The 2013 Paddy Power Poker Irish Winter Festival Main Event has its champion and that champion is Rok Rotar, the recipient of the coveted IWF trophy and the massive €85,000 first place prize.
Day 3 saw the last surviving 17 players from the 341 starters return to the Burlington Hotel to their seats for the last time to complete this exciting tournament. Play was frantic at the start as players jostled for position and tried to build a stack that would give them a legitimate chance of glory.
Things didn’t quite go to plan for the likes of Shaun Lennon, Patrick Clarke, Seamus Doherty, Martin Gallagher, Mark Atkinson, Thomas Quaade, Peter Murphy and Mark Wagstaff who each crashed out before the nine-handed final table was set.
2013 Irish Winter Festival Final Table
The final table had not been progressing for too long when Jimmy Wan lost a massive pot in a battle of the blinds with Oliver Boyce. A preflop raising battle commenced that saw Wan all in and at risk holding against the of Boyce. The flop gave both players something, the improving Wan to trip queens. However, the gifted Boyce a flush, sending Wan to the rail and Boyce’s stack close to 1,900,000.
Next to go was Philip Gildea who committed his last 12 big blinds preflop with and was looked up by the of Rok Rotar. Neither player improved on the and Rotar won by the virtue of his ace-king kicker.
Shortly after the dinner break, Bartosz Ciesla lost two big pots that saw him return to the sidelines. His final hand saw him push his short stack into the middle with a respectable and get looked up by Rotar and his . A board reading was enough to bust Ciesla and leave the tournament with only six players remaining.
Those six became five with the elimination of Boyce. A blind-vs-blind scenario that was so kind to him at the start of the final table was his undoing. Boyce shoved 11 big binds while holding and Joe O’Donaill called with . The flop was great for Boyce and gave him a bunch of outs, but the board bricked off with the followed by the ending Boyce’s dream of becoming the IWF champion.
Mathias Purzich had been among the chip leaders for most of the tournament, but his tournament ended abruptly in fifth place when he committed his short stack with on the button and ran straight into Rotar’s pocket kings. The board yielded no help to Puzich and he had to make do with fifth place money, or €20,500 to you and I.
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Rotar then sent O’Donaill to the rail when his got their on the river against the dominating . A couple of hands previously, Rotar got his stack in with king-jack against ace-eight and flopped a full house; the hand would ultimate by lucky again. O’Donaill must have thought he was set for a double up when the board ran out . However, the on the river improved Rotar to two pair and resigned O’Donaill – the last standing Irishman in the event – to fourth place.
Sweden’s Paul Kristoffersson followed O’Donaill to the rail soon after. A raising war broke out on the flop that resulted in Kristoffersson all in and at risk of elimination, his tournament hopes hanging by a thread because his was crushed by the of Rotar. The turn made Rotar quads and sent Kristoffersson back to his native Sweden.
Rotar started the day as one of the shorter stacks yet went into the heads-up battle with Samuel Wlbourne holding a 8.1 million to 2.125 million chip lead. Welbourne initially doubled, then dropped back to where he started and then busted.
The final hand of the tournament saw Welbourne limp on the button, Rotar raise to 300,000 and then call when Welbourne moved all in. Welbourne had made a move with the and Rotar had called with . The five community cards fell , busting Welbourne and leaving Rotar bask in the glory that come with being a major tournament’s champion.
2013 Irish Winter Festival Final Table Results