Greek online qualifier Ioannis Triantafyllakis has won the 2015 Irish Open and €209,500, plus a bonus €50,000 for becoming the PaddyPower Poker Sole Survivor, outlasting 107 other qualifiers – along with everyone else.
The €3,200 + €300 Irish Open Main Event attracted 321 entrants, generating a prizepool of €1,027,200 which was distributed (unevenly, of course) to the top 36 finishers. This year saw side event action crowned with the €1,000 Liam Flood Memorial Tournament, which was won by Garrett Boyle for €25,000. There were six side events in total, including a €300 Mini version of the Main Event, which was won by Mahmood Rasheed for €13,133.
This being the Irish Open, there were also sumo-suit battles, flips for drinks, a zebra on the rail and a spicy dusting of controversy to top off a week of the craic the like of which hasn’t been seen since this time last year.
A who’s who of Irish poker descended on the Hilton Doubletree (née Burlington) over the Easter weekend (April 3rd-6th). Making the final table today meant outmanoeuvring the likes of Simon Deadman (16th for €9,750), Steve O’Dwyer (15th for €12,500), and Tom Kitt (9th for €20,500). Just to finish in the money involved nearly three days of navigating the shark-infested waters of the Main Event, past Mike Sexton, Dan Harrington, Daragh Davey, Sean Prendiville, Jude Ainsworth and Dave Masters.
The final table featured players from five countries, including respected local lad and UKIPT Dublin winner Kevin Killeen and Declan Connolly, making an incredible third appearance at an Irish Open final; it was led at the start of the day by two-time WSOP finalist and all around Irish poker legend Donnacha O’Dea.
Start O’Dea chip leader
Andreas Gann may have spent the least amount of time on the feature table (finishing 8th for €26,750), but his exit has undoubtedly been the most talked-about hand of the entire tournament. Playing out of position against O’Dea with Kd-Qd, he flopped the nuts on an 8d-Ad-6d board when O’Dea’s Ac-6c guaranteed him a payoff. Instead of snap-calling when O’Dea set him in, there ensued a tank of over a minute, which qualifies this as Slowroll of the Year. The deck brought Gann’s karma full circle, however, with a house-completing 6h on the river which sent the crowd, staunch supporters of both tournament etiquette and the O’Dea poker clan, into a frenzy.
Next out was Norwegian Baard Dahl (7th for €35,250), a victim of his stack size and some unlucky timing running Ks-Jc into Killeen’s pocket aces. Killeen used his stack boost to begin mixing it up against the two most active players on the (now short-handed) final: Michael Wang and Ioannis Triantafyllakis, the latter soon to become a comfortable chip leader after busting Fergal Cawley in 6th place (€46,500). Cawley had played a fearless Day 2, but he didn’t have the stack to work the same magic on the final.
Killeen – runner up with a near-even chop
O’Dea, the man splitting the Dublin-heavy crowd’s cheering loyalties with Killeen, hit the rail in 5th place. Short stacked for a while, he found a hand – Ah-9d – with which to make a stand against Triantafyllakis. Unfortunately, the chip leader had A-K this time around, and O’Dea adds €61,850 to his mile-long list of lifetime tournament cashes.
A tournament break five-handed seemed to bring the stars (or at least the deck) into alignment for Killeen, as in back to back hands he picked up pocket queens and busted an opponent. Victim one was prolific – and successful – Irish tournament player Connolly, who probably felt more at home playing on the feature final table (with hole cards broadcast with an hour delay) than anyone, seeing as he’d done it before in 2010 and 2013. Even for a seasoned player like Connolly, finishing 4th must have rankled because although he picked up a hefty €82,750, his exit made Triantafyllakis the Sole Survivor (see above).
Victim two was American Michael Wang, who had impressed on Day 2 with his relentless preflop aggression when playing down to the final table, although Killeen back then had been the recipient of one or two of his chips. Now he got the lot, his second pair of queens crushing Wang’s Qs-Jc. He takes home €111,750.
Suddenly Killeen and Triantafyllakis found themselves heads up, and quickly came to a chop arrangement – €192,500 for Killeen and €197,500 for Triantafyllakis, with €12,000 and the coveted trophy left to play for. Soon Triantafyllakis built a 2:1 chip lead, which he parlayed into the victory after around a level and a half. A mid-stages comeback by Killeen never put him back into the lead, his final hand all-in with As-2c vs. the stack-dominant Triantafyllakis with Qs-Td. It was a swift and clinical end for local hero Killeen – a queen in the door left him drawing thin, and it was soon over. Nearly €200,000 for a weekend’s work is probably some consolation.
Triantafyllakis looked delighted after his win, telling Laura Cornelius that this was his first big event in Ireland. He was especially keen on the Sole Survivor package, saying, “This promotion from PaddyPower Poker is very good – I’ve never seen this before. Very exciting! “
Commenting on his win, he said, “OK – I was a little bit lucky – but luck is important in poker! Everyone [on the final] was very good. I will come next year, the people here are very nice. Very polite.”
It’s over and out from your nice, polite updaters.
- Ioannis Triantafyllakis,Greece – € 209,500*
- Kevin Killeen, Ireland – € 192,500* *deal, originally €250,000 and €152,000
- Michael Wang, USA – € 111,750
- Declan Connolly, Ireland – € 85,750
- Donnacha O’Dea, Ireland – € 61,850
- Fergal Cawley, Ireland – € 46,500
- Baard Dahl, Norway – € 35,250
- Andreas Gann, Germany – € 26,750