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Steve O’Dwyer

Steve O'Dwyer
Last Updated on June 27, 2024

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Veteran poker player Steve O’Dwyer is originally from Colorado, U.S.A. but currently resides and plays out of Ireland. The 42-year-old is playfully nicknamed “Hairy Beast” for his trademark long hair and beard. O’Dwyer is indeed a beast in poker having earned a stratospheric $40,524,456 in live cash making him the 14th ranked in the Global All-Time Money List and 9th in the United States. He is still listed as playing for the U.S. according to the Hendon Mob site but his Irish Heritage and his chosen place of residence since 2012 has made him an adopted son of Ireland. The Irish American has played all around the world and his journey as one of the world’s best Poker players is as colorful as the flags of the countries he’s played in.

Steve O'Dwyer
Steve O’Dwyer

Steve O’Dwyer’s was 25 when he made first live tournament cash finish at the 2007 World Poker Tour Championship Event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. O’Dwyer would also make his debut and first cash at the 38th World Series of Poker Las Vegas in the same year. He cashed in four events of the WSOP, taking a total of nearly $70,000. O’Dwyer made the final table of the WSOP in 2009 finishing 8th in the $10,000 World Championship Heads-Up event for more than $90,000. An auspicious start for the twenty-something rookie. O’Dwyer would cut his poker chops playing mainly in the United States, establishing a level of impressive consistency until a life-altering event would push his career path in a different direction.

In April 2011, at the height of online poker boom, the U.S. Justice Department ordered the shutdown of three major U.S. poker sites based on an antiquated 1961 Federal Wire Act which made receiving prize money from the poker sites illegal. The event is known in the Poker World as “Black Friday”. Steve O’Dwyer, who also had substantial prize money from on-line poker, was one of many American Poker professionals whose winnings became inaccessible, and this greatly affected their careers (the law was eventually revisited, and the legality of U.S. online poker sites has since been restored). Despite some financial woes, he continued to compete and even clinch his first ever titles, back-to-back, at the at the Bellagio Cup VII, Las Vegas, and Epic Poker League. The Irish American would then train his sights to more live tournaments in Europe and Asia eventually deciding to relocate to Dublin, Ireland. The move would be a catalyst for his poker career shift to a higher gear.

In the succeeding years, Steve O’Dwyer would notch major titles and seven-figure cash payoffs to steadily build his poker legacy through competitions in Europe and Asia. All of O’Dwyer’s career Top Five Cashes came from outside the U.S. from the years 2013-2018.

In 2013, O’Dwyer won the European Poker Tour Grand Final Monaco Main Event banking his third highest live cash at $1,588,997. The following year, he nabbed another title in the 2014 Asia Pacific Poker Tour 8-Asia Championship of Poker for his second-best live cash at $1,811,828. Then his career best live cash of $1,872,580 came in 2015 when he won the January European Poker Tour Season XI Eight Max Event. O’Dwyer’s fourth and 5th top cashes were courtesy of runner-up finishes at the Asian Championship of Poker No-Limit Hold’em Shot Clock Event banking $1,542,450 and at the 2018 Caribbean Poker Party MILLIONS World event where he would claim a $1,300,000 pay-off.

By 2022, Steve O’Dwyer would collect his 31st recorded live tournament title taking down the final high roller event of the 2022 European Poker Tour Barcelona festival and his 67th career score of six figures or more adding $417,933 to his record. It was in 2022 also that he would get his very first title in the country he adopted as his new home, winning the Irish Poker Open Main Event taking $345,823 in prize money and pushing his lifetime earnings over the $31 million mark.

For the higher stakes poker events O’Dwyer would participate in the Triton Super High Roller Series earning him 2 titles in Monte Carlo and Montenegro and 22 cashes amounting to $7,577,627.

Steve O'Dwyer wins WPT Alpha8
Steve O’Dwyer

In June 2023 while the rest of the world focused on Las Vegas, O’Dwyer took a poker journey through Taiwan, Japan and Korea. Steve O’Dwyer has chosen to forgo what he says is the more stressful environment of Las Vegas, particularly the World Series of Poker. While the WSOP regularly provides record-setting high roller stakes, O’Dwyer would settle for winning the World Poker Tour Alpha8 for One Drop Korea title to record his eighth career seven-figure result with a paycheck of $1,006,537.

Since his move to Ireland, Steve O’DWyer has managed all this success without recording a single cash in the United States since the 2016 World Series of Poker. A decision that has placed him at the heights where he is today.

*Profile by Mike Alcazaren

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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Data source: Global Poker Index