From the US to Ireland: Honorary Irishman Steve O’Dwyer Wins Irish Poker Open

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Ireland’s adopted son, Steve O’Dwyer, has added another European title to his résumé by winning the 2022 Irish Poker Open main event.

steve o'dwyer
Steve O’Dwyer won the 2022 Irish Poker Open Main Event, solidifying his status as one of the best players on the European tournament circuit. (Image: Twitter/Irish_PokerOpen)

O’Dwyer played his way through a field of 2,040 entrants in the €1,150 ($1,240) event to make Monday’s final table with the chip lead. Despite the presence of former Irish Poker Open champion, Patrick Clarke, O’Dwyer maintained his dominance throughout.

A final flurry of bets saw the American, who now lives in Dublin, beat Kyle Maguire heads-up. O’Dwyer’s 27th live tournament win was worth €318,700 ($345,823), taking his lifetime earnings over the $31 million mark.

More significantly, O’Dwyer’s Irish Open win marks another high-profile victory on the European poker circuit.

Moving to Europe suits O’Dwyer

Like the majority of US poker pros, O’Dwyer was forced to consider his options when the Black Friday shutdowns happened in 2011. With online poker off the table and the live tournament scene in disarray, many pros relocated or moved away from poker altogether.

O’Dwyer chose the former path and, with Irish heritage on his side, he moved to Ireland in 2012. He’s called Dublin home ever since, becoming a regular on the Irish and European poker circuits. In fact, he’s become more than a regular; he’s become a regular winner. The honorary Irishman has cashed in tournaments across the continent. From Ireland to England, Cyprus, Austria, Italy, and the Czech Republic, he’s become one of the European poker circuit’s top players.

Winning the Irish Poker Open Main Event on Monday was O’Dwyer’s fifth in-the-money finish in Ireland, taking his tournament earnings in Europe to $15.1 million. That figure alone makes O’Dwyer Ireland’s leading all-time money winner.

Irish Poker Open win adds to impressive résumé

His wins aren’t confined to Europe, however. O’Dwyer has won tournaments in the Caribbean, Australia, and Macau.

Perhaps the most interesting fact about O’Dwyer is that he’s only won two live tournaments in the US, and both were back in 2011 before he moved to Ireland. Therefore, if there’s ever a case for the Irish poker community to claim a non-native as its own, it’s O’Dwyer.

If the American is reclassified as an honorary Irishman, that puts him ahead of Andy Black as Ireland’s biggest all-time winner, with lifetime earnings of more than $31 million. If he’s not yet achieved the status of honorary Irishman, he’s now the champion of Ireland for at least a year.

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