Griffin Grabs Irish Open Crown, Holz Passes Hellmuth
Former Counter-Strike pro Griffin Benger is the 2017 Irish Open Champion. He defeated a record field to take the title and over $215,000.
Meanwhile, Steve O'Dwyer beat a "recreational player" for the PokerStars Championship Macau Super High Roller title but that recreational player also happened to pass Phil Hellmuth on poker's all-time money list.
November Niner Benger Wins Record-Setting Irish Open
Griffin "Flush_Entity" Benger fell short of winning the WSOP Main Event back in November, but the former $1m Shark Cage champion made up for it by winning the 2017 Irish Open on Monday.
Benger outlasted a record field of 1,129 players to win the title and take home the €200,000 ($215,731 USD) top prize. Benger came into the final table with the chip lead and played masterfully to reach heads-up against Mihail Mazilu.
At the start of heads-up play Benger trailed but after flopping a straight with a meager 5-4, he managed to gain the lead after getting Mazilu to call a massive bet with just a single pair.
Soon after Mazilu shoved with 10c-8s on an eight-high flop and Benger made the easy call with Kh-8d. Benger's kicker held and he took the title.
Benger is primarily known as an online poker pro who posted massive earnings on PokerStars over the years and was ranked #1 in the world for a while. Prior to poker Benger was a professional Counter-Strike player and parlayed that into a successful poker career.
Most casual poker fans know Benger from his run to the November Nine last year and his epic hand that resulted in the elimination of the Will Kassouf. With his Irish Open victory Benger moves up to $3.88 million in career earnings.
O'Dwyer Beats Holz, Holz Passes Hellmuth
Speaking of Ireland, resident Steve O'Dwyer is one of the game's premier High Rollers and he added another accolade to his resume after winning the HK$ 400,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Championship Macau.
The event was essentially a $50k USD buy-in event and drew a total of 88 entries for a prize pool of $4.34 million (HK$ 33.8 million). The final table included several strong players including Dan Smith and "recreational player" Fedor Holz.
Considering Holz tends to step up his game in High Roller events, it comes as no surprise that he and O'Dwyer were the final two in this event. Despite holding a 4-1 chip lead over Holz at the start of heads-up play. the pair struck a deal that locked up $868k for Holz and about $1.05 million for O'Dwyer.
The pair played it out for HK $300k or about $38k USD. O'Dwyer ended up taking the title and the additional money to win $1.08 million USD.
This is O'Dwyer's second straight High Roller victory. He won the PokerStars Championship Bahamas $10k High Roller last month. O'Dwyer also finished 4th in the $50k High Roller at the same series.
2017 looks to be another banner year for O'Dwyer. He already has $1.55 million in earnings and moved up to $17.65 million overall.
Holz, meanwhile, jumped over Phil Hellmuth on poker's all-time money list with his score. He now sits in 7th overall with $21,709,151 - about $700,000 more than Hellmuth. Holz has earned virtually all of his since 2015 while Hellmuth has cashes dating back to 1987.