2016 WSOP Main Event Finalist Griffin Benger Wins 2017 Irish Open

Posted on April 11, 2017

[toc]Griffin Benger, 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event finalist of “check your privilege” fame, will get the privilege of a €200,000 cheque thanks to his victory in Europe’s longest-running poker tournament.

Benger topped a field of 1,129 players in the €1,150 Irish Poker Open. The event has been held in Dublin, Ireland each year since 1980. This makes it Europe’s longest-running poker tournament, and the second-longest globally after the World Series of Poker.

The Irish Poker Open final table

Benger began the final table with a fairly commanding chip lead, though Fintan Hand and Antony Wicket both held considerable stacks. The rest of the finalists all nursed short stacks, but despite this it took more than four hours for the first elimination.

Michael Conaty moved all-in for 2.3 million at 80k/160k and his namesake Michael Fletcher called off a shorter stack. Fletcher held 9-9 against Conaty’s K-T, which tripped up on the flop and boated on the turn to eliminate Fletcher.

Conaty’s glory was short-lived, however. He bluffed all-in with ace-high against Benger’s top pair to leave in eighth place. This represented his second consecutive Irish Open final table, having finished in second place last year.

Fintan Hand’s dwindling stack was reduced to nothing at the hands of Chris Dowling, running A-T into a dominating A-J. After this, A-J claimed another victim as Vamshi Vandanapu held up against Sameer Singh’s A-6 in a preflop confrontation.

Antony Wicket found A-6 himself and ran headlong into Benger’s A-T, with a K-Q-J flop almost immediately eliminating Wicket in fifth. Mihail Mazilu then scalped Vandanapu, holding A-A against K-Q on an unfortunate K-5-5 flop.

After dinner, Chris Dowling 4-bet shoved A-8 against Benger’s 3-bet. Unfortunately for him, the Canadian had picked up A-Q and held up, facing Mazilu heads-up in the face of a considerable chip deficit.

However, Benger’s luck continued and he flopped a straight to win a huge pot before both players flopped top pair. Benger’s K-8 was far ahead of Mazilu’s T-8 on an 8-2-6 board and he held up to win his fourth major live poker tournament.

2017 Irish Poker Open: final table results

  1. Griffin Benger: €200,000
  2. Mihail Mazilu: €125,000
  3. Chris Dowling: €75,000
  4. Vamshi Vandanapu: €50,000
  5. Antony Wicket: €35,000
  6. Sameer Singh: €25,000
  7. Fintan Hand: €19,445
  8. Michael Conaty: €15,570
  9. Michael Fletcher: €13,500

About Griffin Benger

Griffin Benger is a former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional who transitioned to playing online poker tournaments.

He has won more than $5 million playing poker online, as well as over $3.8 million in live tournaments.

His biggest score, as well as his most famous tournament run, came in the 2016 World Series of Poker Main Event. He finished in seventh, winning $1.25 million, and was famously goaded into shouting and crying while facing English player Will Kassouf in the latter’s final hand of the tournament.

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Matt Perry

A veteran of the online gambling industry, Matt Perry has worn a number of hats since he first began working in online poker and iGaming in 2007. He currently writes for a variety of publications focused on legal online gambling, and in the past has served as an editor, copywriter, content manager and reporter.

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