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Declan Wallace Leads As Irish Winter Festival Field Whittled Down To 19 Players

Declan Wallace

The sponsored Irish Winter Festival I one of the most eagerly anticipated live poker tournaments on the circuit today and that popularity showed through as 385 players bought in over the weekend, creating a first place prize of €100,000. The favourite to get his hands on the champion’s prize is the overnight chip leader Declan Wallace, but he will be pushed all the way by a whole host of talented players.

Wallace’s 877,000 chips may be enough to see his name at the top of the chip counts before Day 3 gets underway but he is under pressure from the chasing pack, a chasing pack that sees the likes of the Julian Thew, Ronan Gilligan, John O’Shea and Thomas Finneran biting at his heels.

Thew is Wallace’s nearest rival, his 793,000 chips putting him in second place when Day 3 resumes. Thew, a Sky Poker sponsored pro, has a good record in Ireland over the past year, having cash three times and reached two final tables – all on the PokerStars UKIPT circuit.

Also in the top five counts is Ronan Gilligan who seems to have a knack of finishing second or third in major Irish-based tournaments. Back in September 2010 he finished second in the UKIPT Dublin Main Event, then in January 2012 he finished third in the World Poker Tour Dublin Main Event. A month later he came second in the UKIPT Galway Main Event and the month after finished third in the €300 buy-in Western Open at Castlebar. He will be hoping to go one or two places higher in this event.

In fifth place going into Day 3 is John O’Shea and his 641,000 stack. O’Shea is a completely fearless player and now that he is deep in this event and armed with a big stack, he makes a very good bet to go all the way and add the Irish Winter Festival to his list of poker accomplishments.

Irish Winter Festival chip counts going into Day 3

1Declan Wallace877,00
2Julian Thew793,000
3Daniele Nestola788,000
4Ronan Gilligan729,000
5John O’Shea641,00
6Tim Hartmann579,000
7Francesco Macari426,000
8Jason O’Toole358,000
9Ahmed Eydan342,000
10Thomas Finneran270,000
11Marc Mcdonnell269,000
12Patryk Pietnoczko268,000
13Ali Duncan262,000
14Will Fitzpatrick248,000
15Jamie Martin231,000
16Anthony Reilly192,000
17Declan Connelly164,000
18Greer Gardiner150,000
19Trevor Dinneen96,000

Each of the 19 players shown in the table above have now locked up at least €2,700 for their efforts but one of them will walk away with the €100,000 first place prize and the right to call themselves a champion. Who will it be? Tune into UK & Ireland PokerNews tomorrow to find out.

Lead image courtesy of the PaddyPowerPoker Blog

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