Irish Winter Festival Updates 2009

Titan Poker held qualifying satellites to award its best online poker tournament players with seats to the prestigious Irish Winter Festival 2009 in Dublin. Follow this spot for daily updates reporting the action at the City West Hotel.

Arrival at the City West Hotel – Friday 23rd October 2009

Players from across the world flew in to Dublin to take part in the prestigious Irish Winter Festival at the City West Hotel in Dublin. Titan Poker sent across a 32 man delegation. The day was all about getting to know one another and acclimatizing to the serene surroundings of the hotel.

The City West Hotel in Dublin

The driveway outside the hotel was filled with luxurious automobiles and at some stage a helicopter landed as well.

Titan Poker's Benoit Botrel

Titan Poker's Benoit Botrel and his friend Nicola pose in front of the private helicopter.

Titan Poker VIP Support representative Yoel

Titan Poker VIP Support representative Yoel outside the City West Hotel.

Titan Poker representatives met the players in the lobby and provided them with welcome packs and complimentary Titan Poker gear for the upcoming big day. The atmosphere and general vibe were extremely positive and the players expressed their gratitude for the warm reception that they had received in Dublin.

The poker players arrive at City West Hotel

Issie from Titan Poker's VIP Support (left) receives Christoph Maurer (center) and Uwe Kehlenbach (right) in the lobby with their Titan gear.

Titan Poker

Handing out of complimentary Titan Poker gear in the lobby.

Titan Poker's Tiberio Natali

The happy father along with his son, Titan Poker's Tiberio Natali and Yoel from VIP support.

Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse – Ipoker Party- 23 October 2009.

Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse Dublin.

Ipoker hosted an evening for the players at the Guinness Storehouse in the city of Dublin. The players were bused in from the City West Hotel and arrived at the location at 8PM. On entry to the Guinness Storehouse, the players gazed in awe at the massive construction's displays.

Guinness Storehouse Bottle Display

Bottle Display on the ground floor of the Guinness Storehouse.

There were a number of players who were quite apprehensive about what was prepared for them at the Gravity Bar on the top floor. Once arriving on the 7th floor they were delighted to discover nothing less than an open bar, live music and a panoramic view of the Dublin city skyline. The ambiance of the location definitely brought about a feeling of victory in the air.

Titan poker Player Vladimir Vorobiev

Vladimir Vorobiev, the Russian Titan and his lovely girlfriend Anastasia party overlooking the city of Dublin.

Titan players got to mingle and know their fellow compatriots and there was a genuine sense of camaraderie. As the night moved on and the music picked up new friendships were made. It was remarkable how some of the players knew each other to a certain degree from the “virtual world”. Now they had the chance to breach the barriers of the internet.

Good time at the Gravity Bar in Dublin

The French Titans toast to success – Stephane Blanpin (2nd from left), Yoel (Center) and Olivier Harguindeguy (2nd from right) along with their friends.

Titan Poker's Pablo Zabornik enjoys a pit

Pablo Zabonik from Argentina was a very happy Titan. Here he is enjoying a pint of Guinness.

Food was brought around by the waiters and the barmen had a hard time keeping up with the cheerful bunch of players. Discussion about strategies for the upcoming day's play was the main topic of discussion. Nevertheless, this was a good time for players to take it easy prior to the start of the Irish Winter Festival.

Swedish Titan Player Jan Hjerpe

Jan Hjerpe, the Swedish Titan Poker player looks relaxed prior to the 1st day of play.

Titan Poker's Sebastian Dinescu

Titan Poker's Sebastian Dinescu from Romania with his lady friend.

The band rock at the Gravity Bar

The band continued to rock the 7th Floor of the Gravity Bar.

Titan Poker sent 4 delegates to Ireland to make sure that the players would be looked after constantly and have answers to all their questions. The players continuously expressed the fact that Titan Poker provides the players with the best support.

Darren and Issie from Titan Poker

Darren and Issie from Titan Poker mingle among the guests.

As the Guinness on tap continued to flow, so did the friendships grow. It was a spectacle to see the players from all over the world finding their common denominator over poker. This will definitely be recorded as a night to remember.

