While Andrej Desset was busy writing his name into the partypoker LIVE history books by winning his second Grand Prix title in the space of three weeks, Ireland’s Joseph Macari was navigating his way to his first major live poker tournament victory by triumphing in the Grand Prix Dublin Main Event.
Five-hundred and forty-nine players exchanged €340 for the chance to become a Grand Prix champion in Dublin, a turnout that resulted in the €150,000 guaranteed prize pool being smashed by some €14,700.
2017 Grand Prix Dublin Final Table Results
The final day started with 123 players returning to their seats, each sharing a common goal of reaching the money places and then playing their way towards the final table. As players lost their stacks and the number of surviving players continued to fall, the money bubble loomed for the 63 players with chips in front of them.
Then at 4:54 p.m. on May 1, Stephen Ward raised to 18,000 from under the gun with and Stuart Reale called on the button with . Ward made a continuation bet of 18,000 on the flop and Reale called. The turn was the , Ward moved all-in for 94,000 and was quickly called by Reale. The improved Ward to trip queens but they were an expensive second-best hand because Reale’s set of tens was now a full house.
Ward’s exit in 63rd place locked up €600 for the active players, including online qualifier German Popov who couldn’t make the trip from his native Russia to Ireland so his 147,600 stack was in play all day without him being present. Amazingly, Popov made it into the money places with a solitary big blind to his name, cashing in the partypoker LIVE Grand Prix Dublin Main Event while sat at home in Russia!
By the time the final table was set, each of the eight finalists were guaranteed €3,850, although Kevin O’Malley, David Crilly, Dave Masters and Joseph Macari also received a €2,000 package thanks to the partypoker Final Table Challenge they were part of.
2017 Grand Prix Dublin Final Table Draw
The final table kicked off just after midnight and within 20-minutes it had lost its first player. A brutal hand that saw Kevin O’Malley’s set of seven beaten by the set of eights in the hand of Thomas Fitzgerald.
A short while later, Peter O’Dowd and Dave Masters got into a preflop raising war that resulted in O’Dowd calling off his stack with and finding himself up against the dominated . Despite being a healthy favourite preflop, by the river the board had four-flushed and Masters sent O’Dowd to the rail.
Six-handed play lasted 40-minutes and ended with David Crilly’s going to battle preflop with Fitzgerald’s . Fitzgerald was preparing to hand over a significant portion of his chip stack until the king of diamonds appeared on the river to bust Crilly.
The remaining five players headed onto a break and returned to discuss a deal for the remaining prize pool. Any deal had to be based around ICM and leave 10 percent for the eventual champion. Fitzgerald, the overwhelming chip leader at the time, turned down the deal and play resumed.
Douglas Murphy was the next player eliminated when his pocket tens lost to the lowly fours in the hand of Masters courtesy of a third four on the flop, then Fitzgerald crashed out when Masters’ ace-ten came from behind, thanks to a ten on the turn, to crack the ace-queen in Fitzgerald’s hand. It was a superb result for Fitzgerald who was the third-place finisher in the Grand Prix Cork back in February.
Fitzgerald’s seat hadn’t even gone cold when John Hanaphy bust in third-place. Hanaphy’s king-jack couldn’t get there against the ace-seven of Macari and he headed to the sidelines with bank a cool €14,000.
Macari and Masters, agreed to a deal that saw the former lock up €26,310, the latter €24,095 and which left the trophy and €5,595 for the eventual winner.
A superb, intense heads-up battle ensued and just as the clocks flicked around to 4:46 a.m. on May 2, Masters found himself all-in with against Macari’s . A final board reading sent Masters to the showers and left Macari to become the Grand Prix Dublin champion.
No doubt Macari will be heading to Killarney in September for another Irish Grand Prix, can he follow in Desset’s footsteps and become a two-time, back-to-back Grand Prix champion?
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