One of Europe’s most well known televised tournaments, the Poker Million, has recently concluded in London. The seventh annual outing for the Ladbrokes sponsored event ended with a particularly strong showing for the Irish. The contingent from the Emerald Isle was rewarded for their short hop over the sea, as they claimed the top four places on the final table. The victory must have been even more sweet for overall champion Marty Smyth, who reached the last six tournaments in the previous two years without walking away with the title.
The Poker Million VII was comprised of a series of six player single-table heats, culminating in a final table where the winner would walk away with $1,000,000. Touted by Ladbrokes as “Europe’s richest single table tournament,” the event mixes together sponsored pros, online qualifiers and minor celebrities to create one of the more popular televised poker offerings in the UK.
After all the heats had been completed, the final table was comprised of the aforementioned Irish quartet – Eoghan O’Dea, Ciaran O’Leary, Liam Flood, and Marty Smyth – along with internet qualifiers Kevin Allen and Svein Petter Neilsen. Before long it became clear that the Irish were out to enforce their dominance on proceeding. With the two internet qualifiers dispatched, the final four battled down to a heads up confrontation between Eoghan O’Dea and Marty Smyth.
Eoghan O’Dea might have been hoping that being a Poker Million champion was a hereditary trait, his father – Donnacha O’Dea – having won the third Poker Million four years ago. Far from riding off his paternal coattails, Eoghan has established himself as a feared online presence. His internet prowess came to the fore earlier this year when he finished first in the European Championship of Online Poker on Paddy Power.
However, he was up against a man on a seemingly unstoppable run of form. If the pain of coming so close to the $1,000,000 for two years running was not motivation enough, then Marty Smyth’s pure ability would have been enough to see him through. After winning the 2007 Irish Poker Open, one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious events, he went on to capture his first WSOP bracelet in the 2008 $10,000 World Championships of Pot Limit Omaha – collecting over $850,000. He also proved that he is as formidable online as he is live, having won the Party Poker World Open in May. In the end, Marty’s quality was just too great for Eoghan to overcome.
The semi-finals will be broadcast on Sky Sports 2 on the 10th and 11th of December, with the final table shown on 12th of December.
The full final table payouts are as follows:
1st Marty Smyth $1 million
2nd Eoghan O’Dea $260,000
3rd Ciaran O’Leary $175,000
4th Liam Flood $130,000
5th Kevin Allen $100,000
6th Svein Petter Neilsen $75,000