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Rok Rotar Wins 2013 Paddy Power Poker Irish Winter Festival for €85,000

Irish Winter Festival

On Tuesday, Rok Rotar won the 2013 Paddy Power Poker Irish Winter Festival Main Event, earning €85,000 and the IWF trophy. Rotar, a professional sports bettor and handball player from Ljubljana, Slovenia, topped a field of 341 players and defeated England's Samuel Welbourne heads up. Welbourne, who cashed in the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event, earned €51,500 for his efforts.

2013 Irish Winter Festival Final Table Results

1stRok Rotar€85,000
2ndSamuel Wlebourne€51,500
3rdPaul Kristoffersson€37,000
4thJoe O’Donaill€27,500
5thMathias Puzich€20,500
6thOliver Boyce€15,500
7thBartosz Ciesla€11,700
8thPhilip Gildea€8,900
9thJimmy Wan€6,900

The third and final day began with 17 players at the Burlington Hotel, and falling short of the final table were Shaun Lennon, Patrick Clarke, Seamus Doherty, Martin Gallagher, Mark Atkinson, Thomas Quaade, Peter Murphy, and Mark Wagstaff.

According to the Paddy Power Blog, Wagstaff was short stacked on the bubble of the final table, and called an all in from the big blinds with the {j-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}. Jimmy Wan, who moved in from the small blind, showed the {q-Clubs}{6-Hearts}, and his queen-high held up as the board came {8-Hearts}{4-Spades}{3-Hearts}{a-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}.

Wan was then the first player to exit from the final table, despite getting his money in the middle with a dominant hand. He was in great shape to double up with the {a-Spades}{q-Clubs} against the {a-Diamonds}{10-Spades} of Oliver Boyce, but the flop produced all diamonds and the river was a fourth diamond to give Boyce a winning flush.

Philip Gildea exited before the dinner break, running the {q-Clubs}{j-Diamonds} into Rotar's {a-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}, and after dinner, Rotar eliminated a short-stacked Bartosz Ciesla.

During six-handed play, Joe O'Donnaill received a massive double up with the {a-Hearts}{a-Clubs} against the {a-Diamonds}{k-Clubs} of Boyce, and a few hands later Boyce hit the rail. He moved the remainder of his stack in the middle with the {7-Hearts}{5-Hearts}, and O'Donaill called with the {a-Diamonds}{4-Spades}. The Irishman finished off his fellow countryman as the board came {4-Hearts}{q-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}, and Boyce was off to collect €15,500 from the cage.

From there on out, it was the Rotar show, as the Slovenian proceeded to knock out all of his four remaining opponents. The first was Mathias Puzich, who opted to make a move with the {j-Clubs}{9-Clubs}. Rotar woke up with the {k-Hearts}{k-Spades}, and held, sending Puzich out in fifth place.

O'Donaill was all in and at risk on a king-high flop with the {a-Diamonds}{k-Spades} against Rotar's {k-Hearts}{j-Hearts}, and was in great shape to double, but the {j-Clubs} spiked on the river. The Irishman exited in fourth place, earning €27,500

Paul Kristoffersson, who entered the final day as the chip leader, fell in third place. He flopped a top pair of tens against Rotar, but was in terrible shape against Rotar's set of fives. The turn brought the case five, giving Rotar quads, and a meaningless deuce completed the board.

Rotar entered heads-up play against Welbourne with a near 4-1 chip advantage, but the Brit managed to double up. Rotar never surrendered the lead, however, and eventually hammered the final nail in the coffin. On the final hand, Welbourne limp-raised all in on the button with the {q-Spades}{8-Diamonds}, and Rotar called with the {a-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}. The flop, turn, and river came {3-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{10-Diamonds}{j-Spades}{2-Diamonds}, and Rotar was crowned the champion.

Congratulations to Rok Rotar and all of the finalists.

Data courtesy of the Paddy Power Blog. Lead image courtesy of Danny Maxwell.

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