At the close of play last night, 132 players remained at the end of an exciting first day's play at the Irish Poker Championships which are underway in Galway. The average chip stack was around 22,578 and the overnight chip leader was Keith McFadden who had amassed over 100,000 in chips. Notable 'big name' players still in the hunt included Mike Sexton, Rory Liffey and Robert Williamson III, who were all well placed to launch an assault on day two.
The pre-tournament favourite, Marcel Luske, was eliminated from the tournament two hours before the end of the first day's play, arguably paying the price for not raising pre-flop.
The player in first position limped, as did Luske, Keith McFadden and Rob Taylor, who along with the players in the blinds saw a flop of . Some frantic betting ensued and eventually the under the gun player, Luske and McFadden ended up all in when the came on the turn, with McFadden's large chip stack having both other players covered. Luske's was up against McFadden's and the river and McFadden's two pair proved good enough to knock out two players and take the scalp of well known professional Marcel Luske.
It was not Marcel's day, as he had earlier lost the biggest pot of the day of 63,100 chips on a complete bluff to Paul Quinn. Luske had raised his 4000 bet on a flop of to 10,000 which was promptly called. With Quinn holding and a on the turn, Luske moved all in with and with no help on the river, Quinn took down a pot of over 60,000 chips, crippling Luske who left the tournament not long after.
Another high profile casualty towards the end of the first day's play was the 1999 WSOP champion Noel Furlong, who tangled with Mike Sexton in a 30,000 pot. In the decisive hand, the flop came down . Furlong bet out for 4000 and Sexton announced he was going all-in immediately with his . Furlong called with . The turn card was and then the all important came on the river, giving Sexton the monster pot and eliminating Furlong from the tournament.
One of the most entertaining hands of Day 1 involved Polish TV personality Aga Rylik, putting the slow roll moves on Mohammed Ghani. With the board reading Ghani moved all in for his last 7800. Rylik thought for a few moments then called. Ghani showed . Rylik shook her head in apparent resignation and began slowly counting out the 7800 chip by chip. It was several minutes later before she showed her to the shocked crowd, winning her the pot and eliminating Ghani in a astonishing slow roll move which saw her moved to the feature table, perhaps in hope of more audacious play!
Day 2 began at 2pm GMT today with 132 players remaining. Ian Woodley, runner up in the 2006 Irish Open, only lasted ten minutes of day 2 with his beaten by .
Check out our continuing live updates There is no need to miss any of the second day action as more big names bite the dust in the race for the €180,000 first prize.