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Irish Luck: Kevin Killeen Wins UKIPT Dublin

The beard has got to go. This is what Kevin Killeen had to say after he secured the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Dublin title.

“I said at the beginning of the year that I wouldn’t shave my beard until I’d had a 50k score,” the winner told PokerStars Blog.

He needed some old-fashioned Irish luck to get it done, but it was definitely worth it.

Killeen started the final day of the UKIPT Dublin Main Event in the lead, dominating the seven other stacks at the final table. The eight-handed play lasted only three hands as Italian Ivan Tononi hit the rail with no chance of doubling up after his Jack-Eight was called by pocket Queens.

Larry Ryan was next to go in probably one of the most exciting hands from the final table. Ryan was in the small blind and called Killeen’s three-bet. Killeen made a late continuation bet on the turn after checking back the flop. The river brought Ryan the straight, and thinking he had the best hand, he check-raised all-in. However, it was the future winner who held the winning hand: a rivered boat.

Dutchman Joeri Zandvliet finished sixth after three-betting with a marginal hand: King-Seven. Former 2010 UKIPT Dublin Main Event winner Max Silver wasn’t impressed and called with pocket sevens to add even more chips to his stack.

Rational Group employee Dirk Thijssen had the chance to feel what it’s like to participate in a Main Event and managed to survive till Level 28. He played to win but didn’t received any help from the poker gods after moving all-in with King-Ten. He was in good spirits after he saw that he was a 60% favorite to win the pot over Silver’s Eight-Nine suited. Unfortunately for Thijssen, the river paired Silver’s eight, sending Thijssen packing in fifth place with a €23,100 prize.

Ten minutes after that, qualifier Robert Sturman left the table after winning €29,100. He qualified for the Main Event via an £8 investment in an online satellite and got away with quite an amazing profit.

Chris Wood busted out next after three-betting all-in with suited connectors. He was called by Killeen, who had King-Queen and a turn-made straight. Wood was rewarded €38,400 for his third-place finish.

The heads-up play between Killeen and Silver began full-steam with the former UKIPT Dublin winner having the edge both in chips and experience. But he did not have another essential ingredient to win any poker tournament: luck. Killeen started the double-up frenzy minutes after the heads-up kicked off. He went all-in with pocket nines and survived against a dangerous King-Queen hand.

The future winner continued his run and doubled-up three more times before eliminating Silver. In the last hand of the tourney. Killeen three-bet and called a four-bet with King-Queen, dominating his opponent, who held Queen-Eight. The community cards brought nothing new, denying Silver the chance to repeat. He won €53,700 for his second-place finish.

This is Killeen’s first major cash and win; he leaves Dublin €87,700 richer. Congratulations to the winner on his impressive performance.

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Florian Gheorghe

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