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Monday, July 7th, 2008

(Northern) Irish Eyes Smile

Written by Tom Somach in Poker News

Belfast, Northern Ireland, long known for bullets, bombs and battles that once made it one of the most dangerous places on earth, now has something else to shout about.

Martin Smyth of Belfast is the winner of Event #50 at the 2008 World Series of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas.

The event, a $10,000 buy-in, pot-limit Omaha tournament, had 381 participants, 36 payouts and a total prize pool of about $3.6 million

For the victory, Smyth collects a staggering $859,549.

After collecting his green and his first career WSOP championship gold bracelet, Smyth was lauded by the WSOP as the “first person from Ireland” to win a bracelet at this year’s WSOP.

Yo, WSOP, check yer maps!

Officially, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom, not Ireland.

Northern Ireland is made up of six counties that used to be the northern part of Ireland, and is under British rule, not Irish.

That’s what all the fuss in Belfast was about, until a peace agreement a few years ago calmed things down.

So, Smyth is the first person from Northern Ireland, not Ireland, to win gold at this year’s WSOP.

Maybe somebody ought to send WSOP commissioner Jeff Pollock an atlas.

Runnerup in Event #50 was Pete Jetten of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, jetting off with $528,257.

Third was Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi of Hollywood, Florida, USA, grinding out $331,279.

Fourth was Billy “The Crock” Argyros of Melbourne, Australia, cracking $268,605.

Fifth was Rich Harroch of San Francisco, California, USA, now $214,884 richer.

Sixth was Thang Pham of Garland, Texas, USA, saying “thang-you” after pocketing $170,116.

Seventh was Tom Hanlon of Dublin, Ireland, landing $134,302.

Eighth was Brandon Moran of Chicago, Illinois, USA, more than happy with $107,442.

Ninth was Dave Danefield of Arlington, Texas, USA, fielding $53,721.

Tenth was Shawn Buchanan of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, collecting $53,721.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected].)

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