Marty Smyth, Ladbrokes Million finalist and all-around great poker player, captured the 2007 Irish Poker Open today, dispatching of Roland de Wolfe in a lengthy heads-up battle when his J-Q held up against de Wolfe's J-4 all-in pre-flop. The three final players, Smyth, de Wolfe and Sorel MIzzi had agreed to a chop three-handed, which saw 100k euros go to the winner. Mizzi received better than second place money even though he went out in third place. It is undetermined at this time exactly how the split between de Wolfe and Smyth went.
De Wolfe was the short-stack heading into the final day of play, but chipped up due to some fortunate hands. His most fortunate came when he hit a four flush on the river against Brian O'Keeffe's set of nines. Mizzi looked to dominate the final table, but never really seemed to catch his stride at the final table, and ended up going out in third. He was involved in a huge pot with de Wolfe just before his elimination. The money was all-in preflop, with Mizzi holding pocket sevens and de Wolfe holding K Q. The flop brought an open ended straight draw for de Wolfe, and the river brought an ace, effectively ending Mizzi's tournament.
All in all, it was an extremely successful tournament, with over 700 entrants and numerous big names (Dan Harrington, Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari). The tournament was a hit with players as well, and I would expect even higher numbers next year, if the tournament can handle the capacity.
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