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Ireland's Marc MacDonnell Bags Big on Day 1b of the partypoker Irish Open Main Event

Marc MacDonnell

For the second straight year, the Irish Open headed online at partypoker on March 26 to April 7 instead of its usual home in Dublin.

The crown jewel of the festival is easily the €1 million guaranteed Irish Open €1,100 Main Event, which kicked off the first of its three opening flights, which finished its second of three opening flights last night with one more turbo flight to be played out today, April 5, before the start of Day 2.

The massive $1 million guarantee was already smashed with 1,626 entries (822 on Day 1a and 804 on Day 1b generating a huge €1,626,000 prize pool. Now it is just a matter of whether this year's Main Event beats last year's event which generated a mind-blowing prize pool of €2,945,000 with 2,945 entrants getting into the action. Pablo Silva shipped the 2020 Irish Open Main Event for a whopping €462,100 after besting Hungarian online superstar Andras Nemeth (second - €325,423) in heads-up play.

Another question remains whether the title will return to the home country of Ireland with local hero Marc MacDonnell bagging the Day 1b chip lead and thus far is in fifth place overall.

2021 partypoker Irish Open Main Event Top Ten Leaderboard

PlacePlayerCountryChipsBig Blinds
1Artsiom ProstakBelarus5,749,839192
2Justin OuimetteCanada4,560,575152
3Morten Landberg PedersenDenmark4,506,934150
4Viktor ZsemlyeAustria4,410,026147
5Marc MacDonnellIreland4,275,366143
6Isaac HaxtonCanada4,203,053140
7Alexandru BucurUnited Kingdom3,694,932123
8Jan StreicherGermany3,656,367122
9Bradley HarwoodUnited Kingdom3,635,906121
10Gabriel CostaAustria3,397,487113

Marc MacDonnell Bags Day 1b Chip Lead

Will the Irish Open Main Event trophy stay in Ireland? Marc MacDonnell appears to be the best chance thus far of this happening after the Irish player bagging a huge stack of 4,275,366 for the Day 1b chip lead.

MacDonnell is one of Ireland's most successful tournament players with more than $3 million in live cashes according to The Hendon Mob placing him in fourth place of all-time in his home country just behind Andy Black, Marty Smyth, and Eoghan O'Dea.

This isn't the first taste of success for MacDonnell in the Irish Open as he took fifth place in the Main Event nearly a decade ago in 2012 to bank €22,300.

MacDonnell also has found success at partypoker events as well. He nailed his biggest live score of a cool $1 million in 2018 after taking down the partypoker Caribbean Poker Party Main Event.

While MacDonnell performed the best among the 121 Day 1b survivors, he will enter Day 2 no higher than fifth place with Artsiom Prostak (5,749,839), Justin Ouimette (4,560,575), Morten Landberg Pedersen (4,506,934), and Viktor Zsemlye (4,410,026) all accumulating more chips on Day 1a with Day 1c still yet to be played out.

Meanwhile, sitting pretty just behind MacDonnell is partypoker Ambassador Isaac Haxton in sixth place with 4,203,053 in chips. A handful of other partypoker Ambassadors advanced including Patrick Leonard who is residing in 14th place with a stack of 3,435,625 in chips.

Patrick Leonard
Patrick Leonard bagged big on Day 1a of the 2021 Irish Open Main Event at partypoker.

PokerNews covers all the big Sunday action at partypoker as it happens. Check out the highlights of yesterday's action at the partypoker Sunday LIVE reporting hub at PokerNews

Two More Opening Flights to Go!

There is still plenty of time to get into the action in the Irish Poker Main Event at partypoker with one more opening flight to go. Already 243 players have advanced to Day 2 — where they will start the day in the money — and why can't you join them?

Don't stress if the €1,100 buy-in is too big for your bankroll or tastes as there are plenty of qualifiers and feeder tournaments running around the clock. You can qualify for just one cent, something every player can afford!


Related: Win Your Way to the Irish Open for Just One Cent!


The third and final opening flight begins on Monday, April 5 at 4:05 p.m. CEST (10:05 a.m. ET) and will be faster-paced with 10-minute blind levels as compared to 25-minute blind levels featured during the other opening flights. The day will conclude with the field trimmed down to just 15 percent of its original size with all surviving players in the money.

Surviving opening flight players will then reconvene for action on Monday, April 5 at 8:05 p.m. CEST (2:05 p.m. ET) with blinds at 15,000/30,000/3,750a and play 10 blind levels of 30-minute each. Day 3 on Tuesday, April 6 will feature 40-minute blind levels and play down to a final table of nine players. The final nine will then battle it out on Wednesday, April 7 until a winner is crowned.

Download partypoker to Get Involved

If you want to play in the Irish Open Online on partypoker then you need an account. Don't worry - sign up through PokerNews and make a deposit of at least £10 receive £40 worth of SPINS and tournament tickets over the course of a week.

  • Day 1: 5x $1 SPINS tickets +1x $5.50 MTT ticket
  • Day 2: 1x $3 SPINS tickets +1x $3.30 MTT ticket
  • Day 3: 1x $3 SPINS tickets +2x $3.30 MTT ticket
  • Day 4: 4x $0.25 SPINS tickets +1x $5.50 MTT ticket
  • Day 5: 1x $5 SPINS tickets +1x $3.30 MTT ticket
  • Day 6: 5x $1 SPINS tickets +1x $5.50 MTT ticket
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