Brit wins inaugural WPT Ireland Championship

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jan 10, 2012 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

The inaugural World Poker Tour stop in Ireland had some stiff tournament competition to contend with across the Atlantic, considering the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) was running concurrently in the Bahamas. Even with the attraction of the Bahamas in the middle of winter, not to mention the PCA being one of the world’s most prestigious and richest poker tournaments, the WPT Ireland managed to draw a respectable field of 338 players, including many of the top European players.

With a total prize-pool of nearly $1 million, the €2,500 buy-in tournament was going to make one player €222,800 richer, plus the possibility of winning millions via the $25,000 seat for the WPT Championship later in the year.

A number of the UK’s top players may have registered for the tournament, but in the end the WPT Ireland produced a fairly innocuous final table of five players (the WPT usually hosts six player final tables but a double elimination left just five players for the WPT Ireland final table).

Leading the final table by an overwhelming margin was British poker player David Shallow, who entered the final table with over 6 million of the 10 million chips in play! Shallow’s path to the championship would be anything but easy, despite his commanding chip-lead at the start of the day.

The final table began with Shallow shipping chips to two different players after all-in confrontations, and by the time heads-up play began Shallow and his remaining opponent Charles Chattha were nearly equal in chips after Shallow made a crucial misstep five-betting K-3 suited into Chattha’s Pocket Queens.

After winning a few small pots to regain the chip-lead the final hand of the tournament saw Chattha facing Pocket Queens, with his tournament on the line holding Pocket 9’s. The Queens once again held, and David Shallow became the first WPT Ireland Champion.

Here is a look at the final table payouts from the tournament:

1. David Shallow $289,031

2. Charles Chattha $144,502

3. Ronan Gilligan $96,339

4. Patrik Vestlin $68,396

5. Steve Watts $51,063

The win is by far the largest score of Shallow’s tournament career, besting his previous best cash of $12,398 for a 15th place finish in the EPT Grosvenor World Masters tournament. Shallow now has $325k in career tournament earnings according to thehendonmob.com.

The World Poker Tour will now move on to Venice, Italy for the WPT Venice Grand Prix, a €4,950 Main Event that will take place from February 6th to the 10th. From there is back to the US for the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Showdown, a $3,500 buy-in Championship event that will take place from February 10th to the 14th.

The next major WPT event will take place at the end of February when the tour returns to Los Angeles for the WPT LA Poker Classic, a $10,000 buy-in Main Event, and one of the most prestigious tournaments in poker.

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