Pavel Veksler Crowned Irish Poker Open Champ
Ukrainian Poker-pro Pavel Veksler has been crowned the new Irish Poker Open champion. Veksler on Wednesday entered Day 4 of the event as the player ranked seventh among the final nine before catapulting into the lead with a handful remaining. He eventually moved into the heads-up position opposite chip-leader and two-time World Series of Poker Main Event finalist Stoyan Obreshkov before ultimately sticking it hard to the Bulgarian Poker master.
The 2021 Irish Open event was the second instalment of the popular Poker championship to be hosted online. Last year’s inaugural online run, which also happened to be the 40th anniversary of the long-running championship, was won by Brazilian player Pablo Brita Silva, who beat Andras Nemeth to the post and the incredible $548,374 in 1st place prize money.
The Irish Open is one of the longest-running and most popular events in Poker. And over the years, it has welcomed a host of phenomenal players into the pages of history.
It was in 2003 that British player Joe Beevers trumped a field of 103 others to the $59,780 prize cheque.
Whenever asked what that had been like, Beevers always tells the story of how two years prior to that, in 2001, he got beat to the winner’s post by Jenny Hegarty. Beevers says he for many years after that bore the brunt of jokes and pokes in the ribs about him having come in second behind an Irish grandmother.
Those jokes, and especially a poke in the ribs by the late legend Liam Flood, had according to Beevers been behind his resolve to one day win the title. And he actually went on to do so in 2003.
But the Irish Poker Open isn’t only famous for what happens on the felt – but perhaps even more so for the shenanigans away from it. One such story is that of Unibet Poker ambassador Ian Sampson.
Sampson in 2012 finished fourth behind Kevin Vandersmissen. The field had been a massive 502 strong, and even though Sampson had not won that year’s event, he did manage to win his girlfriend Emma’s hand in marriage upon his return to the Irish felt and a massive win two years later in 2013.
After defeating Michael Farrelly in a heads-up battle of epic proportions, Vandersmissen promptly dropped to one nee and proposed to his sweetheart. Who, of course, said yes to her beau with the cameras still rolling.