Jimmy McSweeney Wins Record Breaking Main Event at Ladbrokes.com Irish Poker Festival

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Capacity-busting 832 entrants create a prize pool of €416,000 at Killarney, Ireland tournament - the largest European ranking event ever

The €500 + €50 buy-in main event at the Ladbrokes.com Irish Poker Festival, held from Oct. 2 to 5 in Killarney, Ireland, has been won by Jimmy McSweeney from Cork, Ireland. He took home €100,000 for his victory.

The main event proved so popular the capacity was raised from 625 to 750 in the week leading up to the tournament but organisers managed ultimately to accommodate 832 players - a record for a European ranking event - using the alternates system. This created a prize pool of €416,000 which smashed the Ladbrokes.com guarantee of €250,000.

Bryan Coleman, Irish Territory Manager at Ladbrokes.com said, "We're absolutely delighted with the turnout and would like to thank all the players who made this festival such a success. Our heartiest congratulations go to Jimmy who is a worthy champion and we're sure we'll be hearing more of him in the future."

The 832 players, including Ladbrokes pro Roy "The Boy" Brindley, and pot-limit Omaha world champion Marty Smyth, played down to a final table of eight over three gruelling days. The top 83 got paid and the final eight were shooting for prizes of:

1 - €100,000
2 - €65,000
3 - €35,000
4 - €25,000
5 - €20,000
6 - €15,000
7 - €12,000
8 - €10,000

The fortunate finalists were:

Seat1: Jimmy McSweeney 2,900,000 (in chips)
Seat 2: Steve Johnson 900,000
Seat 3: Nick Heather 1,700,000
Seat 4: Hugh Whelan 700,000
Seat 5: Ian Smith 720,000
Seat 6: Barry Hand 1,000,000
Seat 7: Bo Ericshen 2,200,000
Seat 8: Andrew Roberts 2,600,000

The first to exit was Barry Hand. He raised McSweeney's 180,000 bet to 500,000 and McSweeney pushed all in. Hand called with A-K and McSweeney showed 10-10. The flop came ace high and Hand's supporters roared their approval but the celebration was short-lived as a 10 fell on the river giving McSweeney trip tens. Hand was gone earning €10,000 and McSweeney jumped to 4,000,000 in chips.

Steve Johnson was next to go. He went all in from the button for only 3 big blind's having been crippled in the first hand. Both blinds call and the players checked it down. Steve mucked, was shown a straight by the big blind and hits the rail to collect his €12,000.

Ian Smith exited in sixth for €15,000 when he reraised Hugh Whelan all in on a board of T-6-3. Whelan called with top two pair and Smith showed A-J. Smith strengthened with an ace on the turn, but a 5 on the river sealed his fate.

The next battle saw a short-stacked Nick Heather push all-in over the top of McSweeney's opening raise with Q-J only to get called by A-J. The board didn't throw up the necessary queen, Heather exited in fifth for €20,000 and McSweeney further enhanced his stack.

Whelan, who had recovered from having just one ante four tables out, was next to bust. After raising his button, he was put all-in by Andrew Roberts in the big blind. Roberts had J-J and Whelan had 3-3. The board ran out A-5-4-J-K and Whelan went home with €25,000 for his fourth place finish.

Soon after Roberts raised once again, McSweeney flat called and Bo Ericshen raised all-in with 2,200,000 in chips. Roberts stepped aside and McSweeney called showing 9-9 versus Ericshen's 8-8. The board ran out Q-J-J-7-7 and Erichsen was eliminated in third place picking up €35,000.

McSweeney had soared into the lead of the impending heads up battle with Andrew Roberts and duly accounted for his opponent after raising a pot then calling Roberts' all in. He showed 6-6 and his opponent showed A-9. With the board falling K-Q-Q-2-J, McSweeney's pair held up and he scooped the €100,000 first prize while Roberts' took down €65,000 for his second place finish.

The €300 + €30 side event, which attracted 391 entries creating a prize pool of €105,000 was won by John Lavin from Mayo who took down the €25,000 first prize.

The event was filmed for documentary broadcast on Irish terrestrial TV station TG4 and for subsequent distribution to networks around the world. A web stream of the documentary will also be available on Ladbrokespoker.com.

For further details, including photographs of from the event, please contact brendan @ pokermediaconsulting.com.

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Brendan Murray
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