Monday 30th January, 2023

Steve O’Dwyer to defend title at Irish Open 2023

By Mad Harper

Legendary poker player and 2022 Irish Open champion Steve O’Dwyer will be competing at this year’s tournament to defend his Main Event title. O’Dwyer, who has lived in Dublin for over ten years, won a stunning victory in the city last year when he smashed through a field of more than 2,000 entries to take down the €1,150 buy-in event.


His bravura final table performance – which included busting every single one of his opponents – secured him a €318,700 payday. Not a big cash by O’Dwyer standards but his victory at the Irish Open still means more to him than any other.


This year’s Irish Open is taking place from April 3 to 10 at the Royal Dublin Society. MainEventTravel.com is the Official Travel Partner for the Irish Open with a whole bunch of special deals for this year’s event offering accommodation and buy-in combined.


O’Dwyer was visibly full of emotion when he won last year’s event – for numerous reasons. He said: “I had actually never won a 2,000 live player tournament before. I’ve won nearly 30 tournaments but most of them were high rollers and super high rollers with fewer than 100 players. The biggest event I had won before the Irish Open was the EPT in Monte Carlo.”


Last year’s Irish Open was also one of the first live tournaments O’Dwyer had played following the pandemic. He said: “Apart from two events in Cyprus in 2021, I hadn’t played live poker for over two years – so getting back to live poker was what I was really looking forward to.”


Winning in Dublin, the city that he has made his home, also meant a lot to O’Dwyer. Although he was born in Colorado, O’Dwyer treasures his Irish heritage. He said: “All my ancestors are from Ireland on that side of my family. It’s a very special place and the people are amazing. I’ve lived almost half my life in Europe and being in Ireland is great. I love it.”


Now 40, O’Dwyer has won more than $33 million at live tournaments and is 14th on the world all-time money list. However, he still loves competing at the Irish Open and has played it numerous times since he made his debut there in 2012.


He said: “I always play it if I can. I had known about it ever since I first got into poker. I was just fascinated that there were Irish Open results from 1981. That’s a really old historic tournament and I thought it would be really cool to play it - just for the history of it and the fact that it’s still running every year. My Irish Passport makes the event extra special.”


Since last year’s Irish Open, O’Dwyer has added another $2 million to his live tournament haul and is currently in the Bahamas competing at this year’s PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. The PCA is familiar territory for him and it’s also where he had his biggest ever live cash – $1.8 million in 2015 after taking down the $100k Super High Roller.


The €1,050 buy-in Irish Open costs a fraction of his normal buy-ins but he’s really looking forward to April’s event. MainEventTravel.com has deals running for several hotels close to the RDS tournament venue including numerous  "Accommodation + Main Event Buy-in Packages" for the Herbert Park Hotel.

Photo credit: Irish Poker Open

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