Irish Poker Classic draws record turn out

Ship Teh Chips

The sixth annual Irish Poker Festival at the Macau Sporting Club in Cork, Ireland, took place Aug. 15-17 with the €150,000 guaranteed main event drawing in a record crowd.

The 169-person playing field significantly topped the 114 players from last year and included some of Europe's top players such as Annette Obrestad, Michael Greco, Ian Woodley, Roy Brindley, Marty Smyth, Jeff Duval, Sylvester Geoghegan and Mick McCloskey.

Geoghegan was the returning champion from the 2007 Irish Poker Classic, but he wasn't able to make a repeat performance, and instead Rob Taylor made his way from the final table short stack up to first place.

After three days of play the 10 players who had made the €1,600 No-Limit Texas Hold'em Freezeout final table were:

  • Jeff Duvall: 455,000
  • Michael O'Brien: 360,000
  • Nicky Power: 355,000
  • Ryan O'Donoghue: 300,000
  • Mick McKeever: 255,000
  • Jonathan Butters: 245,000
  • Olivier la Rochelle: 230,000
  • Paul Corrway: 160,000
  • Ben Blackmore: 125,000
  • Rob Taylor: 90,000

McKeever was the first player to hit the rail. He had hit top pair with his K-Q when the flop brought Q-7-5. However, O'Donoghue had flopped trips with his pocket fives and when the turn brought another queen he was sitting good with a full house while McKeever had trip queens.

After some betting, McKeever ended up all-in and there wasn't a queen on the river to save him.

Corrway took ninth place when he went all-in pre-flop with pocket queens only to run into Taylor's pocket aces and not be able to improve.

Eighth place went to Blackmore. He raised to $22,000 in late position with pocket 10s, and O'Donoghue reraised to $65,000.

Blackmore went all-in over the top, and O'Donoghue had to hit the tank for quite some time before finally making the call with pocket jacks. The jacks held up, and Blackmore was out.

It wasn't long after that when O'Brien looked down to find pocket sixes and decided to make his all-in move. Power called him with A-7, and when the board ran out K-K-3-9-9, he had the winning hand and O'Brien had a seventh-place finish.

During the course of the final table, the players had shifted quite a bit in the leaderboard leaving Butters at the bottom as the short stack while Taylor had been sneaking his way up the board.

Butter chose to push with K-2 and Taylor looked him up with A-Q. The flop came A-Q-J and it was nearly over for Butters. When he couldn't hit running kings or twos or a single 10 on the turn and river, he was hitting the rail in sixth place.

On the next hand Duvall decided to take a stand with his hand after seeing a board of T-7-3. Power made the call with pocket threes while Duval turned over A-T. The turn and river blanked for Duvall, and he had to settle for fifth place.

The final four players struck a deal for the remaining prize pool, and then the players went to work to finish off the event.

Power was the next out when Taylor achieved an ace-high flush on the river to beat out Power's jack-high flush.

Taylor then picked up pocket fours to take out O'Donoghue who was holding A-T. The Frenchman la Rochelle was no match in heads-up play and Taylor picked up the win.

The final-table payouts, including the four-way deal, were as follows:

Rob Taylor
Oliver la Rochelle
Ryan O'Donoghue
Nicky Power
Jeff Duvall
Jonathan Butters
Mick O'Brien
Ben Blackmore
Paul Corrway
Michael McKeever

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