Monday, 2 November 2009


By Mick McCloskey

As revealed in this column in October, It has now been confirmed that Poker Stars, the world’s largest online poker site, will be throwing their considerable weight behind The Irish Poker Championship (IPC) and will be adding a seat to next year’s London EPT to the first prize.
The five day festival will take place at Galway’s Radisson Hotel from December 10th to 14th and boasts a four day main event with a €2,000 buy-in as well as three side events with buy-ins of €550, €350 and €250. The weekend will kick off with a player’s party at 6pm on Thursday the 10th, followed by a super satellite.
Kirsty Thompson from said “The Irish Poker Championship has become one of biggest events on the Irish Poker Calendar and we are delighted to be sponsoring it. Poker players appreciate good hospitality and a good party atmosphere and there is no better city than Galway to provide it.”
Entrants will be compiled from online qualifiers and paid entries as well as a host of Poker Stars Pros and celebrities. Already pencilled in for the event are Andy Black, Surinder Sunar, Marcel Luske, Padraig Parkinson, Donnacha O’Dea, Julian Gardner, Neil Channing, Jude Ainsworth, and Marty Smyth.
Online qualification is now available exclusively on Poker Stars players can also buy seats in advance online through their own player account. Further details can be found on the official IPC website,

While on the subject of Poker Stars involvement in Irish poker, I have been watching some of the TV shows on RTE from the series “Poker Stars Late Night Stars of Poker” which shows a series of one table shootouts with the winner of each one going through to a grand final. The players are made up from two celebrity sports stars, two Irish poker pros and two online qualifiers in each episode. I decided I might have a go at qualifying so duly logged onto I was unable to play as qualification is only open to players with an address in the Republic of Ireland. As I live in Northern Ireland I was not eligible. I actually wonder about the legality of this exclusion as, under the terms of an International Treaty recognised by the United Nations, I hold dual Irish and British nationality and am entitled to a passport from either country. I’m not sure if it is legal to discriminate between Irish citizens who live on different sides of the border on the island of Ireland. Perhaps someone from Poker Stars legal department could have a look at this issue, for future reference.


O’Dea that is. Eoghan managed to win a major online tournament earlier this year despite falling asleep in front of his computer some way through the tournament. He somehow managed to wake up in time to take the top spot. I did something similar, though not quite as lucrative, recently. I had qualified to play in a super satellite for entry to a live land based tournament a few days before the weekly online final. On the evening of the final I nodded off in front of the TV and only woke up almost an hour into the tournament when around 20% of the field had already been eliminated. Despite this lapse, I am happy to report that I finished first in the tournament and duly won my tournament seat. Now, if I could only convert that into a nice live result.


The Irish tournament scene looks pretty busy in the run up to Christmas. I have already mentioned the IPC above and have covered the JPPOKER Mini WSOP, at the beginning of November, in previous columns. Other upcoming major events are as follows:-

The Fitzwilliam Poker Festival, Dublin, runs from 25th November to 1st December and includes a two day €500 + 40 main event. Full details can be found at


The Irish Christmas Poker Festival takes place in Cork from Thursday 3rd to Sunday 6th December featuring a two day 500 + 50 main event. The festival is shorter and has a smaller buy-in this year to reflect the economic situation but I would still expect that the welcome and the renowned player buffet will still be first class. Full details can be found at


The first running of this ambitious looking event also takes place from 3rd to 6th December at The Poker Room, Celbridge, Co. Kildare. The three day Pot Limit Omaha main event has a €1,000 buy-in (8% reg. included) and the same structure as the $10K WSOP event with a 30,000 starting stack and a 60 minute clock and starts at 7pm on Friday 4th. The main event winner will receive a white gold “Main Event” bracelet and the top three players will each receive a “Luck Box” sponsorship into the Omaha side event at the 2010 Irish Open. In addition, there will be a Tag Heuer watch for the worst bad beat at the main event. For more information call 00353 86 230 1229 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 00353 86 230 1229 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or 00353 1627 6079 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 00353 1627 6079 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

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