Thursday, November 3, 2011 : Paddy Power epic gives Northern Ireland victor a take-home of Euro 100 000.
John Keown of Northern Ireland has won the 2011 Paddy Power Poker.com Irish Winter Festival, besting a 395-strong field in the Euro 1,000 + Euro 100 buy-in main event at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin to claim the Euro 100,000 first prize Monday.
The icing on the cake for Keown was lifting the Paddy Power Poker.com Sole Survivor title, which gave him an additional Euro 20,000 for being the last Paddy Power Poker online qualifier standing in the tournament.
Keown beat southern Irish player Noel O'Brien heads up in a battle that lasted just over an hour.
The pair started with O'Brien as 3:2 chip leader but the lead flip-flopped several times until the key hand which saw a flop 4s-5h-3s. Keown bet 500,000, only for O'Brien to move all-in with 8d-3h. Keown called with Qs-7s and was favourite even though he was behind with his flush draw and two overcards.
The 9s fell on the turn giving Keown a flush and he doubled up to over 5 million in chips with just under six million in play and O'Brien was in big trouble.
However he doubled up twice immediately after this hand but ultimately was living on borrowed time and a third quick all-in in succession saw O'Brien's Kc-6c bested by Keown's Ad-5d when the board missed both players and Keown's Ace high was good for the title.
Keown, who finished ninth in the 2008 Irish Open main event for Euro 50,000 and is well known on the Irish circuit, said after his victory, "It was a bit of a battle, but I think we're both gambling men – I've known Noel a long time and we've had our wars over the years – we were both going to gamble and I came out on top. Poker's a funny game, you can be so far in front, but it only takes one card to do the damage."
The final table payouts were:
1st. John Keown – Euro 100,000
2nd. Noel O'Brien – Euro 57,950
3rd. Chris Dowling – Euro 35,750
4th. Matej Kokalj – Euros 28,750
5th. Michael Mazilu – Euro 22,750
6th. Brian Warren – Euro 18,550
7th. Damien Quinlivan – Euro 14,400
8th. Ville Salmi – Euro 11,750
9th. Colm Hayes – Euro 8,700
A total prize pool of Euro 395,000 was created with 40 players making the money including current Irish Open champion Niall Smyth.