Belgian player Kevin Vandersmissen triumphed in the Paddy Power sponsored Irish Poker Open on Easter Monday, besting a tricky final table that included pros Andy Black and Sam Chartier.
Vandersmissen had come into the final table of the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open with the shortest stack, but after an aggressive start that saw him pick up a few pots, he eventually doubled through David Dean which gave the young Belgian the necessary chips to put on the poker masterclass that saw him take down the title.
Andy Black, who arrived at the 2012 IPO final table in fifth position, was undoubtedly the highest profile of the nine remaining players, but he was only able to finish in eighth place after his A – K was crushed in a hand where Philip Magennis also busted with pocket queens; Thomas Beer eliminated both players, with his pocket aces.
That hand propelled Beer into the upper echelons of the chip counts and it was he and eventual winner Vandersmissen who went heads up for the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open title. The two stacks were evenly matched, with around 5.5 million for the Belgian and 4.5 million for Beer.
The first major hand of heads up play came when Vandersmissen’s A – K dominated Beer’s A – J, before Beer found an A – K of his own in the final hand, which proved no match for the 9 – 7 of Vandersmissen, who made three of a kind on the final card of the 2012 IPO.
The new 2012 Irish Poker Open champion said of his victory, “I feel pretty happy. It’s my first big tournament that I’ve won. I tried to do my best. I felt pretty comfortable.”
Vandersmissen added, “I had to double up in the beginning and had to play very tight but as you saw I’m not afraid to bluff!”
The Irish Poker Open first prize payout of €420,000 shifts Vandersmissen into second position in the all time money earnings leader board for Belgium, overtaking Pierre Neuville in the process and leaving the Lock Poker pro around $400,000 short of Davidi Kitai’s $1.8 million career haul. Vandersmissen has earned almost $600,000 from online poker tournaments too.
The Paddy Power Irish Poker Open had attracted a total of 502 players, with no shortage of top class professional poker players. The likes of Daniel Negreanu, Freddy Deeb, Maria Ho, Phil Hellmuth, Faraz Jaka, Adam Levy and James Dempsey were all in attendance, though none of those players were able to make the IPO final table.
The 2012 Paddy Power Irish Poker Open final table payouts in full:
1 – Kevin Vandersmissen – €420,000
2 – Thomas Beer – €225,000
3 – David Dean – €158,000
4 – Ian Simpson – €107,500
5 – Steve Watts – €78,000
6 – Jordan Lewis – €59,000
7 – Samuel Chartier — €44,500
8 – Andy Black – €32,700
9 – Philip Magennis – €23,000