Jude Ainsworth took down the main event at the PartyPoker Irish Poker Championship on Sunday night at the Radisson Hotel in Galway. Mike Sexton presented him with the winner's trophy which was promptly filled with champagne by his cheering Irish supporters.
At the end of day 2, only eighteen players remained to contest the final day's play. Remarkably, the day 1 chip leader Keith McFadden remained the overall chip leader at the end of day 2, with 473,000 in chips. The eventual winner Ainsworth entered the final stages of the tournament in 4th place with a healthy 201,000 in chips. Another notable player remaining at this stage was the popular WSOP 2007 hero Ciaran O'Leary, who busted out in 13th place when short stacked and holding . He was called by Glen McCabe with and no jacks or hearts on the board saw him depart in 13th place.
After some cautious tight play approaching the bubble, the final table at the IPC was set and the line up was as follows:
Glen McCabe: 235,000
Trevor Dineen: 412,000
Tommy Watson: 296,000
Bernard Brady: 294,000
Keith McFadden: 696,000
Michael McCool: 222,000
Jude Ainsworth: 485,000
Michael Moran: 374,000
A notable hand on the final table was a 3 outer won by Tommy Watson where he raised to 60,000 and was called on the button by chip leader Keith McFadden. The flop came and Watson moved all-in for 241,000. McFadden wryly commented "Oh dear! I think we have a bit of a situation!" before he called holding in his hand. McFadden was holding what looked like a strong but the popped up on the turn and Keith McFadden lost the chip lead for the first time since Day 1.
The live UK Poker News reporting team commented that Jude Ainsworth played relentlessly throughout the final table and this was borne out when he tangled with McCool in an unraised pot where both players checked a flop. The turn came and Ainsworth immediately bet 50,000, which McCool called, remarking that he was the one who was "meant to represent the Ace!" The river was a and Ainsworth bet out again for 100,000. After a Hollywood style audition asking Ainsworth if he had a seven, McCool made a minimum raise to 200,000 which Ainsworth called. McCool showed and Ainsworth mucked his hand. Despite this setback, his continually relentless play meant that with three players remaining, Ainsworth had more than half the chips in play in front of him.
In a dramatic hand, Tommy Watson was eventually eliminated in third place. He moved all-in from the button for 344,000 with and Jude Ainsworth called in the big blind with . The flop was giving Watson a pair and drawing groans from the partisan local crowd. The on the turn gave Ainsworth a flush draw but Watson two pair. The all important river card was giving Ainsworth his flush and eliminating Watson.
As the tournament reached the heads up phase, Ainsworth and McCool were fairly evenly matched in chips, with Ainsworth having approximately 1.7 million in front of him to McCool's 1.3 million. The chip lead swopped back and forth several times during a hard fought heads up battle. The decisive hand took place following a 180,000 raise from Michael McCool. Before looking at his cards, Ainsworth said he had a feeling he had a hand and then moved all-in after looking at his hand. McCool called with whilst Ainsworth was holding . The flop came down , a huge draw for Ainsworth who was favourite to win the hand at this point. A on the turn and it was all over with McCool drawing dead. Much to the noisy delight of the Irish crowd on the rail, Jude Ainsworth held the trophy aloft, becoming Party Poker Irish Poker Champion for 2008 and winning the event on home soil.
Ed note: Join in the high octane tournament action at PartyPoker