David Docherty qualified for the €1,150 Irish Poker Open Main Event via a $109 satellite on PokerStars and what an investment it was, as he went on to win the whole thing Tuesday morning, bagging €365,000.
Continuing the trend in the live poker world that we have seen since the pandemic shutdowns, the demand for poker tournaments continues to grow. The Main Event attracted 2,491 entrants, making it both the largest Irish Poker Main Event ever and the largest live tournament in Ireland’s history. The €1 million guarantee was smashed easily, as the prize pool topped out at €2,428,725.
This was the biggest cash of Docherty’s career and has taken his lifetime earnings up to more than $1.1 million.
Day 4 began on Monday with 16 players remaining and within a few hours, it was down to just the nine-handed final table. Docherty was in second place with 12.7 million chips, one of four players over 10 million. Declan Rice led the final table with 17.25 million.
Jamie Wynne was the prohibitive short stack and as expected, he was the first to hit the rail, and on the first hand at that.
Out in eighth place was Henri Ojala, who was all-in for 4.8 million after Irish poker legend Andy Black raised pre-flop. Black called with 8-8, marginally ahead of Ojala, who had A-Q suited. Ojala had a flush draw and an open-ended straight draw after the turn, but couldn’t hit any of his multitude of outs.
Tom Waters took out Carl Shaw next, again an all-in pre-flop situation in which Waters used A-J to beat Shaw’s A-T.
After the dinner break, Eugeniu Barbaros and Panagiotis Mavritsakis clashed all-in pre-flop (Docherty was also involved, but got out of the way), with Mavritsakis dominating with K-K against 8-8. No surprises and that was that for Barbaros.
Andy Black was the fifth-place finisher after an unfortunately-timed attempt to steal Declan Rice’s small blind after Rice limped. Black shoved with only 6-2 and Rice called him with A-8. Black’s two cards were live and sure enough, he hit a 6 on the flop, but Rice found an open-ended straight draw and got there on the river.
With four players remaining, Rice raised pre-flop only to see Waters move all-in for 7.325 million. That was fine with Rice, though, as he had Waters dominated, A-K versus A-T. Again, nothing crazy on the board and Waters was out in fourth.
Docherty finally notched an elimination himself and it was at the perfect time. Three-handed, Mavritsakis opened the pre-flop betting by going all-in for 20.3 million with Q-9 of hearts. With the big blind at a million, it was as good a time as any and a chance to pick up the blinds. But Docherty called with two red Tens, Mavritsakis couldn’t catch up, and it was on to heads-up.
Going into heads-up play, Docherty had about 2.5 times the stack of Rice, leading 52.35 million to 21.175 million. Rice actually took the lead, though, as he doubled-up with A-7 against Docherty’s Deuces when he hit an Ace on the river. It didn’t take long for Docherty to make it all back and then some when he himself doubled-up, A-K versus K-8. It was another miracle river – both players flopped a King, but Rice hit an 8 on the turn, only to see Docherty river a flush.
At that point, Rice was down to just a few big blinds, so he had to shove with anything and that anything happened to be J-2. Docherty looked him up with K-T. The flop was 8-6-2, putting Rice in the lead, and then the turn brought another 8. The 6 on the river, however, counterfeited Rice’s lower pair, giving each player two pair, 8’s and 6’s. Docherty had the better kicker, though, and won the pot and the tournament.