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Poker-face Dub eyes Vegas pot

LADY luck is on a young Dubliner's side as he gets set to take his place at the world's most prestigious poker tournament - which will pocket him at least €550,000.

Eoghan O'Dea (26), of Dalkey, outclassed almost 7,000 competitors to make it to this year's World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, which has a €6m jackpot.

Known as the 'Silent Assasin', Eoghan is one of nine players to have a secured a place at the final table in November, knowing that the minimum he will walk away with is €550,000.

"I'm so happy to have made it this far. I haven't had a great year to date in poker, but this more than makes up for it," he said last night.

This year's World Series event is the third largest in the history of the sport and began with a field of 6,865 competitors.

Over half-a-million hands were played over the course of the competition before just 22 players remained last night.

Of the 'November Nine', Eoghan sits in second position with chips worth a whopping $39 million.

Players from seven different countries will be represented in the final event, including competitors from the Ukraine, Germany, UK and Ireland.

Poker experts claim a "decisive move" by the young Dub to eliminate Costa Rican player John Hewitt was the turning point of the night.

But Eoghan's success has come of little surprise to those who know him. His father Donnacha is known as 'The Don O'Dea' and is a well-known figure on the poker circuit.

Donnacha said his his son had no interest in poker until a few years ago.

He said: "When he was 18, I brought him into a club in Dublin and it was £25 to play. I went to Doheny & Nesbitts for a few pints and when I went back, he was at the final table and he had won it.

"He got £2,000 for his £25. He had the buzz then and just seems to have a natural instinct for it.

Stephen McLean, from PokerIreland.ie, said: "He is the coolest customer you will ever meet, he gets that from his father."

hnews@herald.ie


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