November 01, 2011 07:56 ET

John Keown Wins Irish Winter Festival Main Event

Northern Irish Poker Player Beats 394-Opponents In Dublin For EUR120,000 Payday And Double Victory

DUBLIN, IRELAND--(Marketwire - Nov. 1, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo and a video associated with this press release.

John Keown of Northern Ireland has won the 2011 Irish Winter Festival. He topped the 395-strong field in the €1,000 + €100 buy in main event at the Burlington Hotel, Dublin to take down the €100,000 first prize on Monday October 31.

The icing on the cake for Keown was lifting the Sole Survivor title and an additional €20,000 cheque for being the last Paddy Power Poker online qualifier standing in the tournament.

The Castlewellan, Co.Down man beat southern Irish player Noel O'Brien heads up in a battle that lasted just over an hour.

The pair started with O'Brien as 3:2 chip leader but the lead flip-flopped several times until the key hand which saw a flop 4s-5h-3s. Keown bet 500,000, only for O'Brien to move all-in with 8d-3h. Keown called with Qs-7s and was favourite even though he was behind with his flush draw and two overcards.

The 9s fell on the turn giving Keown a flush and he doubled up to over 5 million in chips with just under six million in play and O'Brien was in big trouble.

However he doubled up twice immediately after this hand but ultimately was living on borrowed time and a third quick all-in in succession saw O'Brien's Kc-6c bested by Keown's Ad-5d when the board missed both players and Keown's Ace high was good for the title.

Keown, who finished ninth in the 2008 Irish Open main event for €50,000 and is well known on the Irish circuit, said after his victory, "It was a bit of a battle, but I think we're both gambling men – I've known Noel a long time and we've had our wars over the years – we were both going to gamble and I came out on top. Poker's a funny game, you can be so far in front, but it only takes one card to do the damage."

The final table payouts were:
1st. John Keown - €100,000
2nd. Noel O'Brien - €57,950
3rd. Chris Dowling - €35,750
4th. Matej Kokalj - €28,750
5th. Michael Mazilu - €22,750
6th. Brian Warren - €18,550
7th. Damien Quinlivan - €14,400
8th. Ville Salmi - €11,750
9th. Colm Hayes - €8,700
The chips counts going into the final day's play were:
Seat 1 – Ville Salmi – 678,000
Seat 2 – John Keown – 1,185,000
Seat 3 – Damian Quinlivan – 253,000
Seat 4 – Brian Warren – 363,000
Seat 5 – Michael Mazilu – 310,000
Seat 6 – Noel O'Brien – 1,552,000
Seat 7 – Chris Dowling – 613,000
Seat 8 – Colm Hayes – 300,000
Seat 9 – Matej Kokalj – 567,000

A total prize pool of €395,000 was created with 40 players making the money including former Irish rugby international Reggie Corrigan and current Irish Open champion Niall Smyth.

Smyth, from Kerry, was also a Sole Survivor winner who took home an extra €100,000 on top of the €650,000 he got for his tournament victory.

Note to editors:

For full results from this festival as well as pictures of the participants check the blog. Please credit Maxwell when re-posting or printing images.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

To view the video associated with this press release, please visit the following link:

Contact Information