The Irish Poker Open is one of the most prestigious and anticipated series on the poker schedule. It's the longest running poker series outside of the World Series of Poker, and the 2015 edition was no exception to the success it's had over the years.
The festival included six side events, including the €1,000 Liam Flood Memorial Tournament, which was won by Garrett Boyle for €25,000; and a €300 Mini Main Event, which Mahmood Rasheed won for €13,133.
As for the cornerstone €3,500 Main Event, that tournament attracted 321 entrants and created a juicy prize pool of €1,027,200 that was distributed to the top 36 finishers. Mike Sexton and Dan Harrington were two notables in attendance who failed to cash, while 2014 Hollywood Poker Open Championship winner Simon Deadman (16th - €9,750) and consummate high roller Steve O'Dwyer (€12,500) were two that finished in the money.
In the end, the title came down to Greece's Ioannis Triantafyllakis and Ireland's Kevin Killeen, who won the UKIPT Dublin for €87,700 back in Feb. 2014. The two were close in chips, so a deal was struck that left €12,000 and the trophy on the table. It took another level and a half before a winner was determined, but in the end Triantafyllakis walked out on top.
It happened when Triantafyllakis, who had pulled out to a sizeable chip lead, moved all in from the button and Killeen called off.
Killeen got it in good, but Triantafyllakis took the lead with a pair of queens on the flop. Neither the turn nor river helped Killeen, and he had to settle for runner-up for €192,500.
Meanwhile, Triantafyllakis ensured the trophy would be leaving Ireland.
"Ok — I was a little bit lucky, but luck is important in poker," Triantafyllakis said after the win. "Everyone [on the final table] was very good. I will come next year. The people here are very nice, very polite."
In addition to the first-place prize money, Triantafyllakis, an online qualifier, earned €50,000 for outlasting 107 other qualifiers to win the PaddyPower Poker Sole Survivor promotion. Not too shabby for a man whose only previous documented cash was €480 for an eighth-place finish in the 2013 Eureka Bulgaria €200 No-Limit Hold'em Win the Button Turbo tournament.
"This promotion from PaddyPower Poker is very good," Triantafyllakis said. "I've never seen this before — very exciting."
Final Table Results
*Denotes heads-up deal
Triantafyllakis winning the title made poker headlines, but so did an infamous hand that played out with eight players remaining. According to live updates from the event, it happened when Irish poker legend Donnacha O'Dea opened for 100,000 holding the and action folded to Germany's Andreas Gann, who called from the small blind with the , but he only had a few big blinds left in his stack. The flop hit both players, and Gann, who only had 177,000 behind, checked to O'Dea, who bet 300,000 to set Gann all in.
Gann had flopped the nuts, and what should have been a snap-call, turned into a minute-long tank. There seemed to be neither rhyme nor reason for the slowroll, and the commentators quickly turned on Gann.
"This is horrific!" one commentator exclaimed. "Absolutely horrendous behavior! You know what, [O'Dea] deserves an ace or six on the river. Ace or six, come on!"
Eventually Gann called off, and the table chastised him while O'Dea, ever the gentleman, sat stoically. The dealer then burned and turned the .
Much to the delight of O'Dea, the other players, the commentators, and all those in the crowd, justice was served when the spiked on the river to give O'Dea a full house and sent Gann out the door in eighth place for €26,750.
"Disgraceful, outrageous behavior, and justice is done," one of the commentators said after the hand.
Watch the epic slowroll here:
*Data and photo courtesy of Paddy Power Poker.