On Monday, the annual Irish Poker Open concluded, and this year’s champion, David Docherty, will be taking the trophy home to Scotland.
Europe’s longest running No Limit Hold’em event at the Royal Dublin Society drew a record number of entrants this year thanks to a variety of online satellites hosted by PokerStars and Paddy Power.
With 2,491 entrants, this year’s competition was the largest of its kind in Ireland. In addition, after defeating Declan Rice in the final round, Docherty won the lion’s share of a €2.4 million prizepool.
Several players qualified for the Irish Poker Open’s €1,150 prize pool through online satellite tournaments, including the eventual winner, Docherty. The Scottish pro has been cashing in live events since 2009. But, he is also a skilled online poker player, as shown by his two victories at PokerStars.
Irish Poker Open Ending 2023
David Docherty: 365 thousand euro ($398,780)
Declan Rice was awarded $249,866 (€228,700)
For Panagiotis Mavritsakis, the sum was €161,500 ($176,446)
Earnings for Tom Waters: €124,500 ($136,022)
For Andy Black, the sum of 95 500 Euros ($104 338 USD)
Price: €73,500 ($80,302) for Eugeniu Barbaros
57 500 Euros ($61 729 USD) for Carl Shaw
Money awarded to Henri Ojala: €43,500 ($47,525)
He utilized his first pass on Day 1A, but he had to leave early since he was sick. Docherty lucked out when his second attempt proved more effective. He had the most chips at the end of Day 1B and was still in the running late in the tournament.
Yet when there were just eight players remaining, Andy Black, an Irish poker star, was the center of attention. He made it to the last round and for a while, he seemed like a sure bet to win it all. Yet as Black’s star faded, Declan Rice emerged as the brightest star.
Docherty makes a late-career breakthrough.
The Irishman was always one to pick up the pace. With just two opponents remaining, he was now in a commanding position. Although Docherty initially fell behind the home team favorite, he eventually caught up (see video below).
The last two players paused play to negotiate a compromise, but the terms weren’t acceptable to either of them. At that point, Docherty assumed leadership. Once he doubled back into contention, he closed the deal with some divine assistance at poker.
Docherty pushed all in from the button with K 10 against Rice’s little blind of seven. As the flip came 8 6 2, Rice made the call and grabbed the lead with his pocket pairs.
The 8 and 6 quickly erased Rice’s advantage by imitating his pair of deuces. Docherty won the last pot and the Irish Poker Open for the first time with two pair and a superior kicker.
After his victory, Docherty gave an interview (video above) in which he credited his heads-up play expertise as a key factor in his victory. He said he felt prepared to take on the world-famous Irish Poker Open because of his performance in 2021 and 2022, which included a GUKPT championship.