Titan's Joe McAdorey has a great time at the Gravity Bar

The Titan, Joe McAdorey from Belfast, was in an especially celebratory mood.

Many friendships were made in Dublin

Titan Poker Irish Winter qualifiers enjoying the evening: Gunnar Frantzen (Norway), Ric Schouten (Holland) and Reidar Hansen (Denmark).

Day 1 Irish Winter Festival 24th October 2009

Day 1 started off at 2PM with 397 registered players. The 32 Titan Poker players set out to take on the best in poker at the tables. The atmosphere was electric from the start of play in the City West Hotel Convention Center.

Attention was focused immediately on the televised table where 2 of our players happened to find themselves due to the lucky draw.

The actions begins in Dublin

Gunnar Frantzen and Leon de Rouw at the televised table (Sitting on the left and right of the dealer).

Before the players could even get used to the sound of the chips resonating across the great hall, Giancarlo Viezzi, the Italian Titan, found himself on the way out. Giancarlo: “I had two bad beats. The first time was a flush vs. a full house and on the second time, the player went all in and I called. Very disappointing!”

Titan Poker player Giancarlo Viezzi

Giancarlo Viezzi, minutes before leaving the table.

Next to go was Ric Schouten from the Netherlands. “It was a very serious table with low tempo players – there was little action”, Ric told us. Schouten had a flush however his opposition got a full house on the river. “It was all in and all over for me”, Ric laughed. “It was my first time live. I feel far more relaxed at home... what I probably need is some more practice offline.”

All eyes on the cards

Ric Schouten in black with Titan Frenchman Chomy wearing sunglasses.

With pressure on the rise, the tournament organizers dispatched masseuses to the poker players delight.

A nice break from the action

Maybe a massage is in order.

Then it was the German, Uwe Kehlenbach's turn to fall out of the pack. He was initially feeling confident despite the fact that there was an element of fear.

Titan Poker player Uwe Kehlenbach

Uwe Kehlenbach in Titan Gear at the table with Orjan Sundqvist to his right.

The Irish Winter Festival is Orjan Sundqvist's third online tournament. “I got knocked out in my first tournament after 1 hr and 50 minutes and I almost made it to the last day in Manila. Now I hope to be finally through to Day 2”, he told us.

Adam York, despite all of his experience, could not find the golden path and unfortunately would not make it through to see the light of Day 2.

Titan Poker player Adam York at the table

Adam York proudly dons his Titan gear.

Maurice Harman from Ireland also found himself without luck after he was gutted when trying to double his stack. “It was the wrong side of the coin flip on this occasion – I hit triples on the flop and I was raised. After calling, I went all in and to my dismay he had 8 10 vs. my 8 7. He got me with the kicker”, Maurice remarked. Reider Hansen from Denmark also found himself going out due to his tough Irish opponent's kicker.

Titan Poker player Reidar Hansen

Reidar Hansen leaves the tables early.

There were big hopes for Vladimir Vorobiev, the Titan from St. Petersburg, who took home 2nd place in the Main Event at ECOOP IV. This was his first live tournament and despite the optimism on his end, he would be out of the game early.

Zachary Kempe and Vladimir Vorobiev

Zachary Kempe and Vladimir Vorobiev after some hours of play.

Yoel from Titan Poker VIP support participated in a special table tournament setup for the media teams covering the Irish Winter Festival. He managed to take 3rd place.

Titan Poker representative Yoel at the table

Yoel delighted with his result.

Davy Oxisoglou almost made it through to Day 2, however he got caught up in the action during the level before the last blinds. He pushed forward with A10 and went all in, losing against triple 3's. “This was the best experience and my first live event and it is going to continue” Davy said. He plans to sell his car and really take a go at succeeding in poker.

Davy Oxisoglou keeps his cool

Davy before going all in

Frederic Chomy was out on the last level of blinds. He raised with K10 and the other player called the flop. Chomy thought that he was bluffing and therefore raised it went to all in with Chomy losing to AA. “I am unhappy with my error of judgement but I prefer going this way rather than having a bad beat” he said.

Frederic Chomy makes his move

Frederic Chomy at the height of his play.

So... who made it to Day 2?

