David Docherty Turns Satellite Ticket into €365K Irish Poker Open Win

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The ever-popular Irish Poker Open came to a conclusion on Monday and, this year, the winner’s trophy is heading back to Scotland with David Docherty.

david docherty
David Docherty beat a record-breaking field to win the 2023 Irish Poker Open and secure his biggest payday to-date. (Image: Twitter/Danny Maxwell/PokerStars)

With PokerStars and Paddy Power providing a plethora of online satellites this year, a record crowd anted up in Europe’s longest running No Limit Hold’em tournament at the Royal Dublin Society.

A total of 2,491 entries made this year’s event the biggest poker tournament ever held in Ireland. It also meant Docherty took home the lion’s share of a €2.4 million prizepool after he beat Declan Rice heads-up.

From satellite qualifier to Irish Poker Open champion

Docherty was among the many who qualified for the €1,150 tournament online. The Scottish pro is no stranger to live events and has cashes dating back to 2009. However, he’s also adept at online poker and proved that by winning not one but two seats on PokerStars.

2023 Irish Poker Open Result

  1. David Docherty – €365,000 ($398,780)
  2. Declan Rice – €228,700 ($249,866)
  3. Panagiotis Mavritsakis – €161,500 ($176,446)
  4. Tom Waters – €124,500 ($136,022)
  5. Andy Black – €95,500 ($104,338)
  6. Eugeniu Barbaros – €73,500 ($80,302)
  7. Carl Shaw – €56,500 ($61,729)
  8. Henri Ojala – €43,500 ($47,525)

He used his first ticket on Day 1A but couldn’t make it through the session. Fortunately for Docherty, his second shot was more successful. He finished Day 1B as the chip leader and remained in contention throughout the latter stages of the tournament.

However, by the time eight were left, all eyes were Irish poker legend Andy Black. He was one of the finalists and looked, for a time, to be a champion in waiting. However, when Black’s light went out, it was Declan Rice who shone.

Docherty comes from behind to hit career milestone

The Irishman pushed the pace at every opportunity. That put him in a strong position with just two players left. Despite trailing the hometown hero at the start of play, Docherty gradually worked his way back into contention (see video below).

Play stopped briefly as the final two discussed a deal, but the numbers didn’t suit either player. With that, Docherty took control. A double up got him back into contention before he brought the hammer down with a little help from the poker gods.

With Rice nursing just seven big blinds, Docherty moved all-in from the button with K♥ 10♥. Rice called with J♠ 2♣ and took the lead as the flop ran out 8♥ 6♣ 2♦.

That lead was short-lived as the 8♣ and 6♠ counterfeited Rice’s pair of deuces. With two-pair and a better kicker, Docherty scooped the final pot and his first Irish Poker Open title.

Docherty spoke to the media after his win (see video above) and said his experience playing heads-up definitely helped. He also credited his results in 2021 and 2022, including a GUKPT title, for giving him the confidence to take on the famous Irish Poker Open and win.

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