Monday 27 February 2017

'Silent Assassin' makes killing with $1.7m poker win

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Eoghan O'Dea: came sixth
Eoghan O'Dea: came sixth

A YOUNG Irish poker player known as the 'Silent Assassin' is today preparing for a triumphant return home, after winning $1.7m (€1.3m) in the world's most prestigious poker tournament.

Dubliner Eoghan O'Dea (26) won the money on Sunday night when he came sixth out of 6,865 players in this year's World Series of Poker (WSOP). The win brings Mr O'Dea's career earnings to just over €1.8m.

He was one of the 'November Nine' players to reach the final table of the event, which took place at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas. Players paid $10,000 (€7,275) to enter the Texas Hold 'Em tournament in July.

The competition takes place over a number of phases.

Despite the massive prize, the young gambler, who has been a professional for six years, was humble about his performance.

"I played one hand bad at the beginning. I obviously misread the situation and that put me in trouble for most of the day. Thanks to everybody for all their support," he said.

He was in second position prior to taking his seat at the table with $33.9m (€24.6m) in chips, just short of chip-leader Martin Staszko from the Czech Republic, who had $40.1m (€29.1m).

However, Mr O'Dea lost a large pot early on with an attempted bluff, a move which effectively crippled his chances of winning the tournament.

Around 80 of his friends and family had flown to America to watch Mr O'Dea fight it out at the final table. Among them was his dad, former Olympic swimmer Donnacha O'Dea, who reached the WSOP final table in 1983 and again in 1991.

They are the first father and son to have both reached the final table of the world's biggest poker tournament.

Mr O'Dea and his supporters hit the streets of Las Vegas to celebrate on Sunday night and continued into Monday morning.

The tournament will conclude tonight, with the last three players fighting it out for the $8.7m (€6.3m) first prize.

Irish Independent

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