Today’s Day 3 of the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open started with 59 players – some short-stacked, some with a lot of ammo, but all of them looking to make it over the first barrier. With 411 initial entries, it meant that 47 players were going to cash, and, in turn, it meant that twelve players had to hit the rail first. Nobody likes bubbling, but someone had to receive this bitter honor eventually.
After we had a couple quick eliminations at the start of the day, play slowed down a bit before picking up some pace again. After 11 players busted, including John Eames, David Docherty and Philip Hardy, it was bubble time. Once again, play got slower as no one seemed willing to go out. After a decent amount of back and forth, it was Konstantinos Tsikopoulos finishing 48th and being the last player to leave the Irish Poker Open empty-handed.
Once the bubble had burst, shorter stacks in the room were ready to go for bust-o or robust-o and a few more fast eliminations ensued. At times it looked like it was going to be a short day, but once again it would be a wrong assumption. The original plan for today was to play until the final table of eight was formed, but the tournament director realized that it could drag on into the night so it was decided to play through Level 27 and wrap up for the day regardless of the number of players still in. As it turned out, it was just enough time to form the unofficial final table of nine, but the official one will have to wait for another elimination tomorrow.
Some players were looking good throughout the event but fell short of making the final nine, including Geard Harraghy, who ended up finishing in 30th, Steven John Warburton, who hit the rail in 36th, David Masters in 19th, and the last standing Fin, Ville Sissonen, who was eliminated in 12th.
Jessie May, widely known as the Voice of Poker, was a story of the tournament as many were rooting for him to go deep. His run sadly finished in 17th place, but it is his biggest live cash to date and certainly a run to be proud of.
Of the nine remaining, Dave Pollock will be returning as the chip leader with 1.7 million in chips. Liam Chevallier is in close second with 1.65 million. Sitting in third is Barry Donovan with 1,565,000 – an interesting development for him as he was announced out of the tournament in 14th due to confusion at the table, which was, apparently, set straight by Jonathan Lundy, who will return tomorrow with 1,500,000. He is only slightly behind Patrick Clarke on 1,550,000.
Oliver Lynch returns with more than 1.2 million, while Michael Gilligan is on 1.1 million, only slightly ahead of Thomas O’Shea. The only player returning tomorrow not in the million-club is Antoine Smits with 720,000.
Play resumes tomorrow at 2 PM local time. Of the nine remaining players, seven actually hail from Ireland, so there is a good chance that the Irish Poker Open will have an Irish champion. That is, if Lundy or Smits do not run away with the title and €200,000 first prize money. Either way, we will know soon enough as the tournament will be played until we have a final winner tomorrow. There will be a live stream of the final table at www.PokerTube.com with cards uncovered (and the usual delay due to fairness considerations), and we will be bringing you up to speed here and on the Paddy Power Poker official blog page. Make sure to join us tomorrow for the big finale of the Irish Poker Open 2014!