Poker can be a funny old game, especially tournament poker. Up until Black Friday occurred Steve O'Dwyer was happy grinding away online where he had won over $1,000,000 from multi-table tournaments. Then came Black Friday and when it had passed it had not only taken O'Dwyer's livelihood away but also a significant percentage of his bankroll — the lifeblood of any poker player.
With online poker now unavailable to O'Dwyer he turned his attention solely to live poker tournaments and rightly so because he already had some impressive scores to his name, the biggest being for $202,362 that he picked up in 2009 for finishing sixth in the $15,000 buy-in WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic. But to say his venture did not work out is probably the understatement of the year because although he was cashing in quite a few major tournaments, the tracking sites do not keep a tally of tournaments players do not cash in and according to the man himself he was in debt to his backers to a figure well into six-figures (including live tournaments before Black Friday).
I spoke to O'Dwyer on the evening he lost heads-up at WPT Venice in December 2011 and he explained how during the World Series of Poker he was almost at rock bottom and was staying on the sofa of Scott Seiver, one of his backers Isaac Haxton being the other, where all three were talking and Seiver and Haxton both said they had faith in O'Dwyer turning things around and that they would continue to back him. This must have spurred him on because since then he has been on a real tear, cannot stop cashing and making final tables and over the weekend he won the inaugural World Poker Tour National Series Denmark Main Event.
Since July 2011 O'Dwyer has been unstoppable at the felt and has since gained a reputation for being one of the most talented poker players of his generation. A $259,452 score for winning the $5,000 buy-in Bellagio Cup VII was followed up by a massive £465,000 ($726,790) prize for finishing second to Benny Spindler in the EPT London Main Event. He also has a WSOPE final table to his name, a win in an EPT Loutraki side event, the aforementioned runner-up finish at WPT Venice, a final table appearance at the recent EPT Copenhagen and now a WPT National Series win! All in all he has won around $1,500,000 in the last 18-20 months.
O'Dwyer's latest win saw him enter the final table of the DKK12,200 (€1,650) Main Event with just under half of the chips in play and never looked like there was going to be any other result than him winning. He eventually defeated local player Martin Tonnesen heads-up to scoop the DKK893,960 (€120,244.24) first place prize.
But I can hear the trolls shouting from the rooftops that O'Dwyer is from Charlotte and therefore is American so what is he doing on the pages of UK & Ireland PokerNews? Well, with a name like Stephen O'Dwyer he obviously has some Irish ancestry, in fact he has Irish grandparents and has recently moved from the United States to the Emerald Isle so we are adopting him as one of our own, so there!