The first World Poker Tour stop in Ireland kicked off Thursday with a €2,500 buy-in Main Event at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin. Despite many pros traveling to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, 338 players took to the felt in Ireland on Day 1, with 195 surviving after nine levels of play.
Irishman Dave Callaghan finished Day 1 as the overall leader, amassing a stack of 186,900 before the day came to a close. The pot-limit Omaha specialist from Dublin chipped up gradually throughout the day, with his biggest pot coming when his opponent moved all-in for 22,000 into a 3,000-chip pot on a board of . According to the WPT Live Updates Team, Callaghan called with pocket jacks and was in front of his opponent's pair of eights. The turn and river changed nothing and Callaghan collected a pot worth around 45,000.
Joining Callaghan at the top of the leaderboard are Johannes Meyer, Jacob Nielson, Shaun Conning and the always entertaining Andy Black, who won a massive pot midway through the day to shoot up the leaderboard.
With the blinds at 100/200 and a 25 ante, Black raised to 600 preflop and Sofia Lovgren three-bet to 1,300. Black came along for the ride and the two players saw a flop of . A check from Black induced a bet of 1,600 from Lovgren, but Black then put in a check-raise to 4,500.
Lovgren paused before making the call and the hit the turn. Black fired 4,600 into the pot and Lovgren called again, bringing the on the river. Black continued the aggression by betting 15,000 and Lovgren slid the chips in for a call only to watch Black turn over for a full house. Lovgren mucked and Black increased his stack to more than 80,000. He finished the day with 104,000.
Others surviving Day 1 with healthy stacks were Jon Kalmar (97,300), David Nicholson (92,100), Sam El Sayed (90,400), Ross Boatman (79,600), Dermot Blain (76,000), and Marty Smyth (65,600). Jake Cody, Kara Scott, James Dempsey, Russell Carson, McLean Karr and Tatjana Pasalic also advanced to Day 2, but all will begin play with below-average stacks.
Among the notables hitting the rail on Thursday were John Eames, Barny Boatman, James Akenhead, Matt Perrins, Praz Bansi, Sam Trickett and Padraig Parkinson. Trickett, who is attempting to follow up his extraordinary performance from 2011, was one of the last to exit the tournament floor on Day 1. Trickett ran pocket kings into pocket aces late in the day and then four-bet shoved with ace-ten into ace-queen for his remaining chips. The better hand held up both times, sending the Brit out the door.
Day 2 gets under way at 1400 GMT (0900 EST) on Friday. Here’s a look at the top ten chip counts when play resumes:
World Poker Tour Ireland Top 10 Chip Counts
*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.