The Canadian poker pro Griffin Benger won the 2017 Irish Poker Open main event and bagged the top prize of €200,000. The big money event was held at the luxurious Citywest Hotel and Resort and drew 1,129 entrants, creating a total prize pool of €1,128,295, which was distributed among top 135 finishers with min-cash being €1,500. While the lion’s share went to the winner Benger, Michael Mazilu collected €125,000 for his runner-up finish.
This was the 2nd biggest title for Benger after the 2013 European Poker Tour Berlin high roller event, which he won for $562,343. His largest tournament score came in 2016 when he finished 7th in the 2016 WSOP main event for $1,250,190. Expressing his feeling about this great victory, Benger said, “Incredibly humbled and grateful to win the oldest tournament in Europe, home to so many close friends…Thanks for all the support, it means the world.”
Benger began his final table 4th with 8,010,000 in chips, but very soon his stacks grew up. Michael Fletcher was the first of the final table finalists to go out. His namesake Michael Conaty put it all for 2,345,000 in chips and Fletcher called. Fletcher’s Kc-Tc lost against Conaty’s pair of nines and he ended up finishing 9th. A little later, it was Benger who began to dominate the table. First, he eliminated Michael Conaty in the 8th place and a few hands later he railed Antony Wickert in 5th place. Continuing on his elimination spree, he then railed Chris Dowling in 3rd place to move into theads-up.
Benger began his heads-up battle as the chip lead and maintained it well. The Canadian player played aggressively and eliminated his heads-up mate very quickly. Benger check-raised with Kh-8d and the flop delivered 8h-2h-6c. Later, the action saw Benger’s opponent move all-in with Tc-8s but the Canadian won the title after a 9d and a 2s on the turn and the river competed the board.
2017 Irish Open Final Table Payouts:
1.Griffin Benger – €200,000
2. Mihail Mazilu – €125,000
3. Chris Dowling – €75,000
4. Vamshi Vandanapu – €50,000
5. Antony Wickert – €35,000
6. Sameer Singh – €25,000
7. Fintan Hand – €19,445
8. Michael Conaty – €15,750
9. Michael Fletcher – €13,500