Ciaran O'Leary beat out the biggest non-Main Event field ever - almost 3,000 participants - to claim the bracelet for the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event. Sitting between him and his $727,012 in winnings, PokerListings.com talked to O'Leary about his past in Ireland, his plans for tonight and his acceptance into the upper crust of poker. Here are his humble words, minus the brogue.
How are you feeling?
Very tired, but I feel fantastic. It's been really something - I've got my friends, I've got the cameras in my face, everybody wants to talk to me, I've got an amazing bracelet on my hand and I just beat out as tough a field as you're going to take on. So I feel fantastic.
I'm very humbled as well. I know the game still has a lot to teach me, so I look forward to it.
You talked about a tough field - first of all, what did you think of Paul Evans' play?
Then there's about another 200 players, from the Grinder to some recent WPT winners and World Series of Poker winners in the next group; and then there's about another 2,000 of us that are just hoping that someone's going to have another ticket and give it out.
Today I got a ticket, and hopefully now I'll be seen more as being in that next stage. It's been a great experience, and I'm very happy.
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Yep, Ciaran got the golden ticket - all 700 grand of it. Good work, lad. Keep it up and you know you'll be seeing PokerListings.com there for every success.