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One day Niall Smyth was online at putting a €10 each way bet on the English Grand National. He won €200. A few days later Smyth took the €200 and won a satellite which got him a seat in the 2011 Irish Open at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin, Ireland. 315 players entered the €3200 buyin tournament.

Smyth then proceeded to win first place and €550,000. The Irish Open is the second oldest NLHE tournament running continuously since 1981, with the only older NLHE tournament being the WSOP in Las Vegas. On top of that, Smyth won an additional €100,000 for being the Sole Survivor, which required lasting longer than 160 online players. €50k of the €100K will be paid in cash, the other 50€ in sponsorship: tournament buyins and expenses.  That’s a total of €650,000 off of a €10 investment!

Quite the accomplishment for Niall Smith. This year’s tournament started with 20,000 in chips, double past years, which led to more skillful play and longer levels. Despite that Smyth was able to come into the final table as the chip leader with over 2 Million in chips.

At the final table it got down to heads up between Smyth and Surinder Sunar, the British poker pro with almost $4 Million in lifetime winnings, heads up. To complete the story book ending Smyth overcame Sunar in an almost 4 hour heads up grudge match to take the Irish Open 2011 title!

The prize pool was €1,968,000 with 64 players getting paid. Places & Payouts:
1: Niall Smyth (Ireland) – €550,000
2: Surinder Sunar (England) – €290,000
3: Martin Petri (Denmark) – €180,000
4: Seamus Cahill (Ireland) – €145,000
5: Aleksi Savela (Finand) – €115,000
6: Karl Rudwall (Sweden) – €85,000
7: Rob Taylor (Ireland) – €63,000
8: John Eames (UK) – €45,000
9: Niall McCann (Ireland) – €30,000