PartyPoker MILLIONS Irish Poker Festival Wraps Up in Dublin
Last Updated: November 8, 2023
Another successful live event put together by PartyPoker is officially in the books as the MILLIONS Irish Poker Festival wrapped up a couple of days ago. Once more, the festival attracted players from all over the place, offering a wide scope of buy-ins and variations to cater to every taste and bankroll.
Things kicked off on Halloween with a few smaller events, but it didn’t take long for the atmosphere to heat up in Dublin. Over the course of the week, there were 30 different events featuring over 2,000 entries and a total prize pool in excess of €1.5 million.
These numbers may seem small when compared to some other poker festivals out there, but what you might not know is that PartyPoker kept buy-ins at a very affordable level, so the total prize pool is quite impressive. The Main Event featured a €3,000 buy-in and a €700,000 guarantee, but most other events had buy-ins in the low three figures.
Main Event Exceeds Expectations
The €3,000 Main Event was certainly the crown jewel of the Irish Poker Festival, and the organizer wasn’t afraid to put a big guarantee of €700k on it. As it turned out, this was the right move, as the big prize pool helped attract players, and the tournament went over the original promise.
By the time the registration was over, there were 286 total entries, creating the prize pool in excess of €760k, for an increase of almost 10% on the original guarantee. Of those 286, 29 walked away with something for their efforts, pocketing at least €6,000.
As always, big money was reserved for those who made the final table, with the top two spots guaranteed six figures. The final table was an interesting mix of youth and experience, with perhaps the most recognizable face in the crowd being that of Andy Black, a legendary poker player hailing from Ireland.
Images courtesy of Brian Ó hÉideáin
Black’s vast experience on the felt wasn’t enough to close the deal this time around, though, as he had to bow out in seventh place. A few eliminations later, the tournament finally got to the heads up, featuring Michel Molenaar and Tomas McNamara.
As mentioned, both players were guaranteed to take home six figures at this point, but there was still a massive €90k difference between the first and the second place.
Molenaar entered the final skirmish as a significant chip leader, and although McNamara put up a good fight, it wasn’t enough to overcome the chip deficit and the fact that things have simply been going Michel’s way lately.
At the tender age of 24 years young , Michel Molenaar from The Netherlands is your very first Irish Poker Festival Millions Main Event champion. He took home the trophy yesterday after a fascinating heads up battle.
— Irish Poker Festival (@IrishPoker) November 6, 2023
After some back and forth, Michel Molenaar claimed the Main Event title and the €210,000 first prize, while Tomas McNamara picked up €120,000 for his runner-up finish.
Plenty of Four Card Fun
The PartyPoker MILLIONS Irish Poker Festival featured numerous No Limit Hold’em tournaments in addition to the Main Event, and the €50,000 GTD Mystery Bounty was perhaps the most interesting one of the bunch. However, the organizers didn’t forget about PLO fans, either.
— Irish Poker Festival (@IrishPoker) November 2, 2023
There were several tournaments featuring four hole cards instead of two, including the €2,500 Irish Omaha Championship. That event attracted a decent crowd of 49 players, and the eventual winner, Ivelin Pavlov, took home €43,000.
For those with smaller bankrolls, there were several PLO events with buy-ins of €250 and €400 scattered over the week, so the Dublin event truly catered to poker players of all shapes and sizes.
All in all, the Festival was an all-around success, with players and organizers walking away with smiles on their faces. It was a great mix of action at the tables and poker camaraderie away from the felt, so it’s safe to assume that everyone involved is walking away with some fond memories to look back at.