Patrick Clarke accomplished the dream of every low-stakes poker player on Sunday, turning a €4 online satellite victory into a €250,000 payday by winning the 2014 Paddy Power Poker Irish Open. Clarke won his €2,250 entry into the Irish Open Main Event at Paddy Power Poker, and ultimately defeated a field of 411 to pocket by far the biggest score of his career.
The tournament victory itself netted Clarke €200,000, but he claimed an additional €50,000 by being the last man standing in the Paddy Power Sole Survivor competition. Amazingly, the extra €50K prize came down to the heads-up match against Dave Pollock, who also won his seat online.
With the victory, Clarke added his name to an elite list of Irish Open champions that includes Noel Furlong, Liam Flood, Joe Beevers, Neil Channing, James Mitchell, Kevin Vandersmissen and Ian Simpson.
2014 Irish Open Final Table Results
*Includes €50,000 for Paddy Power Sole Survivor victory
Clarke entered the final table as the overwhelming chip leader and never looked back. He kicked off the action by sending Jonathan Lundy out the door in eighth place. Lundy moved all in preflop with the and ran into the of Clarke, and the rockets held up through the board.
Clarke's onslaught continued when he eliminated Barry Donovan (7th place) and Michael Gilligan (6th place). First, Clarke and Donovan saw an action flop of . After a series of betting Donovan was all in with for an overpair and a straight flush draw, but he was trailing Clarke's for a flopped set. Clark was a 56% favorite to win the hand and was able to hold on through the turn and river.
Moments later, Gilligan moved his short stack all in with the and Clarke called with the . Once again the dealer provided a big sweat on the flop, and once again Clarke was able to avoid a club as the turn and river bricked.
Those pots gave Clarke a seemingly insurmountable chip lead, and he had room to sit back and watch the exits of Oliver Lynch and Thomas O’Shea in fifth and fourth place, respectively. Three-handed play then lasted more than 30 hands before Clarke got his hands dirty again.
It began with Liam Chevalier min-raising to 240,000 from the button and Clarke three-betting to 725,000 from the small blind. Action folded back to Chevalier, who moved all in, and Clarke called.
Clarke had the best hand again and he avoided disaster with a runout of . That set up a crucial heads-up match between Clarke and Pollock who were not only playing for the massive €69,500 jump between second and first place, but also the €50,000 up for grabs in the Paddy Power Sole Survivor contest.
Clarke had more than a two-to-one lead over Pollock when the action commenced, and after admittedly being "grinded down" by Pollock early in the match he was able to seal the deal on the 139th hand of the final table. The two players saw a limped flop of and Clarke check to Pollock, who bet 350,000. Clarke responded with a check-raise to 800,000, and Pollock quickly moved all in. Clarke nearly beat his opponent into the pot, and the cards were turned up.
Clarke was in front with his pair of kings and it stayed that way as the dealer completed the board with the turn and river. Pollock collected €130,500 for his runner-up result, and Clarke took some winner's photos before heading to the bar for a celebratory drink.
Data and photos courtesy of the Paddy Power Poker Blog.