentator Joe Stapleton achieved one of his best ever cashes after nursing a short stack for HOURS. According to his fellow commentator James Hartigan, Stapes hadn’t slept the night before but still managed a superb fourth place finish for €7,980. Canadian Jim Reid, who will be writing about the festival for, finished sixth for €4,720. Others who cashed included Ollie White, Leo Worthington-Leese, Sunday Million champion Vanessa Kade, Kim Kilroy, Martin Olali and GUKPT Ambassador Jamie Nixon. Check out all the reports from Event 1 on the Irish Open website.


Fogarty wins €550 PLO Mystery Bounty

Well played Ed Fogarty who won his first ever Irish Open title last night after taking down the €550 PLO Mystery Bounty for €18,960. The event attracted 188 entries, creating a prize pool of €44,650. Among those who made the money were Ferdia O’Connell – currently leading the Firaldo Irish Open Leaderboard – who finished third for € 7,940, along with Richard Ashby, Friend of the Irish Open Brian Morgan, Marc Foggin and Iwan Jones.