40th Anniversary Irish Open not quite as planned
Pablo Brito Silva won the first 2020 Irish Open Online Main Event on Sunday, defeating Andras Nemeth heads-up for the title and €462,099 ($504,496.58) first prize.
The tournament was the highlight of a 22-event series held on partypoker in place of the Irish Open 2020 festival, which was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
highlight of a 22-event series held on partypoker in place of the Irish Open 2020 festival
The Irish Open was originally only postponed about a month ago, but organizers recently announced that it had been nixed completely. The new online series represented the 40th anniversary of the Irish Open.
Silva climbed out of hole to take dominant lead
Silva immediately made a run, though, and after knocking out Shaun Conroy in eighth place, he was in the lead with 23.2 million chips. Zhang was in second with 19.2 million, and Nemeth was in third with about 16 million.
And so it would be the three of them who would forge ahead together, though Silva continued to build his lead. Much of the time, he had more chips than Nemeth and Zhang had combined. When Silva finally eliminated Zhang in third place with a diamond flush, he went into heads-up against Nemeth with about a 54.5 million to 33.4 million chip advantage.
Large chips swings heads-up
Heads-up play lasted nearly an hour, a long time in online poker, but also an indication of how deep the stacks were.
Nemeth took the lead shortly after a break and enjoyed a 4-to-1 chip lead at one point. Silva found a King-high heart flush to double-up, however, and then found another flush on the river against Nemeth’s trips to pull nearly even a few hands later. Silva took the lead soon after.
Heads-up play lasted nearly an hour, a long time in online poker
On the final hand, Nemeth started with 30.2 million chips, versus Silva’s 57.9 million. With blinds at 400k/800k, Silva min-raised pre-flop and Nemeth called to see a flop of Jc-8d-4c. Nemeth check-called a 2.55 million flop bet and the two players saw the Tc on the turn.
This time, Nemeth decided to check-raise all-in for nearly 26 million chips after Silva bet 6.375 million. Silva quickly called (Nemeth technically had eight chips remaining, so Silva re-raised all-in) and showed 9-7 for a turned straight. Nemeth had J-T for two pair. The river was the brick, giving the title and €462,099 ($504,496.58) to Silva.
Online is the new live
The 2020 Irish Open Online is just one of many internet replacements of what are normally live poker tournament festivals. With casinos around the world shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic, it is either move online or cancel completely.
partypoker has been at the center of much of the transformation. In addition to hosting the Irish Open, it is also the home site of the Poker Masters Online Series, which started Sunday, and the WPT Online Series, which will take place in May. Also currently running are dual WPTDeepStacks series in Spain and France.
The World Series of Poker quickly created the very successful WSOP Online Super Circuit Series for U.S. players last month. PokerStars has also moved some of its live tournaments online, such as the Brazilian Series of Poker and Lex Live, now the “Lex not Live” series.