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Young Belgian Pro Wins Irish Poker Open 2012

Kevin Vandersmissen Wins Irish Open For €420,000


Kevin Vandersmissen from Belgium has won the €3,200 + €300 buy in Irish Open 2012 beating 501 opponents to lift the top prize of €420,000.

The young pro, already with over $1 million in tournament earnings in just over two years, came from being the short stack at the start of the final table to beat long-time final table chip leader Thomas Beer from Germany heads up.

The final table, sequestered at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin so that the live stream could show hole cards live, got off to a train wreck start for the only two Irish players at the table, Andy Black and Philip Magennis who ran A-K and Q-Q respectively into Beer’s A-A preflop. Both busted on hand five.

Schoolteacher Ian Simpson from Newcastle, England became this year’s Sole Survivor when he was the last player standing from over 130 online qualifiers from the site. He collected €100,000 for this triumph and another €107,500 when he was sent to the rail in fifth after his 10-10 bet was shoved on by Beer’s 8-8 which connected with another 8 on the flop.

This put Beer in a dominant position and he was a short odds on favourite in the in-running betting at

David “Dixie” Dean, many people’s idea of the possible winner after he doggedly held on with some unconventional play, finally busted in third on hand 157 after his short stacked K-5 ran into Vandersmissen’s A-A giving the Belgian the chip lead of 5.5 million against Beer’s 4.5 million going into heads up.

This duel lasted just under 20 hands as Vandersmissen cleverly used his chips to beat Beer down and the final hand saw Beer find AClub Suit KHeart Suit on the button. He saw his 160,000-chip min-raise called by Vandersmissen with 9Diamond Suit 7Club Suit and the flop fell 9Spade Suit 4Heart Suit 3Club Suit.

Vandersmissen checked, Beer bet 200,000, Vandersmissen check-raised to 480,000, and Beer counted out an 800,000-chip re-raise. Vandersmissen pushed all his seven million plus chips in, and Beer made the call but the turn and river were no help and Beer was relegated to runner up as Vandersmissen began his celebrations.

He said when presented with the €420,000 cheque, “I feel pretty happy. It’s my first big tournament that I’ve won. I tried to do my best. I felt pretty comfortable. I had to double up in the beginning and had to play very tight but as you saw I’m not afraid to bluff!”

Fifty-four players were paid in the tournament including some notables such as Nick Abou Risk (51st – €6,900), James Dempsey (34th – €9,400), Phil Hellmuth (33rd – €9,400), Manig Loeser (30th – €9,400), Freedy Deeb (27th – €11,200), Kenneth Hicks (20th – €11,200), Julian Gardner (18th – €13,150), Jason Wheeler (15th – €15,400), and Adam Levy (14th – €15,400).

Here is a look at the payouts and Player of the Year points awarded at the final table:

1: Kevin Vandersmissen — €420,000 (1,260 POY points)
2: Thomas Beer — €225,000 (1,050 POY points)
3: David “Dixie” Dean — €158,000 (840 POY points)
4: Ian Simpson — €107,500 (630 POY points)
5: Steve Watts — €78,000 (525 POY points)
6: Jordan Lewis — €59,000 (420 POY points)
7: Samuel Chartier — €44,500 (315 POY points)
8: Andy Black — €32,700 (210 POY points)
9: Philip Magennis — €23,000 (105 POY points)

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