Dublin Rocks for Rotar after Irish Winter Festival Success

Dublin Rocks for Rotar after Irish Winter Festival SuccessSlovenian poker player Rok Rotar took down the Paddy Power Irish Winter Festival yesterday after a stunning final day and some very fortunate river cards!

The Paddy Power Irish Winter Festival forms the third leg of a trilogy of major poker tournaments hosted in Dublin at this time of year, following the Winamax Open and last weekend´s BoylePoker IPO. This year´s Main Event saw 341 players qualify online or cough up the €1,125 buy-in to compete for a first prize of €85,000.

After two long days of action, the field had been reduced to just seventeen players – headed by Paul Kristoffersson (1,539,000 chips), with Mathias Puzich (1,357,000 chips) and Oliver Boyce (1,280,000 chips) his closest competitors. Eventual winner – Rok Rotar – was way down the leaderboard overnight, and started the final day of the Irish Winter Festival Main Event with just 370,000 chips.

Double Ups Galore in Early Stages

Day 3 of the Paddy Power IWF Main Event started with just 15 minutes remaining of Level 22 (blinds 6,000/12,000 – ante 1,000) and chip leader Kristoffersson got off to the best possible start – making a Full House with his pocket Eights to bust Shaun Lennon (A♠ Q) out in seventeenth. However Kristoffersson seemed to become the target for short-stacked players looking for a double-up and the chip leader took a ½million knock to his chip stack when Thomas Quaade rivered the A to double up A♠ K > 6 6♠.

The King of the unlikely double ups during the day was to be Rok Rotar, who started Level 23 by doubling up against Joe O´Donaill 7 8 > K♣ K after the flop of 8♠ A A♣ made O´Donaill a 92% favourite in the hand. The 7 on the Turn reduced the likelihood of Rotar being sent to rail only marginally, but the 8 on the River gave him the Full House and the first of a series of unlikely double-ups.

Players Start to Tumble in Cruel Circumstances

Lady Luck ran out quickly for several players – not least Patrick Clarke (7♠ 7) who had flopped a Full House on the flop of 5 7 5, but Jimmy Wan could not resist making the call with pocket Aces, and the A on the Turn gave him a better Full House than Clarke, who was eliminated from the Paddy Power Irish Winter Festival in sixteenth place.

Clarke was soon to followed by Seamus Doherty – who was crippled by Philip Gildea (A Q > 10♣ 10) before getting the last of his chips in against Oliver Boyce (A Q > 8 7♣) – and Martin Gallagher, who believed he had found a good spot to get all-in with pocket Eights, but who ran into the K K♣ of Thomas Quaade.

Cards Fall in Rotar´s Favour as Final Table Set

Rok Rotar (A♠ J) rivered a Jack to send Mark Atkinson to the rail in thirteenth place, and Thomas Quaade joined the queue at the Cashier´s desk after doubling up Sam Welbourne 10 10 > A♣ K and then losing the last of his chips to Joe O´Donaill A 10♠ > A♠ 5. After Peter Murphy (8♠ 8) had run the last of his chips into Rok Rotar´s pocket Aces, and Mark Wagstaff (J 10) failed to improve past Jimmy Wan´s Q♣ 6, the final table for the Paddy Power IWF Main Event was set.

# Irish Winter Festival Main Event Chips
1 Joe O´Donaill 1,772,000
2 Mathias Puzich 1,437,000
3 Bartosz Ciesla 1,335,000
4 Rok Rotar 1,170,000
5 Oliver Boyce 1,150,000
6 Paul Kristoffersson 1,115,000
7 Jimmy Wan 1,002,000
8 Sam Welbourne 815,000
9 Philip Gildea 359,000

 

Bad Beat Starts Final Table

The final table of the Paddy Power Irish Winter Festival got underway with blinds of 20,000/40,000 (Level 26 – ante 4,000) and two players were to “enjoy” an early dinner break after being bust quickly from the final table. First Jimmy Wan (A♠ Q♣) looked good to double up against Oliver Boyce´s A 10♠ until the board produced four diamonds to flush Wan out of the tournament in ninth place, and then Philip Gildea (Q♣ J) got one of his pre-flop shoves called by Rok Rotar, but failed to improve past the Slovenian´s A K to leave the event in eighth place.

Bartosz Ciesla was the first player to depart after the dinner break, doubling up Sam Welbourne before falling with J 10 against Rok Rotar´s A 2, and Oliver Boyce was to finish the event in sixth after being crippled by Joe O´Donaill A A♣ > A K♣ – and then missing all his outs when flipping for his tournament life with 7 5 against O´Donaill´s A 4♠. Rok Rotar eliminated Mathias Puzich when the German´s J♣ 9♣ ran into Rotar´s K K♠ and, as the game entered Level 29 (blinds 40,000/80,000 – ante 5,000), just four players remained.

# Irish Winter Festival Main Event Chips
1 Joe O´Donaill 3,737,000
2 Paul Kristoffersson 2,931,000
3 Rok Rotar 2,382,000
4 Sam Welbourne 1,120,000

 

You Have to Feel for Joe O´Donaill

The demise of Joe O´Donaill at the hands of Rok Rotar was remarkable. The Slovenian had doubled up A♣ 9 > O´Donaill´s 6 6♣ when he had hit the A♠ on the Turn, and he then flopped a Full House when all-in again against Paul Kristoffersson (K J > A 8♣); but Rotar had not yet finished with his remarkable river cards and came from behind again when having less than a 10% chance of winning a hand to eliminate O´Donaill in fourth.

Joe O´Donaill (A K♠) had raised to 225,000 chips from under the gun and Rok Rotar (K J) on the button made the call. O´Donaill shoved all-in following the flop of 2♠ 9♠ K♣ and Rotar made the call. Following the 5 on the Turn, O´Donaill was a 93% favourite to win the hand, but the J♣ on the River gave Rotar two pairs, and eliminated the last Irishman standing from the tournament.

Welbourne Doubles Up Against Kristoffersson, but is No Match for Rotar

A handy double up by Sam Welbourne against Paul Kristoffersson (A♣ 4 > K♠ Q♣) had enabled the Englishman to remain competitive, but he was still at a massive chip disadvantage going into the heads-up against Rotar after the Slovenian had bust Kristoffersson in third 5♠ 5 > 10 8 (Rotar turned Quads just for good measure).

Welbourne managed one double-up (K♠ J > Q♣ 7♣) when both players had made two pairs, but Rotar took a series of minor pots to reduce Welbourne to fewer than one million chips. The final hand saw Sam Welbourne shove all-in with Q♠ 8 and receive a call from Rok Rotar (A 4♣). The board of 3 7♠ 10 / J♠ / 2 missed both players, and Rok Rotar had won the Paddy Power Irish Winter Festival Main Event.

Irish Winter Festival Result

In addition to collecting €85,000 for winning the Irish Winter Festival Main Event, Rok Rotar picked up a free entry into next year´s Irish Open tournament due to being the highest-placed finisher who had qualified online at Paddy Power Poker. Thirty-six players in total cashed in the event, with those who made it to the final table receiving the following rewards:-

# Irish Winter Festival Main Event Prize
1 Rok Rotar € 85,000
2 Sam Welbourne € 51,500
3 Paul Kristoffersson € 37,000
4 Joe O´Donaill € 27,500
5 Mathias Puzich € 20,500
6 Oliver Boyce € 15,500
7 Bartosz Ciesla € 11,700
8 Philip Gildea € 8,900
9 Jimmy Wan € 6,900