Derek Baker Crowned Champion in Irish Poker Tour's Galway Poker Festival Main Event (83,500)

Derek Baker Crowned Champion in Irish Poker Tour's Galway Poker Festival Main Event (83,500)

The Irish Poker Tour has just crowned its newest 600 Galway Poker Festival Main Event champion, Derek Baker, who takes home the sum of 83,500, which amounted to the lion's share of the 434,075 prize pool, a trophy, and a beautiful custom made bracelet.

After a marathon 15 hour Day 2, Baker defeated Denis Brosnahan after a short heads up battle, Baker coming into it with a huge chip advantage. Brosnahan can at least be consoled by a payday of 53,000 for his runner-up finish, more than tripling his total live earnings of $16,176 in one tournament.

Baker bested the field of 833 entries who showed up at The Galmont Hotel & Spa in Galway, Ireland, and overcame a tough final table, including Cathal Shine, Ivan Tononi and Marc MacDonnell.

"I'm elated," said Baker after his victory, "I don't play much poker, but I got second in the Irish Poker Tour Winter Festival two months ago and sixth in a side event this week in Galway." In fact, Baker has had four runner-up finishes at IPT events without clinching the victory until today.

When asked what Baker attributed his win the most to, he simply answered "luck," but confirmed as a bookmaker, he has a good eye for odds. Baker didn't have any confirmed plans for his winnings but confirmed he was looking forward to taking the trophy back to his native Cork, which also features an IPT stop.

600 Galway Poker Festival Main Event Final Table Results

1Derek BakerIreland83,500
2Denis BrosnahanIreland53,000
3Tomas GeleziunasIreland36,000
4Cathal ShineIreland27,000
5Shean LaiIreland21,475
6John HanaphyIreland17,500
7Ivan TononiItaly15,000
8Marc MacDonnellIreland12,500
9United Kingdom10,000

Early Day 2 Action

The day began with 198 runners with James O'Sullivan as the overall chip leader, with 84 places being paid and a minimum cash good for 1,400. O'Sullivan would ultimately not make the money as he finished 118th.

Nearly half the field had gone by the first break of the day, with notables such as Andy Black, Gary Blackwood and Nicholas Newport failing to cash.

Matthew Blayney was ultimately the unlucky bubble boy when Glenn Keogh rivered the winner to take what had looked set to be a chopped pot. Not long thereafter, notable players such as Conor O'Driscoll (59th - 1,500), Andrew Hedley (45th - 1,800) and PokerNews Ambassador Lukas Robinson (41st - 1,800) all were eliminated in the money, although they might have been hoping for a deeper run.

The knockouts progressed at a steady pace until the final three tables, when the pace of play started to ease slightly. Players such as Mark Bennett, Mitchell Hynam and Jamie Flynn all fell just short of being present when the tournament got to the nitty gritty.

The final table was then eventually set when Barry McMahon busted in tenth place (8,500), with all players at the final table being guaranteed a payout of at least 10,000.

Final Table Action

Robert Fairhurst was the first to fall at the final table when he ran into the pocket kings of Shine. PokerNews was informed by some of Fairhurst's rail that this was Fairhurst's first big live tournament and that he can normally be found playing in a pub league at the White Lion Pub in Wrightinton in Wigan.

Marc MacDonnell busted in eighth place after losing a race with ace-queen against Shean Lai's pocket tens soon thereafter, and Shine then got lucky to bust Ivan Tononi in seventh after turning two pair against Tononi's aces.

Not much later, Denis Brosnahan busted John Hanaphy in sixth, and Baker sent the short-stacked Shean Lai to the rail in fifth.

Cathal Shine then cold four-bet jammed ace-king into Baker's aces and busted in fourth in what proved to be the crucial hand in the tournament, giving Baker a huge lead going into three-handed play.

Baker quickly brought Tomas Geleziunas's journey to an end in third place soon thereafter with a pair of kings and ultimately finished off his final opponent, Denis Brosnahan, in relatively short order as he started the heads up battle with a huge chip advantage.

Baker was congratulated by the room for his victory, which was more than welcome after the aforementioned four bridesmaid finishes at Irish Poker Tour events. However, Baker can try again soon enough as the tour is headed to Cork and Westport this very month.

That concludes the PokerNews live report of the Galway Poker Festival Main Event, but be sure to check out our other coverage of poker events around the world.


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