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2009 | Live & Online Poker Tournament News
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009 | Francis Lee


The 2009 Irish Poker Open was held at the CityWest Hotel in Dublin, Ireland over the UK April bank holiday.  668 entrants started out in the €3,500 buy in main event which pushed the prize pool to €2,243,200.  The first place prize everyone was trying to win was set at €600,000 and the winner would have to battle through four days play to get the top prize.

The field was packed with famous poker pro’s from across the globe with the likes of Andy Black, Jamie Gold, Dan Harrington, Barney Boatman, Ronald De Wolfe and last years champion Neil Channing just to name a few.  Paddy Power had also sent 101 qualifiers to this event and put up €100,000 in prize money to the qualifier who finished in the highest position.

Day one saw just 287 survive in a frantic day of poker with the chip lead changing hands constantly.  The notable names to fall on the first day included the 2007 champion Marty Smyth, Andy Black, Liam Flood, Jennifer Tilley and David Saab.  The second days play was no different with most of the short stacked players getting there chips in to have a chance of making the money with just 72 paid places.  As the day drew to a close the bubble burst with Ronald O’Hara being the unlucky 73rd place finisher.  Just 64 players would return for day three in the race to reach the final table.

With the bubble position being decided already the eliminations came thick and fast when play resumed and it didn’t take as long as expected to get down to the eight seat final table.  The Paddy Power €100,000 prize that was set to go to the highest placed qualifier was also decided half way through the day, with Marcel Koch being that lucky winner.  Koch had a great run in the tournament and picked up an additional €17,900 finishing in 16th place.
When play concluded Andrew Pantling held a huge chip lead with over 2 million in chips, more than double the chips of any one else.  The rest of the field was tightly bunched down to sixth place with Bradley Verberg and Andy Bradshaw being on the short stacks.  The final table chip rankings looked as follows.

Final Table Chip Rankings

  • 1st  Andrew Pantling 2,286,000
  • 2nd  Lee Brooke-Pearce 998,000
  • 3rd  Atanas Gueorguiev 990,000
  • 4th  Christer Johansson 906,000
  • 5th  Kara Scott Tobin 701,000
  • 6th  William Kassouf 569,000
  • 7th  Andy Bradshaw 351,000
  • 8th  Bradley Verburg 217,000

The start was delayed slightly as everyone was waiting for Andy Bradshaw to turn up and take his seat.  On the very first had Bradshaw wasted no time getting all his chips in pre flop with :ad :qd Atanas Gueorguiev was only happy to call tabling pocket Kings which held up on the final board showing :10s :6h :4h :10c :4s

Just a couple of hands later Bradley Verburg moved his short stack in with :ad :2d and was up against the chip leader Pantling holding :kh :jc Pantling took the lead hitting top pair on the Flop showing :js :2c :7d The rest of the board blanked out for Verburg and he was out in seventh winning €74,600.

Gueorguiev went on to take the chip lead as he eliminated William Kassouf into sixth place.  Kassouf ran his :jh :js into :qh :qc and received no help on the final board.  Moments later Lee Brooke-Pearce lost a large majority of his chips doubling up Christer Johansson.  Johansson’s :ks :qc hit trip Kings on the Flop beating pocket Jacks.  Brooke-Pearce moved all in on the next hand looking to get back into the game but found his :8d :5d bettered by Pantling’s :kh :10s

The chip lead swung from player to player during four handed play and it took a while for the next elimination to come about.  Kara Scott and Gueorguiev started a pre flop betting war until Gueorguiev was all in.  Gueorguiev was favourite when the cards were shown as he had :kc :kd against :ah :qc Gueorguiev held the lead right down to the Turn until the :ad came down on the River to end his tournament.

Heads up was quickly reached as another pre flop betting war had Andrew Pantling all in with :7c :7d against Johansson with :ks :qs Pantling was looking good to double up after the first four cards down was the :8h :8d :5s but the :qh left him to exit in third place taking home €205,200 in prize money.

Kara Scott held a slight chip lead over Chirster Johansson at the start of heads up.  Johansson went on to take an early lead and held this throughout.  There was a few times Scott looked to have come back but her final hand came when she got all her ship in with middle pair on the flop when Johansson was sitting on top pair.  No help came to rescue Scott on the Turn or River meaning Johansson was the 2009 Irish Open champion winning €600,000.

Final Standings

  • 1st  Christer Johansson €600,000
  • 2nd  Kara Scott €312,600
  • 3rd  Andrew Pantling €205,200
  • 4th  Atanas Gueorguiev €163,300
  • 5th  Lee Brooke-Pearce €130,600
  • 6th  William Kassouf €100,800
  • 7th  Bradley Verburg €74,600
  • 8th  Andy Bradshaw €56,000



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