Irishman Kevin Killeen denies Max Silver heads-up to win UKIPT Dublin

It was supposed to be Max Silver’s day. The 2010 UKIPT Dublin champion was the odds-on favourite for a remarkable second victory in Ireland’s capital city from the very start of this tournament. On Day 1B Silver turned his 20,000 starting stack into an astonishing 311,700 chips by the end of the day. That was over 200k more than the chipleader on Day 1B accrued and is the most successful Day 1 of any UKIPT in history, by a long margin. Given Silver’s experience – and great recent form with two EPT final tables in the past three months – he was an unstoppable force all the way from that Day 1 to the final table. 

Nobody counted on local pro Kevin Killeen to tear up the script. Killeen, flanked by a railing army all kitted out in animal onesies (it’s Ireland Jake, don’t worry about it…), entered the final table with a slight chip lead over Silver. In a fast-moving final the other players – including another former UKIPT Dublin champion, Joeri Zandvliet – were duly dispatched, leaving Silver and Killeen to battle it out heads-up.

Unfortunately for Silver, destiny deserted him at the wrong moment. Four times he had Killeen all-in with a chance to win the tournament and all four times it was Killeen who won at showdown. To show how the tide had turned, the one time that it was Silver at risk, 4-bet shoving Q-8 preflop and being called by Killeen’s K-Q, it was over. Killeen’s rowdy rail descended on their man as Silver was left rueing the opportunity for a Dublin double. He said to the PokerStars Blog, ‘It hurts more coming second than not winning a second title. I don’t regret anything about the final.’

Killeen was rightly ecstatic with the result, not only winning €87,700 but also the opportunity to shave his beard off! In his winner’s interview Killeen explained, ‘I said at the beginning of the year that I wouldn’t shave my beard until I’d had a 50k score so I guess the beard’s got to go! The money’s one thing but I’m just absolutely delighted to make a run like this and to be crowned champion of Dublin is fantastic.’

The Dublin leg was a return to form for the PokerStars UKIPT – see our exclusive interview with UKIPT President Kirsty Thompson HERE – with 682 runners smashing the €350k guarantee and creating a €463k prizepool. The UKIPT returns in May with a phenomenal £1 MILLION POUND guarantee at Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn club. All the details can be found at

Photo courtesy of the PokerStars blog.

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