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Former Champion Ian Simpson Leads 2015 Irish Open

Ian Simpson

€1,027,200. That is the size of the prize pool generated at the 2015 Paddy Power Irish Open after 321 players parted company with €3,200+€300 on Friday afternoon. Among those 321 entrants were 108 online qualifiers, one of whom will walk away with €50,000 for being the last qualifier standing.

One of those entered into the “Sole Survivor” competition is the overnight chip leader, Ian Simpson. It was a great day at the felt for Simpson, who won this very event in 2013 for €265,000, and he finished Day 1 with a tournament-leading stack of 143,425 chips.

Former European Poker Tour (EPT) Sanremo champion Rupert Elder was another player who had a fruitful start to his Irish Open quest. Elder ended Day 1 with 122,200 chips, enough to see him return to the felts on Saturday afternoon second in chips. He may not play many live tournaments anymore, but Elder is showing he still has what it takes to rub shoulders with poker’s big names.

Speaking of which, the likes of Steve O’Dwyer (111,975), Daragh Davey (91,600), Tudor Purice (88,275), Feargal Nealon (84,100), Mike Hill (78,475), Simon Deadman (75,000), Dale Philip (72,400), John Eames (68,300), Keith Hawkins (68,225), Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody (53,000), Kevin Killeen (49,200), former World Series of Poker November Niner Eoghan O’Dea (46,700), Andy Black (42,975), the legendary Mike Sexton (34,075), Yucel Eminoglu (30,950), Griffin Benger (28,150), Max Silver (25,900), Thor Hansen (21,000), Kara Scott (21,000), Dara O’Kearney (20,250) and John O’Shea (18,700), being a selection of stars to progress to Day 2.

2015 Paddy Power Irish Open Top 10 Chip Counts

1Ian Simpson143,425
2Rupert Elder122,200
3Steve O’Dwyer111,975
4Carol Nichols108,550
5John Hughes100,525
6Barry Donovan96,800
7Daragh Davey91,600
8Demirel Tolga90,900
9Tudor Purice88,275
10Jacques Mauron87,850

Play resumes at 12:00 p.m. and efforts will be made to whittle the 235 returnees down to the final 36, which happens to be where the prize money starts being divvied up. Anyone reaching the money places will receive €6,250 with a final table appearance upping this sum to €20,500 and the 2015 Paddy Power Irish Open champion scooping a cool €250,000.

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