When the press covering a poker tournament use the adjective "masterful" to characterize your play, you know you're doing something right.
29-year-old Irishman Gary McGinty soared to a huge chip lead over the final 2 days of the €1,100 PokerStars Festival Dublin Main Event yesterday and didn't stop until he had the title in hand.
After a four-way deal secured him the biggest chunk of the prize pool, McGinty went on the claim the extra money left to play for in a heads-up duel with countryman Jim O'Calaghan.
When all was said and done McGinty collected €91,808 and the admiration of his tablemates to boot: "You played brilliantly," said O'Calaghan, the last player knocked out by McGinty, to confirm the press' assessment.
PokerStars Festival Dublin
Date: Sept. 28 - Oct. 1 2017
Prize Pool: €681,720
Winner: Gary McGinty
Irish in Charge
A predominantly local (five Irish, one UK) final table resumed with McGinty in charge.
When play reached four-handed they decided to look at the numbers and agreed on an ICM deal which gave McGinty the majority of the prize money still to be distributed.
€13,000 was left on the table for the three Irishmen and one Italian left as play continued.
Sean Prendiville finished fourth when his A7 couldn't catch the AT of McGinty and shortly thereafter Antonio Merone said goodbye when his QT lost to McGinty's AQ.
The final heads-up duel started with a clear 5-1 lead for McGinty and didn't last long. Jim O'Calaghan got his last 2.6 million chips over the line with Q6 and McGinty called with KJ.
The better hand won and McGinty stood up as a brilliant winner from the table.
"It's fantastic," McGinty said. "It was pretty hard for long stretches of the day, but I was lucky and I ran pretty well. I played well, won the all-in, and now I have the trophy and that's all that matters, right?
PokerStars Festival Dublin - Final Results
1. Gary McGinty Ireland €91,808 *
2. Jim O'Calaghan Ireland €74,797 *
3. Antonio Merone Italy €78,554 *
4. Sean Prendiville Ireland €71,161 *
5. Ivan Tononi Italy €35,780
6. Declan Connolly Ireland €28,110
7. Mick Graydon Ireland €20,980
8. Alexander Bretherton UK €14,530
* four-handed deal
As with any poker tournament in Ireland the Craic was strong across the entire festival. Three starting days were on the agenda for the Main Event with the first on Thursday.
With a total of 137 registrations on Day 1A, Days 1B and 1C needed to see an increase in the number of players to hit the targeted 700 and meet the guarantee.
259 players on Day 1B and 148 on Day 1C brought the total number of players to 544, meaning an overlay of around €150,000 to be paid by PokerStars.
Veteran pro Max Silver, meanwhile, won the €2,000 High Roller for €45k and author Maria Konnikova finished second in the NLHE Deepstack.
Return to Hippodrome
The next stop for the PokerStars Live tour is The Hippodrome in London this week for the October London Series.
Four days of play begins this Thursday with the main draw being the £40,000 guaranteed main event with a £275 buy-in.
Visit the PokerStars London homepage for the full schedule details. Visit our PokerStars review to sign up for a new account and get a $500 sign-up bonus.