At one time in the history of the game, the Irish Poker Open was a major tournament event. Dating back to 1979, the Irish Poker Open has a history that is only rivaled by that of the World Series of Poker. Another page is being added to that history this weekend as the final sixteen players have been determined in the 2023 version of the tournament.

Massive Field in the Money to Start Day Three

The 2491-player field in the €1150 buy-in tournament had been whittled down to the final 160 players at the start of action on this Easter Sunday. Leading the way was the United Kingdom’s Carl Shaw, who posted a score of 1.7 million to start Day Three action. There were plenty of players in pursuit of Shaw, however, including Dominik Nitsche, Benny Glaser, and hometown favorite Seamus Cahill looking to take down the Brit.

Everyone was assured of nearly €3000 from the €2.428 million-plus prize pool (€2990, to be exact), but players weren’t happy with settling for mere scraps. The battles were fervent around the Royal Dublin Society as players clawed their way deeper into the field. In some cases, it was particularly brutal, as in when Alexander Glogar’s pocket Aces were cracked by Daniel Rohrbasser’s pocket Jacks when a Jack hit on the turn.

Glogar would have a familiar face join him on the rail moments later. Former Hendon Mobster Ross Boatman and Stefan Bratanov squared off against each other, with the British poker legend coming up on the short end of the stick. After being bet out of a pot by Bratanov on an A-6-6 flop, a rotation later Boatman would find the remainder of his stack in the center against Bratanov again:

Boatman: K-2
Bratanov: A-3

Bratanov would catch an unnecessary trey on the flop to further his lead, while there was no King on the turn or river for Boatman. Although it was unfortunate to see one of the UK’s greatest on the tables again, many would have liked to have seen him go further.

There was quite the contingent on the rail in addition to Glogar and Boatman. Conor Beresford, Thierry van den Berg, and Andrew Hulme all would fall. In one particularly interesting all-in, Benny Glaser would earn a double knockout when his 10-9 caught against Jurgen Reichert’s A-Q and Paul Hofer pocket Kings on a 10-3-8-3-10 board. The resulting knockouts saw Glaser move over the 1.3 million chip mark and into contention.

Irish Holding Their Own on Home Turf

To say the Irish are defending their home turf would be an understatement. Irish poker legend Andy Black (A 10) would utilize a royal flush to take out Beresford, who made a Broadway straight against him on a 2-J-K-Q-x board. That hand took Black over the two million mark in chips and he too stepped up as a contender for the title.

Glaser, meanwhile, made the most of the chips from that double knockout. He took some chips off of Darren Harbinson by using the Hammer (7-2) to river two pair, then moved over four million in chips by hitting another two pair (this time with 9-8) against Jamie Wynne. It would be one of the big stacks at the end of Day Three that would derail Glaser, however.

With a flop and turn reading 7-10-6-A, Panagiotis Mavritsakis checked his option to Glaser, who put a million chips on the line. Mavritsakis thought his situation over for quite a spell before eventually announcing that he was all in. Almost as quickly, Glaser surprisingly folded, giving up the nearly three million chip pot and sacrificing his chip lead to Mavritsakis.

Mavritsakis was doing quite well, but not as well as Eugeniu Barbaros. He slipped under the radar for much of the day, accumulating 9.75 million chips by the end of the action. That was good enough to capture the lead of the final sixteen players in the 2023 Irish Poker Open:

1. Eugeniu Barbaros, 9.75 million
2. Panagiotis Mavritsakis, 6.375 million
3. Tom Waters, 6.3 million
4. Andy Black, 5.325 million
5. Vincent Sanchez, 5.125 million
6. Carl Shaw, five million
7. Jamie Wynne, 4.55 million
8. Benny Glaser, 4.525 million
9. Kevin O’Donnell, four million
10. Steve Watts, 3.675 million

Of the sixteen men remaining, five are from Ireland, seven are from the UK, and one each from Greece, the USA, Finland, and Andorra.

Monday will mark the final day for the 2023 Irish Poker Open, with play kicking off at 1 PM (BST) in Dublin. The eventual champion will take down a €365,000 first-place prize along with one of the most prestigious titles in poker, that of champion of the Irish Poker Open.

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