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Irish Open Reaches Final Table: Ian Simpson Leads

Ian Simpson (Photo: PaddyPokerPoker Blog)

Ian Simpson is the man to catch when play resumes in the PaddyPowerPoker 2012 Irish Open this afternoon, his 2,007,000 chips just enough to see him start the nine-handed final table first in chips. But despite holding the chip lead it is far from a done deal because joining Simpson on the final table are a bunch of well-known and talented poker players and any one of them could leave Dublin as the Irish Open champion.

According to the Hendon Mob database Simpson only has one cash prior to this event, a 10th place finish in the €300 buy-in "Scalps" event at the 2011 Irish Open. That result was worth €800 but he has completely obliterated that amount because he has locked up no less than €23,000 in this tournament and if he does go all the way he will pick up a cheque for €420,000!

Simpson's nearest rival is London's David "Dixie" Dean, another player who looks set to break his record cash total. Dean's largest cash to date tops the scales at £22,700 which he picked up for finishing second in the £2,500 Sportsman Inaugural Poker Championship back in 2006. Dean starts the final table with a stack of 1,986,000 chips.

Also well chipped-up is the WPT Ireland Main Event final table member Steve Watts (1,519,000) and the dangerous German Thomas Beer (1,319,000). The aforementioned players are the only players who have more than one million chips but do not write off the shorter stacks at the Irish Open final table because even the shortest stack is just one double-up away from an average stack and each player is more than capable of doubling up at some point.

The best-known player at the final table is without a doubt Ireland's Andy Black who starts the day armed with 808,000 chips. Black's best results came in 2007 when he finished fifth in the World Series of Poker Main Event and third in the Aussie Millions Main Event but since then has not really done much. Could this be the tournament that reignites his passion for the game and kickstarts his poker career once more?

Another dangerous player is Canada's Samuel Chartier (582,000), the man who lead after the first day's play. Chartier has close to $1,400,000 in live tournament winnings to his name and if he manages to add to his stack early on today he will most certainly be a massive threat to his opponents.

If Chartier is dangerous then we do not know how to describe Kevin Vandersmissen. Some of the more, shall we say, "technically sound" players regarding Vandersmissen as "spewy" but there are no doubting his talents. He begins play with chips worth 492,000. This puts the Belgian in last place so expect those chips to start flying from the word go.

Play resumes at 14:00 in the Burlington Hotel in Dublin and will continue until a champion has been crowned. You can follow the action over on the PaddyPowerPoker blog but be sure to check into UK & Ireland PokerNews tomorrow for a recap of the action.

2012 Irish Open Final Table Seat Draw

1Ian Simpson2,007,000
2David "Dixie" Dean1,986,000
3Thomas Beer1,319,000
4Kevin Vandersmissen492,000
5Andrew Black808,000
6Philip Magennis632,000
7Samuel Chartier582,000
8Steve Watts1,519,000
9Jordan Lewis685,000

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