Poker Coverage:

Ciaran O'Leary Wins Event #3 at the WSOP

O'Leary Gets off to a Slow Start, Then Pours on the All-in Aggression


"All of a sudden I feel very tired…I'm running on fumes, to say the least," said Ciaran O'Leary. A generous hint of his Irish accent hung on every word and despite the three hours of sleep he had logged the two nights before, the resident of Seattle, Washington, was very upbeat. A gold bracelet will do that for you, as well as $727,172 in prize money. The charismatic O'Leary needed neither of these to full-heartedly appreciate his victory in the $1,500 no-limit hold'em event at the World Series of Poker.

Here is how the final hour of action played out, including the chip counts of the final three players when things started:

Alex Jacob: $2,600,000
Paul Evans: $2,625,000
Ciaran O'Leary: $3,700,000

The Patented Push of "Big C"

Jacob bet $300,000 from the button and Evans raised to $1 million from the small blind. Ciaran "Big C" O'Leary then reraised all in. O'Leary picked up the nickname of "Big C" from the tournament director over the course of the evening. He may have to patent this nickname, along with his patented all in push after the tournament. Jacob abandoned ship and the action sat squarely on the shoulders of Evans. The ESPN camera buggies surrounded the man, and the house lights were brought up around the final table. Under no pressure at all, Evans went into the tank for a while. O'Leary paced back and forth across the stage area. Evan folded and O'Leary stacked up the more than $1.5 million pot. He now held a large chip lead over his two competitors.

Alex Jacob Eliminated in Third Place ($282,367)

On the next hand, O'Leary limped and Jacob checked his option. O'Leary checked in the dark and the flop was dealt A 4 2. Jacob bet $150,000 and "Big C" raised to $600,000. The K was dealt on the turn and O'Leary went to his favorite move, the all-in push. Jacob went into the tank, while O'Leary once again paced the stage. This time he made ample use of every square inch available. He ended up over by the media table at one point. Jacob finally made the call and O'Leary flipped over pocket sevens. Jacob looked livid when he turned over 9 4. Jacob's visual anger increased as the 6 was peeled off the deck on the river. O'Leary, who had gone into hiding during this process, appeared stage right. He walked over to congratulate Jacob on his third-place finish. Jacob will take home $282,367 in prize money.

There was a break in the action after this elimination to reconfigure the final table for the heads-up match between O'Leary and Evan. The players returned to the final table after a 15-minute pause in the action and took their seats. Here were the chip counts when they started their face-off:

Paul Evans: $1,487,000
Ciaran O'Leary: $7,500,000

On the second hand of their heads-up match, Paul Evans limped and O'Leary checked his option. The flop was dealt K 6 2 and O'Leary checked. Evans bet $500,000 and O'Leary moved all in for what seemed like the millionth time of the day. Evans quickly called and flipped over 63. O'Leary turned over K10 and his cheering section mobilized their vocal chords in approval. The turn and river cards were dealt K 9 and O'Leary won the second bracelet of the 2007 WSOP. He took home the gold bracelet in the first $1,500 no-limit hold'em event and the $727,012 first-place prize. He walked off the stage and celebrated with his well-wishers, who had been a constant presence since O'Leary made his first all-in push of the day on hand 19. Evans finished in second place and he will take home $450,150 in prize money.

O'Leary was quiet in the early going of the final table; he went 19 hands before acting. "I was completely and utterly card dead," said O'Leary. After a while, O'Leary came to life, not only with his card play, but through the numerous celebrations he shared with his friends that were there to cheer him on as well. "It was a matter of just being patient, trust your reads on people, and you know that you'll come through. I knew I was going to have to pick up a few hands, and finally I did," said O'Leary. "It's great to have the guys in the background; they were very, very supportive."



over 15 years ago

While O'Leary's "all-in push" move is a fine thing, his pacing around the stage is clearly against TDA rules. Specifically rule #38: " Action Pending Players must remain at the table if they still have action pending on a hand.

This rule is relative new and was added because of this very sort of problem. Players should stay at the table during a hand. It's *very* bad for the game to remove the opportunity for an opponent to study you while he's making a decision.

I would have hoped the WSOP tournament directors would have realized the obvious reason for this rule and enforced it.

Lee Jones