Monday, 3 August 2009


By Mick McCloskey

I am writing this column just before I head over to Las Vegas as I will not get back home in time to complete it before the deadline for the August edition. So, apologies in advance if I have missed any late news.


Ladbrokes have announced the second running of their Irish Poker Festival at the INEC, Killarney from 1st to 4th October. The first running of this €500 event in 2008 was a major success for the organisers with all events being sold out in advance and alternates being brought in for the first two or three levels of each tournament to satisfy demand. The promotion of the festival in Ireland is being organised by Cue Club Events, in association with Big Slick Events. As I understand it, entry to the main event this year is being restricted so that Ladbrokes can give as many of their own customers as possible the chance to play. The cap for seats is 800 and I understand that the only guaranteed way to play right now is by winning a seat on Ladbrokespoker or by winning a seat in a live satellite. Online qualifying satellites are offered every day for entry into the weekly online final. A number of seats have been allocated to the joint promoters for these live satellites and some of these seats will also be offered to a number of poker clubs around the country, who wish to run their own satellites. A spokesman for Cue Club Events said “Anyone who bought direct into the main event last year should make contact with the operator who sold them the seat as a number of tickets have been distributed to operators around the country.” It is possible that direct buy ins may be offered nearer the time, subject to availability. I also believe that virtually all the rooms at the two hotels on the complex and nearly all of the adjoining apartments have been pre booked by Ladbrokes for their qualifiers. Not everyone is happy with this situation but, whatever the rights or wrongs, that’s the way it is right now.
So, I would advise anyone wanting to play in this festival to ensure they have a seat before they head off to Killarney this October. As regards accommodation, I doubt if this will be a major problem as Killarney has a large number of hotels and bed and breakfast establishments to cater for the tourist trade. October is a little out of season for most tourists so I would imagine that a lot of these places would welcome the extra business. A spokesman for joint sponsors Destination Killarney and Gleneagles Hotel Group has confirmed that there should be plenty of accommodation available in the area and anyone interested can contact Gleneagles Hotel reservations on 00353 647 1550 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 00353 647 1550 end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Just a reminder of two big events in Ireland this month. First up is the Irish Classic Poker Festival at the Macau Club, Cork, running from 10th to 16th August. The main event has a buy in of €1,000 + 100 and a guaranteed prize pool of €100,000. There will be two starting days for the main event on the Thursday and Friday with players starting with 15,000 chips on a 75 minute clock throughout. A full schedule of support events is planned. This one of the best, and probably the only week long festivals in Ireland. One not to be missed! For further details log onto

Hot on the heels of Cork comes the Team Championship of Poker at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin from 20th to 23rd. The main event is a six player team tournament, with individual as well as team prizes up for grabs. The buy in is €400 per player. Team events add a whole new dimension to the Irish Poker scene and I, for one, welcome them. My first team experience at the Citywest Hotel, run by the same organising team, was a whole lot of fun. A full schedule of support events is planned for the weekend. For more information, check out

If you have any news, views or events, you can contact me by email to

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