Local wins PartyPoker Irish Poker Championship


You couldn't have scripted the conclusion of the PartyPoker Irish Poker Championship any better.

Local 28-year-old Phd Biochemistry student Jude Ainsworth was all-in with 10 8 against Michael McCool and his pocket fives. The flop went A J 9 and Ainsworth picked up a straight draw. The Q fell on the turn and the entire crowd erupted for Ainsworth.

Ainsworth was thrilled to win the tournament and sounded like he would celebrate in a very Irish way.

"It doesn't get much better than this," he said. "To say that we are going to sink a few pints is an understatement! I couldn't ask for much more than this, I've had great support all the way through. I was planning taking a break after my Phd at GNUIG in Galway. This makes everything a lot easier!"

Ainsworth has lived in Claregalway (which is located only 10 miles from Galway) for his entire life. He's married and has one child.

"My wife is in Hong Kong at the moment, she works for the local toy business," he said. "She'll be delighted! I definitely plan to take us on holiday but I am also looking at playing in a few more tournaments and perhaps the WSOP in Vegas in the summer."

U.K. circuit regular Michael McCool was gracious in defeat wished Ainsworth well. McCool mentioned Ainsworth was one of the few players he didn't want to face in heads-up play and it was apparent there was a lot of respect between both players.

Ainsworth had to outlast 298 competitors to win the €180,000 first-place prize. Among those competing were Mike Sexton, Marcel Luske, Ciaran O'Leary, Robert Williamson III and many more.

"When you play poker in Ireland it is not only about playing poker," Sexton said. "There is a camaraderie here you don't find at all poker tournaments."

Coverage of the event is being recorded for broadcast on RTÉ, Ireland's national broadcaster, and will be distributed internationally after first being broadcast in early February. Leading the commentary is Jesse May along with Padraig Parkinson, Ciaran O'Leary and Fintan Gavin.

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