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Wsopbanner's Record-Breaking International Poker Open

by Rebecca McAdam |  Published: Jan 01, 2010


There is one event which never fails to build excitement among all kinds of poker players, especially those looking for a major tournament experience at a small price. This excitement then rubs off on the pros who become increasingly more serious about winning as the Boylepoker International Poker Open approaches. The $225 + $25 buy-in event has an aggressive structure spread over three days including two starting days.

The fast-paced, sweat-inducing event held at the Regency Hotel in Dublin from October 16-18 featured some high quality poker, some gambling-induced roller coaster spins, a tough field, a crowded bar, and a fiery tournament floor filled with players from 18 countries around the world. A field of 1,440 from France, Belgium, England, Scotland, Italy, and elsewhere made the trip to Ireland for the value, the atmosphere, and for many, a weekend’s worth of the adrenalin experienced from rolling with the big guns.

Bounty Hunter
Speaking of which, many big names and local favourites showed up on both day 1A and 1B to take part in the much-loved event, including Surinder Sunar, Scott Gray, Ken Doherty, Richard Ashby, Rupinder Bedi, Padraig Parkinson, Jesse May, rugby star Reggie Corrigan, “Mad” Marty Wilson, Andy Black, Noel Furlong, Neil Channing, Simon Trumper, Marty Smyth, Fintan Gavin, Peter Murphy, Julian Gardner, Jude Ainsworth, and Liam Flood, to name but a few. Former Eastenders star Ray Panthaki could be easily spotted in his Sunderland football bounty jersey, as could many others including myself, representing Card Player Europe.

The bounty element added a little spice to the whole affair as those who successfully hunted one down received entry into a $1,000 freeroll at the site, the winner of which got a seat directly into Boylepoker’s Be Our Sponsored Pro II final table. This promotion sees one lucky player walk away with a $10,000 sponsorship package. This of course meant most of the field were gunning for anyone in red and white, including yours truly. It was a hard road for the “Sunderland supporters” but one player did them proud by sticking it out until the final table, and that was Cat O’Neill.
Final Table IPO
Topping Fields
The no-limit hold’em tournament was a great success setting a new world record for the largest ever poker field outside of the U.S.. The overall prize pool amounted to $350,000, including $27,000 added by the sponsor,, but only 150 players would get paid, and just one would go home with the top prize of $62,250.

Rupinder Bedi was chip leader at the end of the first day of play with 273,000 in chips, followed closely by Shane Dempsey, and a name well-known in the poker community, sat in third place — Richard “Chufty” Ashby. Day 1B’s chip leader at the end of play was Nils Mazeaud with 256,500, meaning Bedi would go into the final day as the overall king of the chip stacks. There was only one problem on day 2 and that was 151 players remained with only 150 prizes up for grabs.

Close But No Cigar
Unfortunately it was shortstack Marty Smyth who took the “honours” after he pushed all in with A-8 and faced his opponent’s A-K. He bubbled his way home with a ticket to the Sunday Major on iPoker worth $320 courtesy of his sponsor, Boylepoker, and although two other players went out at the same time as him, they luckily received payouts.

Throughout the day, many of those who led the pack, fell by the wayside, and other faces began to emerge and looked increasingly more promising. One of the chip leaders at start of play, Nils Mazeaud, was put out at the hands of Irish pro Jaye Renehan who went on to make the final table. Bedi, who had sent a large bundle of players to the rail throughout the tournament and almost looked like a sure bet for the final, ended up crashing out so close but yet so far at the hands of Stephen Egan. It was late in the day and the blinds were at 40,000-80,000. Egan raised with pocket kings and Bedi who was sitting directly to his left shoved all-in with A-J. Egan made the call and despite hitting the ace on the flop, a king fell on the turn to terminate Bedi’s run.

The players who made the final table were:
Martin Dunne (Ireland) 565,000
Stephen Egan (N. Ireland) 2,290,000
Mark Troy (Ireland) 1,905,000
Markus Sippe (Luxembourg) 800,000
Colin Rutherford (N. Ireland) 1,175,000
Jaye Renehan (Ireland) 2,740,000
Sean Venney (Ireland) 930,000
Gary Cavazza (France) 1,260,000
Cat O’Neill (N. Ireland) 1,560,000

Getting Down to Business
One minute into final table play, Martin Dunne shoved with A-Q and was called by the dominated A-J. Things looked good for him on the K-10-6 flop but the turn was a queen to give Dunne’s opponent the straight and this made him the final table’s first exit. He hit the rail with $6,335 for ninth place.
Markus Sippe
Another Irishman was the event’s next casualty. Sean Venney left in eighth place picking up $9,712 for his efforts, and then the final table went on to lose two of its three remaining Northern Irish players. Stephen Egan and Colin Rutherford finished in seventh and sixth place, taking home $12,950 and $16,187 respectively. Rutherford had been left short stacked after Cat O’Neill crippled him in a pocket pair face-off. His pocket sixes failed to improve against her pocket jacks and it wasn’t long after this until his demise.

Frenchman Gary Cavazza was next out. He moved all in with queen-high running into German Markus Sippe’s A-3. An ace on the turn put Cavazza on the other side of the rail in fifth place, with the consolation prize of $19,425.
A few minutes later, the last remaining female, and bounty holder, was knocked out when her Q-J was beaten by A-J. Cat O’Neill went home with $24,736 for fourth place.

One hour on, the heads-up finalists were determined when a short-stacked Mark Troy exited in third place, with $33,208, after being forced all in due to the cripplingly high blinds. Holding K-4, Troy found himself up against Jaye Renehan’s A-K and stayed behind all the way.

Going into the Ireland versus Germany heads-up play, Markus Sippe was chip leader with 7.5 million. However, Renehan was not too far behind with 5.5 million.

Less than ten minutes later and it was all over when Renehan moved all in preflop with 5-4 and Sippe made the call with A-4. The flop brought a gutshot for Renehan, the turn gave him a double belly buster, but the river paired the board and Sippe became this year’s International Poker Open champion, earning the healthy top prize of $62,250. Renehan took home $47,490 for his fantastic second-place finish.

German-born, Luxembourg resident, Markus Sippe’s reaction reflected the excitement of the many players who took part, the team who organised the event, and even those who watched from the sidelines. An overawed Sippe said when interviewed for the live feed, “I hope to come back next year and do even better!”

Paul Spillane, head of poker at the site said, “This year’s International Poker Open was another great success, breaking last year’s record by a further 140 players. The event is proving more and more popular every year, among all levels of players. There was a great atmosphere throughout the entire weekend, and everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves at the tables. Once again, the event’s success can be attributed to the hard work of everyone on the team, and of course the infectious enthusiasm of those who took part. The IPO has become an unmissable event on any poker lover’s calendar, and we are already excited about the next one.”

All those who took part, did so with a smile on their faces, and went out already looking forward to taking part next year. The event only seems to be getting bigger, and its popularity could be put down to a combination of elements such as the amazing atmosphere, the fantastic value, how well run the event is, and the fact it gives everyone a taste of a major tournament while also challenging every level of player. It’s definitely a weekend in the poker diary to keep free in 2010. Spade Suit