Monday, 3 January 2011


By Mick McCloskey

It’s a new year and many people use this time to make resolutions to change old habits and try to adopt new, healthier ones. My wish for the New Year, and for the future, is that tournament sponsors should stop using hidden charges to boost their income from the players. My idea of a good sponsor is that of a company willing to spend a bit of money in order to boost their public profile and to attract new customers, not to piss off their existing ones.

Examples of what I’m talking about include the inclusion of hotel deals in online satellite packages at prices which are patently higher than those which could reasonably be obtained by any savvy travellers by themselves. Then the sponsor refuses to refund the hotel costs to anyone not needing accommodation or wanting to make their own arrangements. This also includes sponsors negotiating so called “special deals” with hotels which can quite often be bettered by people walking in off the street. And also, what happens when players leave the hotel early, for whatever reason? I don’t imagine the online sites are tripping over themselves to make sure that the player gets a refund for any unused hotel nights.
Another example is to invite online qualifiers to a welcome party and then deduct an excessive amount from the online package to cover their costs. For some of the figure involved I could manage a good night out and dinner for two. Again, there are no refunds for anyone not attending the welcome party.

Another wheeze is for the sponsor to arrange other quite unnecessary extras for their qualifiers and then to charge them for the privilege, whether they avail of the extras or not.

It’s not as though the sponsor has to add anything to the package. After all it is entirely the players’ money which produces the online qualifiers, and produces profits for the online site running the satellites in the process.
I’m not saying that all sponsors are the same and there are some out there who are more than generous to their qualifiers. I am not going to name names but, if the cap fits.........


The new year kicks off with two ranking events in January and another at the start of February.


This is a new addition to the tournament calendar and is a joint promotion between Waterford Poker Club and The Loft Card Club, Naas. The festival takes place from 20th to 23rd January at the Westgrove Hotel, Clane, Naas, Co. Kildare. The main event has a buy in of €220 + 30 and has a guaranteed prize pool of €50,000. Details are posted on Irish Poker Boards.


This established event is scheduled to run from 28th January to 1st February in the Park Hotel, Clonmel. The main event has a buy in of €220 + 30 and carries a guarantee of €40,000. This is another joint venture, this time between Big Slick Events and Celtic Poker Tour. Details can be found on their websites and also on Irish Poker Boards.


The first major event of the year takes place in the Ballsbridge Inn Dublin from 1st to 6th February. The buy in is €500 + 50 for a 50,000 starting stack to play in this four day event. There are two starting days, each with a capacity of 500 players. This is a very popular event among European players and it sold out a month in advance last year, leaving many Irish players locked out. Although the capacity has been increased this year, it may be a good idea to register early to make sure of your seat and your preferred starting day. Online satellites for seats are running on various sites. Full details and online registration is available at


The well established Grosvenor UK Poker Tour has announced their intention to bring a leg of the tour to Ireland. The event is provisionally pencilled in for September 2011 with the venue most likely being in Dublin. This tour has been running in various Grosvenor Casinos around the UK since 2007 and usually involves a full week of tournaments culminating in a £1,000 three day main event, with two starting days. There is £200,000 of added value for the 2011 season including prizes for leader board winners and a massive freeroll for the winners of all main and side events over the season. Watch this space for further details.

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

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