The 2012 Irish Open saw an excess of poker A-listers in the field of 502. The victor of the contest was Kevin Vandersmissen, who defeated the likes of the world’s biggest poker celebrities including Daniel Negreanu, Adam Levy, Phil Hellmuth, Maria Ho and more.
The €3,200 + €300 event saw all the action. The event was live-streamed over the Internet. It included the heads-up play with Thomas Beer, where Vandersmissen’s was defeated at the final table, banking Vandersmissen a cool €420000. In the final hand, Vandersmissen had 9d-7c and Beer had Ac-Kh on the button, raised and it was called by Vandersmissen. The slump brought Vandersmissen top pair and a series betting that saw Beer going all-in and bagging the triumph for Vandersmissen. Phil Hellmuth 33rd (€9400), Adam Levy 14th (€15400) and Andy Black finished 8th (€32700) were the other notables who banked winnings.
Paddy Power took a different approach, unlike past streams at the WSOP and WPT. To keep things interesting, he brought expert analysis from poker pro Dan O’Brien and presenters, at the table interviews. In the first day, despite Negreanu busting late, viewers tuned in their thousands to watch as over 150 Paddy Power qualifiers chased the €100,000 Sole Survivor prize. There was a 500-strong field battled for the €1.6m prize pool.
By Day 3, big names like newly crowned iSeriesLIVE champion James Dempsey and Hellmuth were still going strong and everyone was expecting a major name to land the title. Unfortunately, for the Poker Brat’s fans, on Day 3, Hellmuth busted early when his Kings were cracked. It was qualifier Ian Simpson who went into the final table after a sleepless night clutching the chip lead, as the final nine began to take shape.
After a monster three-way all-in with Andy Black and the brilliantly named Thomas Beer, things got better for Simpson when fellow Sole Survivor Phillip Magennis hit the rail in ninth. Simpson would eventually bust in fourth for an extra €107,500. His tens were outdrawn by Vandersmissen’s eights. The inexperienced Beer was all that remained in Vandersmissen’s way, when the always-entertaining David ‘Dixie’ Dean had bust in third for €225k.
This year’s Irish Open final table was held behind closed doors and viewers could see all hole cards via Paddy Power’s web stream and bet on the action like the iSeriesLIVE opener. Vandersmissen had other plans, although with the watching media praying for a Beer win and a week of Ireland/drinking puns.
The young Belgian made no mistake this time round, although he narrowly missed an EPT crown last year, finishing second at EPT Snowfest. Vandersmissen won practically every hand before forcing Beer to overshove a nine-high flop with A-K against his 9-7, in the most one-sided heads-up clash in poker history.