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Player Of The Festival Nottingham- Meet Sean O’Donnell

Player Of The Festival Nottingham-  Meet Sean O’Donnell

Sean O’Donnell is a passionate poker player from the United Kingdom, with a kind of pureness around his personality that you rarely come across by. We have seen him really crushing at our previous stop at The Dusk Till Dawn Pokerclub in Nottingham. Resulting in multiple deep runs, of which the Runner-Up result of the Main Event would eventually be his biggest live cash to date of a grand £ 31,155. With his first registered results back in 2007, total live winnings of roughly £130.000 as a result of 186 in the money finishes, you can conclude that he is out there for a while already. To top it all off, he won the Player of the Festival award in Nottingham, which gave him a full package worth €1.600 for our next stop in Portomaso Casino, Malta.

Melvin TF: Hi Sean, it is very nice to speak to you after a successful Festival Series in Nottingham.

  • Sean: I Hope things are going well. Thank you for reaching out to me and getting my take on The Festival event. I am very stoked about the outcome and happy to share my experience. I am hoping to give it a different and exciting spin from how poker is usually looked at. 

Melvin TF: The Festival Series had its debut in the UK. We have seen you playing quite some events. With a lot of decent finishes which make you the Player of the Series. What are your overall thoughts about the event?

  • Sean: I thought it was very well run and had a friendly atmosphere. As a person who loves poker, I appreciated that if you got a bad beating at one competition, you could enter another one within an hour without long waiting times. In that sense, it felt a little like being in Vegas. 

Melvin TF: You are already in the game for a while. If you need to tell us something about how you ended up playing poker and the beginning of your career. What do you think about the current poker industry?

  • Sean: I have been playing for three decades and in those days the standard of play was not very good at all. There wasn't really any strategy, and if anybody had aces or a pair, they wouldn't fold. So as you can imagine there were a lot of buy-ins made. I think there were people at times that would buy in for hundreds of pounds just for a 30-pound competition. It might not sound like a lot but it is going back some years. That level of play lasted for years but now with the technology as it is and people having access to online learning tools, they get up to a good level really fast which is really good for the game and took us years to learn by playing the game for years ourselves.
  • We had to learn through our losses that they can learn this within a short time online. So learning now is a lot cheaper! My own take on these "students" who are learning the game this way is enjoyable because that makes them actually more predictable. It makes them more predictable because they are going by the textbook and are easier to read. They are not very natural because they haven't found their own style and going by format. 
  • If you look at the top players who are the highest earners in the game, a lot of them can be quite unpredictable and can be harder to get a read on which means they are harder to play against. Playing against someone unpredictable, and good at the game, can in some cases prevent you from playing your natural game if allow yourself to buy into it. 

Melvin TF: While doing live reporting, I got myself into a nice conversation with some very friendly lads who were rooting for you on the side of the final table of the Main Event. One of them mentioned a nickname for you as 'Crazy Horse'. How important is it to you, to have a group of friends within poker? What does poker mean to you?

  • Sean: As you know my friends call me ‘Crazy horse’, I had that name for years now. I never minded that name since history tells us that ‘Crazy horse’ was a fighter and the last one standing against the U.S Cavalry at the battle of wounded knee. They call me that because it appears that I do some crazy moves sometimes, but it is all calculated and sometimes perhaps unorthodox, but I find it to be effective. 
  • When I started playing there were rarely any female poker players for example. When women did start to play, it didn't surprise me that it was said it is the fastest-growing hobby in the world. I always thought it had to do with the fact that women joined the game. I think poker has so much more growth and future to come. With pubs closing down and other venues closing, poker fills that hole of gathering and socializing, it gives people the chance to enjoy the competitive side and it stimulates many different aspects. 

Melvin TF: Did you ever win a package like this before? Are you excited and ready to go to Malta?

  • Sean: Yes, a couple of years back I won a prize for winning the most competitions within a year’s time. The top prize was a holiday abroad, similar to the one I was offered now. I am looking forward to the Malta trip and hopefully, I get to the Finals again so I will speak to you once more.

The Player of The Festival was won with a marginal lead

The concept of Player of the Festival values the player who stood out the most during the festival. In addition to eternal fame and glory, the Player of the Festival winner also gets a free poker experience at our next destination.

At the festival held in Nottingham, determining the two most successful players required a photo finish. Sean, the eventual winner, and Alexandru Talica both played tournaments simultaneously on Sunday. Sean played at the final table of the €550 Main Event, while Alexandru played on the second day of £120 The Hendon Mob Championship. As we know, Sean finished in second place in the Main Event, opening the door for Talica to steal the overall win. According to the overall calculation, Talica had to win his own tournament. He was on his way to doing that, but unfortunately he had to succumb to his rival during The Hendon Mob Championship HU battle and lost ranking standing only by a 6-point margin. Talica wasn't too upset, as he was the one who won the Frank Flip Flop in Nottingham and earned himself anyway a free ticket to The Festival Malta 2023.

Sean O´Donnell results in event-by-event:

1Sean O'Donnell154.75
2Alexandru Talica148.00
3Antonius Samuel109.75
4Allan Arjut98.50
5Tuomas Roppanen90.00
6William Lynch83.50
7JJ Hazan79.25
8Jonas Rosqvist78.00
9Vegard "Melgalvis" Andreassen73.75
10Ignacio Menendez73.50

Congratulations again to Sean, who joins together Totti as our second Player of the Festival ranking winner. If you want to personally congratulate Sean, then you will have the opportunity to do it in Malta, Don´t forget to qualify for Malta through our various online partners.