A beer and a game of poker goes almost hand in hand so it seems strange that it took thins long for the World Poker Tour to make it to Ireland.
The home of Guinness and an enviable pub per capita ratio, Ireland has long produced some of the world’s best players who now finally have the chance to play high stake son home soil.
It won’t please them one bit then that the inaugural event went the way of Englishman David Shallow.
He got the better of 338 others to pick up the €220,000 first place prize from the total prize pool of just under €800,000.
By the time he got to the final table he didn’t have to wait long to cash in either with just three hours passing from when he sat down to when he stood up as champion.
In addition to his cash prize he also qualifies for a $25,500 (€20,000) seat at the WPT World Championship in Las Vegas.
“It’s the first WPT I’ve won. It feels good,” he said. “It didn’t seem that quick to me, but obviously I was playing.”
It was another London based player Charles Chattha that claimed the runner up position turning around a rather hostile previous relationship with Ireland.
“Ireland has been really bad to me in the past,” he said. “When I first started in 2005 I came to Ireland three times and I did really badly. I vowed then I’d never play poker again in this country.”
The €140,000 pay cheque may go a long way to turning that around.
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