Five years ago, Ireland’s Dara ‘Doke’ O’Kearney won his very first PocketFives Triple Crown. Six months later, he did it again, his second Triple Crown of 2011. He won one more in May 2013 and another two years later. On April 17, he polished off another milestone: Triple Crown number five.
“It feels great,” O’Kearney said of his fifth Triple Crown. “I remember how thrilled I was after the first one, so any time I have a chance, like when I’ve won two qualifying tournaments, it’s a real motivator to work hard for the third win. This was the quickest I’ve ever managed one, so I was even able to treat myself to a day off and take my wife to a restaurant.”
If you’re not familiar with the award, a PocketFives Triple Crown requires a player to win three $10,000 prize pool tournaments across three sites tracked for the PocketFives Rankings within the same seven-day period. Each tournament must have a real money buy-in and at least 100 players. Satellites do not count. Most players are lucky to complete the challenge once in their careers; O’Kearney has done it five times.
“I had a great year live last year, but still see myself primarily as an online player,” O’Kearney said. “The main objective is always to keep working hard enough to remain a profitable player online, but I use stuff like Triple Crown sweats and leaderboards as secondary motivators.”
His most recent Triple Crown took all of three days to complete. On April 15 O’Kearney took down the partypoker Heavyweight Weigh-Infor $3,600. One day later, he was back at it, finishing first in the Winner Poker €10,000 Grand Saturday for another $3,000. And on April 17, his Triple Crown quest was complete after taking down the PokerStars.fr Palace for $2,800.
“This year has been very mixed, going well online and going awfully live,” O’Kearney said. “Some regression to the mean live was to be expected after the second half of last year, but the bad run I’ve been on probably affected me more than it should. I was in London last week to play a UKIPT event and the bad live run continued, but I was lucky enough to stay with my friend Daiva ‘baltic_blonde’ Barauskaite, who won the Ladies Event. She is a great person to hang around with, so I came back from the week in London feeling re-energized.”
In the live poker world, O’Kearney has three-quarters of a million dollars in lifetime tournament winnings, according to the Hendon Mob. He finished second in a World Series of Poker $1,500 No Limit Hold’em event last June for $262,000 and cashed three times during EPT Prague to close out 2015. He is #21 on the all-time money list for Ireland.
“It’s good to be pressing on online,” O’Kearney said. “As long as I’m winning online, I feel confident that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with my game. I’m looking forward to turning things around live at the WSOP this year.”
Here’s a look at the Irishman’s Triple Crowns over the years:
June 5, 2011 – Bodog, Carbon, and Titan for 546.73 points
December 30, 2011 – PokerStars, Poker770, and PartyPoker for 339.54 points
May 7, 2013 – PokerStars.fr, Poker770, and PartyPoker for 353.83 points
March 2, 2015 – PokerStars, PartyPoker, and Full Tilt for 373.17 points
April 17, 2016 – PartyPoker, Winner, and PokerStars.fr for 379.24 points