Unibet Open champ turns €50 into €79,998

Jon Pill
Posted on: October 14, 2020 03:46 PDT

The Unibet Open Online High Main Event proved to be that site’s biggest tourney to date. The 387 entries at €1,100 a pop made for a record €387,000 ($454,000) prize pool. Of that, €79,998 ($93,874) was counted out for the first place finisher.

Ultimately the win went to Padraig “John_smith2” O’Neill.

O'Neill is a regular on the Irish live circuit with a string of mid-stakes cashes in Dublin cardrooms. This score is almost three times his biggest live cash of €32,510 for a first-place finish at the €1,100 European Masters of Poker IV in 2012. He also has a few international results including cash finishes in the 2017 and 2018 WSOP Main Events.

O’Neill proudly told interviewers: “I am thrilled to have just booked my biggest ever win in the Unibet Open Online. I play on the site most nights and I actually qualified all the way from a €50 satellite.”

That makes for an ROI of 1,600:1. Not bad for two days' work.

He went on to compliment the coverage of the event saying, “I also want to say that the Twitch stream and commentary [...] was a lovely addition. My family tuned in and loved every minute, even though they barely know the hand rankings. I could hear my fiancee listening to Ian’s infectious laugh in the next room.”

The final table went out as live stream on Twitch. The commentary was provided by a few horses from Unibet’s stable of sponsored pros. These included Dara O’Kearney, Ian Simpson, and David Lappin.

The rocky road to first

Time and the blinds whittled the initial field of 387 down to 64 on day one. As a result, with 62 players paid, the tourney had one of the tightest day two field to bubble ratios out there.

Two unlucky players had to spend an extra night at their hotels, get a taxi to the casino, find their seats, wait for the call of "shuffle up and deal," and then play a just few hands before going busting to the rail without a cent.

Once the bubble broke, play sped up. As it often does.

The final table got closer and closer. As that happened, players had to fight harder and harder for their edge. Those who did make it to the FT were guaranteed €6,192 for a 9th place finish, though most were aiming for better than that.

Ultimately it came down to O’Neill and “lovebeaches” in a heads-up duel.

“lovebeaches” got €56,962 for his second-place finish. One imagines that should be enough to get him to the seaside.

Final table results

1st – Padraig “John_smith2” O’Neill – €79,998

2nd – "lovebeaches" – €56,962

3rd – "Lapeok" – €41,394

4th – "thrsths" – €29,720

5th – "Lariat" – €22,641

6th – "thyragray84" – €16,627

7th – "Imaginedead" – €12,027

8th – "PLP2015" – €8,667

9th – "Kardashian69" – €6,192

Featured image source: Flickr under CC license