Titan Poker's chip leader Igor Kurganov goes through to Day 2 with a stack of 56,475 chips. The current leader after Day 1 is Luke Marsh from the UK with 110,675. At the end of Day 1, 181 players remain in the tournament.

Titan Poker player Igor Kurganov

Igor Kurganov

Jan Hjerpe from Sweden follows close behind with a stack of 55,500.

Jan Hjerpe at the table

Jan Hjerpe enjoying the evening play

Our only Titan Poker female member in the Irish Winter Festival, Irene van Loop had a difficult day at a table of pros. This is her first time at a big tournament and her stack of 41,250 going into Day 2 is quite an achievement. “Today I played very tight but tomorrow I plan to be very aggressive”, she stated.

Irene van Loon keeps her focus

Irene van Loon concentrating on her game.

Joe McAdorey stuck it through Day 1 and continued to baffle the players with his funny antics. He moves into Day 2 with 37,900.

Titan Poker player Joe McAdorey shows his Irish spirit

Joe takes a peak at his cards.

Zachary Kempe from the United Kingdom continued to impress and came out with a steady 28,400 stack. Gerhard Onken on the other hand had a day which he defined as one of ups and downs. He finished the day close behind Zachary with 25,500 in chips.

Titan Poker player Gerhard Onken

Gerhard Onken stacks up on chips.

Jeanluc Dutto finished on 24,550 and Orjan Sundqvist rallied to almost meet him at 24,550. Natali Tiberio, one of the Italian Titan Poker players, managed to close his day on 15,850 chips.

Titan Poker player Natali Tiberio

Getting late – Tiberio looking for his watch?

The Frenchman Yann Kerhascoet ended his day on 12,875. “There was a moment where I fell to 2,000 but I managed to pull through and reach my objective, that being Day 2” he added. Sebastian Dinescu also pulled through Day 1 with a final stack of 10,875.

Titan Poker player Sebastian Dinescu  moves on to day 2

Sebastian pulls through to Day 2.

Christoph Maurer was feeling confident at the beginning of the day where he managed to reach 18,000 but then he lost a third of his stack in a hand. “A stupid steal of mine was called and I went down. I then told myself to be patient and have discipline” he told us when we congratulated about his progression through to Day 2. He currently stands on 9,600.

Christoph Maurer and Gerhard Onken take a break from the action

Christoph Maurer on left with Gerhard Onken.

Benoit Botrel closes Day 1 with a 9,400 stack and looks forward to giving back some fight on Day 2.

Titan Poker's Benoit Botrel

Benoit concentrates on the cards.

Leon de Rouw closes off the group of survivors from Day 1 with 9,100 in chips. “I was just hanging in there. The blinds are now 500-1000 so I will probably just go all in on my first hand.” Leon continued to tell us that he lost out on a pot of 85,000 30 minutes prior to the end of play. I raised with KK but lost to a full house.

Titan Poker Leon de Rouw advances to day 2

Leon de Rouw makes it through to Day 2.

At the end of play the Titan Poker survivors from Day 1 gathered for a set of pictures and then the group continued to mingle in the pub before setting off for bed. They had better sleep in order to be in their prime for Day 2.

Irish Winter Festival 2009

Titan Poker Survivors of Day 1


We had another fabulous day of poker today in Dublin at the City West Hotel. The festivities continued throughout the dramatic second day of play. The atmosphere was alive and kicking and all parties were ready for yet another marathon of hands.

Leon de Rouw was ejected early into the day's play. He would continue to follow the progress of Irene van Loon, his partner.

Jan Hjerpe hangs tough

Leon de Rouw on the right leaves early while Jan Hjerpe continued to battle on.

Sebastian Dinescu from Romania was also out prematurely after only 2 hours and 10 minutes. “I had AK and the man covered from head to toe with tattoos at the table had QQ. We were all in and unfortunately neither A, K or Q came up...”, he told us with a smile on his face.

Sebastian Dinescu shows his flustration

Sebastian fumbles on the all in.

The next to go was Benoit Botrel, the French Titan. He had a pair of 10's against AK. Tiberio Natali who was sitting with him at the table had AK. Tiberio doubled up on this hand when the flop unveiled an A. Benoit was left with a stack of 1,000 and it was soon over for him.

