€300 Main Event attracts giant field of 974 entries creating €246,909 prize pool
Irish player Jamie Cusack has won the Unibet Poker-sponsored International Poker Open on home soil for €46,590. The IPO, which was held at the Bonnington Hotel in Dublin, was the first live poker event to take place in Ireland since the start of lockdowns in early 2020.
Cusack, a 35-year-old personal trainer from Cork, fought his way through a giant field of 974 entries – and a tough final table that included WPT300 winner Peter Wigglesworth and the 2015 IPO champion Pat Bermingham. “It’s good to be back,” Cusack said. “I’m sick of the laptop!” His victory in Dublin more than tripled his lifetime live poker earnings to date; his previous best result was 52nd in the 2016 Irish Open for €3,605. He added: “`This is great – I haven’t won a trophy since I was about five years old.”
Players were thrilled to be back playing live poker at the Bonnington in one of Europe’s longest-running and most popular poker events. The International Poker Open, which took place October 22-25, has been held annually since 2008. Unibet Poker has sponsored the event for the last four years – including hosting last year’s online version.
There were 974 entries in total in this year’s €260 + €40 Main Event with players competing across six single re-entry starting flights. Nine players – including – Unibet Ambassador Dara O’Kearney – made it through the online Day 1a held on Unibet Poker. There were also two Day 1s with 40 min blinds, two turbo Day 1s, and a super-early hyperturbo Day 1f which kicked off at 9am on Day 2.
The final table results were:
1 Jamie Cusack, €46,590
2 Ray Bryant, €28,300
3 Craig Smith, €20,000
4 Dominik Znasik, €15,060
5 Will McComb, €11,880
6 Peter Wigglesworth, €8,910
7 Fotios Ntamaris, €6,350
8 Pat Bermingham, €4,390
9 Simon Dunevein, €3,480
Dozens of Unibet qualifiers took part in the Main Event thanks to winning their seats in online satellites on Unibet Poker. Along with all the Main Event finalists, they were all given a signed copy of Unibet Ambassador Dara O’Kearney’s new book, Endgame Poker Strategy which only came out in September.
By the end of the four-day tourney, 119 players were paid out from the €246,909 prize pool with a min-cash worth €560.
Players from all over Ireland, the UK and Europe attended this year’s IPO, keen to get back to the tables after a near two-year live poker tournament drought. Among those who completed in the Main Event were Unibet Ambassadors Dara O’Kearney (27th, €1,320) and David Lappin (34th, €990), former Irish Open champion Jude Ainsworth (56th, €750), last year’s online IPO champion Ciaran Cooney and the 2019 IPO champion Luke Boynton.
The 2021 festival featured 17 different tournaments. The flagship €550 High Roller, held this year in memory of Irish player Leslie McLean, was won by Richard O’Neill for €12,465. Italian player Ivan Tononi took down the inaugural €1,000 + €100 Luxon Pay Super High Roller for €19,310 after defeating a 66-entry field; among those who competed were Daragh Davey, Simon Trumper, Jason Tompkins, John Duthie, JP McCann, Max Silver and Patrick Clarke.
This year’s International Poker Open was live-streamed throughout the event on both the IPO website and on YouTube. Phil “The Tower” Heald proffered days of expert commentary, joined by special guests including Unibet Ambassadors David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney.
Unibet Ambassador David Lappin said: “This year’s IPO was a huge success and all credit to Nick O’Hara and his team who spent months planning the event without knowing if it could even go ahead. Thanks to everyone who worked tirelessly to make sure this will be an event to remember and a highlight of the Irish poker calendar. It was great to be back playing live poker at the Bonnington and I know Unibet Poker are very proud to be sponsoring this flagship event.”
Nataly Sopacuaperu, Unibet Open’s Head of Events and Sponsorship, said: “Congratulations to our new IPO champion and many thanks to all the players who took part especially our Unibet qualifiers. Unibet Poker is delighted to sponsor the IPO, one of Ireland’s most popular poker tournaments.”
For full details and full results, please visit https://internationalpokeropen.ie/live-updates/.