Irishman Padraig O’Neill has become the first back-to-back Unibet Open Online champion after taking down Sunday’s winter edition of the Unibet Open Main Event for €52,622.
Yet again O’Neill managed to secure victory after qualifying via a €50 satellite on Unibet Poker – meaning he has won more than €130,000 on the tour this year, for an investment of just €100.
O’Neill won the €1,100 buy-in Main Event after beating a 230-entry field, including Unibet Ambassador David Lappin who finished fourth.
O’Neill, 31, said: “’It’s slightly surreal to go back-to-back – just incredibly lucky! I would like to thank Unibet for putting on another great festival and I’m looking forward to hopefully being at a Unibet live stop later next year.”
O’Neil, an all-rounder who excels at tournaments, cash games and playing online, achieved his astonishing record only two weeks after appearing on the award-winning Chip Race podcast to talk about his first Unibet victory back in October.
Chip Race co-founder Lappin was keen to praise his fellow countryman. He said: “Padraig O’Neill is definitely the man of the moment. He’s a great player, a triple threat in cash games, tournaments and online, and has now pulled off a momentous achievement. Going back-to-back at the Unibet Open is a gargantuan accomplishment. The ‘Mr. Get It Quietly’ of the Irish poker scene is making an awful lot of noise this year!”
O’Neill added: “The final table was full of strong players. The anonymous nature of Unibet usernames meant I only knew David Lappin – but battling for a title versus a former coach of mine was a fun experience.”
O’Neill’s first Unibet Open title came in October when he took down the Main Event for a lifetime best cash of €79,998 after qualifying in a €50 satellite. He’s a Unibet Poker regular and plays on the site most nights from his home in the village of Drumlish, County Longford.
However, his masterful online resumé is also backed by solid live tournament results – including victory in the 2012 European Masters of Poker. With live tournament earnings now close to $350,000, he has competed all over the world with cashes that include a 47th place at Unibet Open Sinaia in February 2019.
O’Neill’s back-to-back victory also means that 2020 has seen a championship sweep for Irish players. The first Unibet Open of the year – which was held live in Dublin in February – was won by Northern Irish player Martin Olali. Top pro Max Silver, who lives in Dublin, then took down the first online event in May – and O’Neill has won the final two. Congrats are also due to Unibet Open live stream fan “Sampy987” who finished 14th for €3,000 after qualifying online for just €2. There were 35 cashes in all.
This month’s Unibet Open formed part of the popular Unibet Online Series and featured several flagship events. As well as the €250,000 guaranteed Main Event, other Unibet Open tournaments included the £15,000 guarantee Unibet Opener Rebuy, the £15,000 guarantee Unibet Open Online Warm-Up and an additional two-day £40,000 guarantee event on December 13. This last event – which had a €100 buy-in – attracted a giant field of 567 entries, smashing the guarantee with a total prize pool of €53,000. Finnish player “BecomeLegend“ took it down for €10,904.
Still to come are two Unibet Open Challenges Freerolls in January, open to all players who have earned 100,000 or more points in the Q3 2020 Unibet Poker Challenges.
The Winter edition of the Unibet Open also included the return of the Unibet Open online quiz night, hosted by Unibet Ambassador Ian Simpson. The quizzes have become a regular feature of the online festivals with hundreds of players having fun and winning prizes while chatting on the Unibet Open Twitch channel. A total of €750 in online tournament tickets was awarded on the night.
Nataly Sopacuaperu, Unibet’s Head of Events, said: “This was a very thrilling end to this year’s Unibet Open festivals with our first ever back-to-back champion. Massive congrats to Padraig O’Neill who joins an illustrious roll call of two-time winners.
“This was the last Unibet Open of the year but we look forward to some great festivals next year. We obviously hope that live poker will be able to resume in 2021 but look forward to welcoming thousands of players to next year’s events – whether online at the virtual tables on Unibet Poker, or face-to-face over the felt. Many thanks to everyone who competed in 2020 and we wish you happy holidays.”