Benoit on the left and Tiberio on the right

Benoit on the left and Tiberio on the right.

Orjan Sundqvist arrived to the media desk in a cheerful mood following his elimination from the tables. He went over his final hand with the Titan Poker media team. “The day started with extremely high blinds and I had K10. There were 2 of us who had not folded. He raised to 2,500 and the flop was K65. He looked insecure but raised a further 4,000. I then raised 8,000. He then continued to go all in which I matched. His pair of Aces brought me to you”, he chuckled.

Orjan tells his tale to Darren from Titan Poker at the media desk

Orjan tells his tale to Darren from Titan Poker at the media desk.

Yann Kerhascoet also never quite picked up on the action today and his chances at glory were folded.

Yann bids farewell to the Irish Winter Festival

Yann bids farewell to the Irish Winter Festival.

It was then the end of Joe McAdorey who was very cheerful nonetheless. He did not have much more than the following to tell us: “I met a few French boys from Titan who I would love to keep in touch with... I really enjoyed their company.

McAdorey bites the dust.

Gerhard Onken was pretty stable throughout a good portion of the day. Onken was taken all in by a player that he suspected of being too aggressive. Gerhard lost the hand but said that he was happy in retrospect with his decision.

Gerhard Onken has no regrets

Onken is out.

Meanwhile, Maurice Harman, already out after Day 1, was happy to mingle among the players and try his luck out at the cash tables.

Maurice Harman enjoyed his time in Dublin

Maurice Harman plays for cash.

Zachary Kempe was eliminated from the tables at a later point in the day. He had AQ and raised to be called in return. The flop was J55. The turn was Q and Zach added 3,500 – his opponent went all in and so did he. Then the K appeared on the river and his opponent held KQ. Tiberio Natali also lost out at a similar point to his dismay. He had held on for a long time with a small amount of chips.

Tiberio Natali runs out his luck

Tiberio goes out.

Christoph Maurer managed to hang in for quite some time despite the fact that he had started the day on a small stack. Not so long afterwards he too was out for the count.

Christoph Maurer battled hard before knocking out

Christoph in the zone.

Jan Hjerpe managed to get passed the dinner to continue playing only to be knocked out not that long afterwards.

Jan Hjerpe had a good run at the Irish Winter Festival 2009

Jan looking concerned over his situation.

There was a long wait for the bubble to burst and therefore an extra amount of stamina was required from all of the players. The long wait for one of the 41 players to fall was quite excruciating.

Irene van loon takes a break form the action

Stuck waiting – Irene at table.

Our very own Igor Kurganov took out player 41 from Celeb Poker on the bubble. Celeb Poker went all in and then there was a showdown – JJ Kurganov vs. AK Celeb. The flop revealed A88 and a J on the Turn.

Igor Kurganov relishes the moment

Kurganov's moment of fame.

Day 2 came to a close with 3 of our Titan Poker players out of 24 finalists through to the last day.

Jeanluc's careful play sees him through

Jeanluc's careful play sees him through.

A happy moment for Titan's Irene van Loop

Irene happy to be through - “I am dreaming of AK”!

Igor Kurganov surrvived another day

Igor Kurganov does it so well - “This day has been like a rollercoaster”.

We are all looking forward to another day of action packed poker tomorrow. The big question is... who will go all in?

The Irish Winter Festival 2009

Vered from Titan Poker goes all in.


A sunny day in Dublin can raise anyone's spirits. This element in combination with a Mongolian barbecue in the center of the city was exactly what the doctor ordered for Titan's eliminated players. The Titan Poker delegation boarded an organized coach into the city.

Titan Poker players travel in the center of Dublin

Titan Poker players board the bus.

Titan Poker players explore Dublin

For most it was the first time out of the City West grounds since the start of play.

The players arrived in the city center and made the rest of the way to the restaurant by foot.

Mongolian restaurant

Mongolian restaurant in central Dublin.

Each one of the diners chose the type of meat, vegetables, sauces and spices that they wished to be prepared for their dish and the chefs prepared it for them on a giant cooker. Simply delicious!

The good time cointinue in Dublin

The players get comfortable at their tables.

Poker was never far from pleyers mind

Discussing hands from the previous day.

