News | 3 years ago
Five things you might not know about Eoghan O'Dea
Irish professional Eoghan O'Dea has reached the final table of the 2011 World Series of Poker main event. Here are five things you might not know about him.

Irish professional Eoghan O'Dea has reached the final table of the 2011 World Series of Poker main event. Here are five things you might not know about him.

By Shane Breslin

He’s following in his father’s footsteps.

By reaching the final table of the 2011 World Series of Poker, Eoghan O’Dea has emulated his father, the legendary poker pro Donnacha.

“The Don” made the final table of the 1983 World Series of Poker, eventually finishing in sixth place, and again in 1991 when he finished ninth.

Eoghan has yet to join his father as a WSOP bracelet-winner, however. The prize given out to all winners of WSOP events – there were 58 bracelets on offer in 2011 – was awarded to Donnacha for a Pot Limit Omaha with rebuys event in 1998.

Indeed, Junior remains so much in his father’s shadow that the Eoghan O’Dea Wikipedia URL currently redirects to that of Donnacha. Maybe that will change before the end of 2011.

He once won half a million in a couple of weeks ... at two separate tournaments.

O’Dea’s most notable TV appearance to date was in the annual Sky Sports-televised Poker Million in 2008, where he pocketed $260,000 for finishing second to fellow Irishman Marty Smyth. (The 2008 tournament was a veritable benefit for Irish pros, with Cork’s Ciaran O’Leary and Dubliner Liam Flood also making the final six.)

And that was only a continuation of a hot streak for the young Dub, who had won $300,000 in a big-money online tourney a week or two previously. And he trumped both pots when his biggest pay-day arrived in 2009, when he won $378,000 in the WPT event in Marrakech.

But the 2011 WSOP will blow that mark out of the water.

No matter what happens in November, O'Dea is guaranteed $782,000 just for making it this far. That’s what the ninth place finisher will receive when the final table convenes in Las Vegas in four months’ time.

If he can hang in there – or even go all the way – those numbers just multiply. The winner will receive $8.6 million. Nice work if you can get it.

He’s cashed twice at the 2011 World Series already (for a pittance).

He collected a little over $3000 twice last month, just about covering his entry fees on both occasions. The events were $1500 buy-in no-limit hold’em tournaments.

For the record, the main event has a $10,000 entry fee, so he’s been saving the best for last.

His granny played the Virgin Mary in a Hollywood film.

And there ain’t many twenty-something Irish lads can say that. The late Siobhan McKenna was a renowned Irish actress.

Born in Belfast, she became synonymous with stage productions at the Abbey Theatre and landed parts in 1961’s King of Kings, the story of Christ, and Doctor Zhivago in 1965. She died in 1986 at the age of 63, when, by our maths, Eoghan was just a nipper.

Her husband and Eoghan’s grandfather, Denis, was also a noted actor in the Abbey Theatre and on film until his death in 1978. The acting gene is well suited to striking a poker-face, clearly.

Incidentally, that's Eoghan's granny there, at 1:24 in the below trailer:

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