When the smoke cleared - Dublin EPT final report
As every sweet-toothed child around the world knows, today is Halloween. But as every poker player knows, if it's tricks and treats you're seeking, look no further than the EPT.
Someone who knows all about the sweetness of high-stakes poker is Mats Gavatin, from Sweden. Late last night, the 26-year-old tasted the glucose-rush of an EPT tournament win, earning himself €317,000 for his victory in Dublin.
Henric Olander can also buy a lot of candy. The 20-year-old, also from Sweden, was the dominant force at the final table, steamrollering through the field until the trophy seemed certain to be sitting on his laptop by the end of the night. But the irresistable force met the immovable object when the two Swedes went heads up, and Olander will have to settle for €174,500 for second.
Third place went to David Pomroy, a 22-year-old online whizz from England. Pomroy had been the menace of the Merrion for most of the tournament's second day, flying through the field and on to his first television table in what was one of his first major live tournaments. Pomroy has another €89,300 to wager on the online tables.
No one knows what Joe Rafferty did to upset the witches and warlocks of poker, but the 36-year-old from Ireland ended fourth, despite coming to the final table as chip leader. Rafferty was on the end of a couple of rough beats beneath the TV cameras, before finally departing while holding ace-four, his most hated hand. He had led the 2005 World Series main event, before falling in love with that hand cost him his chance at the big one. Nonetheless, Joe took €69,500 for fourth.
In fifth place was Peter Haslam, from Birmingham, England. Haslam was the form horse coming into the event, having won the Omaha tournament at the Merrion casino the day before. That title was worth €25,000, his fifth place on the EPT earned him another €59,500.
Jim Reid, another of the popular Irish contingent, took €49,600 for his sixth place. Reid was the short-stack coming to the final table but, buoyed on by some vociferous home support, clung on to outlast two others. He went chasing a flush-draw, right about the time that Olander could do no wrong. Jim didn't catch it and out he went.
The most famous face at the final table - at least in the world of British soap opera - was that of Michael Greco. A former star of Eastenders, Greco is the toughest graduate from the celebrity poker circuit and followed up an excellent showing at the summer festival in London's Victoria casino with his first televised cash. It's a measure of the man's progress that he was bitterly disappointed to finish where he did. His seventh place earned him €39,800.
Someone always has to be first out and that man was Michael O'Sullivan, from Ireland. The former farmer from Cork still took home the biggest tournament pay-cheque of his career: €29,800 for eighth place.
So, to recap:
1 - €317,000 - Mats Gavatin (Sweden) - also wins €10,000 seat in EPT Grand final
2 - €174,500 - Henrik Olander (Sweden)
3 - €89,300 - David Pomroy (England)
4 - €69,500 - Joe Rafferty (Ireland)
5 - €59,500 - Peter Haslam (England)
6 - €49,600 - Jim Reid (Ireland)
7 - €39,800 - Michael Greco (England)
8 - €29,800 - Michael O'Sullivan (Ireland)