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  • Record-Breaking Irish Open Main Event Crowns Tero Laurila as Champion

Record-Breaking Irish Open Main Event Crowns Tero Laurila as Champion

Record-Breaking Irish Open Main Event Crowns Tero Laurila as Champion

The 2024 Irish Open Main Event stood as proof of the continuously increasing popularity of poker, drawing a massive field of 3,233 entries to the prestigious Royal Dublin Society venue, where it’s being held for the second consecutive year. This amazing turnout was potentially fueled the most by sponsors PokerStars and Paddy Power Poker, who had sent a staggering amount of qualifiers towards Dublin.

Among this sea of contenders, one player emerged triumphant after four epic days of intense competition. Tero Laurila, born and raised in Finland, grabbed the chip lead on Day 3 after an outstanding performance and also started the final day as leader of the pack. Despite not banking the biggest amount of prize money, he will walk away with all the fame, in addition to a great Main Event trophy and €292,685.

Irish Poker Open Tournament Hall

It wouldn’t take much time before people realized to ask themselves the question if the guaranteed prize pool would be met, but with how much more the total prize pool would set a new grand record. The initial guaranteed prize pool was €1,000,000, and with 3,233 entries, it turned out to be €3,152,175 in the end! A great achievement of the event organizers JP McCann and Paul O’Reilly, alongside their 450-headed staff.

The Final Touch – Go Finland!

In the penultimate stage, Laurila faced off against Ninh van Hiep, a stalwart of the Dublin poker scene. Despite Ninh's initial chip advantage, negotiated during the pivotal deal discussions, Laurila's strategic moves and terrifying focus propelled him to victory. Mark Johnston, a promising newcomer to the professional poker circuit and with just 21 years of age rounded out the deal, securing a commendable €232,685 for his third-place finish and cementing his reputation in the poker world.

Hailing from Finland, Laurila took a gross of experience with him towards The Irish Poker Open, gained by being present in the poker scene for nearly two decades. Where Omaha cash games might be his favourite poker format, he has proven to be very handy with just two cards as well. Not only does Laurila bank the biggest cash of his career, but he is also the first Finnish champion of the Irish Open, Europe’s oldest poker event. Where the Fins are known for being a great sport when it comes to railing their fellow companions, it wasn’t any different this time around.

The Final table gave us a broad diversity of playing styles, with notable contenders including WSOPC ring winner Georgios Tsouloftas and seasoned Irish poker veteran Oliver Boyce, adding just that bit of extra glance to the final stage of the tournament. The electrifying atmosphere which went through the venue from the first, until the last minute, got backed up by a chance for an Irishman winning the biggest prize in the event.

Big Names Drop Before Entering the Harbour

Day 3 and 4 witnessed a flurry of action as the field narrowed, with memorable eliminations including Irish poker legend Padraig Parkinson, talented and well-running Simon Wilson, Dutchman and world traveler Tobias Peters, and top-notch players such as Kimmo Kurko and Conor Beresford. The tension reached its peak as the final table bubble burst with the exit of Cypriot online qualifier Konstantinos Vatseris, paving the way for the intense three-handed play that would ultimately decide the fate of the remaining contenders.

Where negotiations for a deal ensued among the remaining three players, the prize money was equitably distributed. After that, we would witness a great masterclass of eventual winner Laurila, who finished it off in style by making Quads Queens during the final hand.

With a mix of happiness and disbelief, Laurila’s victory became reality and the poker media jumped right on him to get his first thoughts. As Finnish as he is, his answers were rather short at the beginning, but when he calmed down and got his senses back, he gave a great winner’s interview to the host of The Irish Open, Laura Cornelius.

The Irish Open 2024 – A Great Reflection of Poker at its Finest

The Irish Open 2024 did not disappoint a single moment this year, whether you were at the venue or following everything from home, the great atmosphere could be felt from anywhere in the world. Before the event, we spoke to JP McCann, one of the organizers of the event, and he already had explained that this year would become even more epic than ever before.

With the Ireland vs England challenge (Fintan Hand vs Benjamin Spragg), the Niall ‘Firaldo’ Farrell leaderboard, innovative side events, live music and DJ sets, and the whole Irish magic going through every room and wall, there was no doubt that this event would turn out to become one of the biggest successes in European poker history.

Jp McCann and Paul O’Reilly are sitting on a pot of gold, as the event will keep on growing and growing. Backed up by great sponsors, there is no doubt that rather sooner than later, they might need to add another floor to the venue, to be able to have enough space for the magical 5,000 entries, which McCann previously mentioned to happen shortly.

Congratulations Tero Laurila, you are the 2024 Irish Open Main Event Champion!

Photo Credits: The Irish Open

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