Titan Poker

Slobodan awaiting his main course.

There was a spectacular atmosphere and Uwe, the German Titan, had a birthday which was even more of a reason to celebrate.

The German Titan Uwe Kehlenbah

Happy birthday Uwe!

The players would then return to the City West Hotel to support their remaining Titan Poker comrades in the Irish Winter Festival.

Final Day - 26th October 2009

The draw for the final day of play placed Irene van Loon (23rd chip place) at Table 1 (televised table), Jeanluc Dutto (21st chip place) at Table 2 and Igor Kurganov (3rd chip place) at Table 3. The day's play started with 24 players in the running for the money - 24th place would be rewarded with 4,400 Euro GTD.

Igor was very disappointed with his placing due to the amount of big stacks at the table.

Igor Kurganov Titan Poker chip leader on right

Igor Kurganov Titan Poker chip leader on right.

Irene, sitting in position 4 said that she had eight hands to be proactive in before the antes and blinds would overwhelm her.

Irene van Loon gets ready

Irene van Loon receives her chips.

Jeanluc had not slept to well overnight and expressed to the Titan Poker media team that he was very nervous.

The time is now for Jeanluc Dutto

Jeanluc Dutto prepares for battle.

With the blinds at 6000-12000, play was underway. The first player fell after 10 minutes at table 3 followed almost immediately another at Table 2. After 15 minutes van Loon went all in and then all in again raising her stack by 110,000.

Titan poker's Irene van Loon

Irene at the televised table.

After 45 minutes of play in an all in, Irene's AQ held against AJ with 20 players left at the tables. After no time at all there were 18 players left and play was reduced to two tables.

Jeanluc then managed to double up with Triple Kings after 1.5 hours of intense play. This would not be enough to get him past the first break and he got eliminated. He had gone in with AJ. O Sullivan called, Kassouf called and so did Masters. The flop was K23 with K on fourth street and Q on the river. O Sullivan had JJ.

The end has arrived for Titan Poker's Jeanluc Dutto

Jeanluc ends his day at the tables.

At the break Irene had 178,000 and was still feeling good. Igor Kurganov also proceeded with a stack of 723,000.

Igor Kurganov battels on

Still happy with his situation – Igor Kurganov.

When play commenced Irene dropped to 100,000 and then she went all in with A9 and she was called by KQ. The Q on the turn sent her packing in 14th place with $7,200. Tomorrow she plans to be back in Holland as she has a tennis match set for the afternoon.

Irene van Loon finishes in 14th place

Irene van Loon finishes in 14th place.

Kurganov was a chip leader for some time and he was able to push the stacks around. He made it through to the final table and eliminated place 9, John Cassidy, with precision. AA vs. AK with a preflop all in. The K on the turn was not enough to save Cassidy from packing his bags and heading home. “No one wanted to bust first when we got to the main table, but then it happened”, said Kurganov after Cassidy had been eliminated. It was then all in for Kurganov, the final Titan Poker player, with a pair of 10's vs AQ and the flop showed A77 with 8 on the turn and 9 on the river. Igor tournament run had ended and he takes home 35,900 Euro for 5th place. He plans to continue going to live events and looks to the Main Events in ECOOP V as an event that he will definitely play in. He returns to Munich to live another day.

Titan's Igor Kurganov

Kurganov at the final table.

When it came down to the final two players, it was Michael O Sullivan vs. Micheal Murphy. O Sullivan and Murphy went all in with O Sullivan's AK vs. Murphy's JJ. The flop was 236 with Q on the turn and A on the river. The crowd went mad and Murphy lost the HUGE pot. It was just a matter of time from that point on and O Sullivan closed the deal with QQ vs. Q7 all in. 8 10 7 on the flop with 5 on the turn and 2 on the river. O Sullivan takes home the 143,000 Euro.

2009 Irish Winter Festival Winner Michael O Sullivan

O Sullivan takes home 143,000 Euro.

Thats a wrap from the Irish Winter Festival 2009 in Dublin. See you again next year! Well done to all the Titan Poker players.

Dear visitors,

Titan Poker does not accept players from your region.

Please contact our customer service team at support [at] titanpoker [dot] com for more information.

Best regards,

Titan Poker