Galway Poker Festival Smashes Everything

Derek Baker Takes Down €83,500 Main Event First Prize

The first weekend of a new year and it is time to head to the Galmont Hotel in Galway for every Irish and many overseas poker players. Maybe it is the freedom of the post-Christmas release papers, maybe it’s the sea air, maybe it’s just Galway, but every year the Galway Poker Festival just gets bigger and better and becomes more and more fun.

When the €50k guaranteed Mystery Bounty received 205 entries generating a prize pool of over €76,000 it was clear that this was going to be a bumper festival.

The €300k Galway Poker Cup Main Event followed on with 833 entries over six Day 1 flights. €433,000 up for grabs and Derek Baker, a true Dub marooned for many years in Cork, destroyed a high-class Final Table to lift the giant Paddy Power Trophy and collect €83,500.

The Galway Cup 2024 Final Table

Derek is a well-known and well-liked presence at many Irish Poker Tour events throughout the year and firmly categorises himself as a recreational player. As he said himself his victory proves that anyone can win a major event if they keep their head and hit some cards, especially hit some cards! Denis Brosnahan took €53,000 for second plus the €10,000 Sole Survivor prize available for all players that qualified online with Paddy Power Poker. Tomas Geleziunas, better known as Tommy G or Lucky Mo, was delighted with his third place and €36,000.

Locally based Matthew Blaney (€11,650) had taken down the Mystery beating international star Niall ‘Firaldo’ Farrell heads up but Niall had proven himself better at drawing the big bounties and ended up with more money than Matthew (€15,200). There had been four €5,000 super bounties including one added by festival partners Paddy Power Poker.

Overall the event was an outstanding success with all guarantees smashed and an amazing atmosphere throughout the hotel and playing areas. Next year promises to be even better as the organisers have booked every room in the hotel already and plan to celebrate new year 2025 in epic style.

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