Monday, 4 July 2011

Vegas Trip in Tipp

By Mick McCloskey

News has just come through that a proposed major development in Co. Tipperary has received planning permission to build a brand new complex which would include a casino, a 500 bedroom hotel, a horseracing track, a Greyhound racing track and a golf course. The 800 acre site would also include a full size replica of Washington DC’s White House and a heliport. It is estimated that the complex would provide around 1,000 construction jobs over a three year period and would create 2,000 jobs in the long term.
I don’t know when the original plan was put forward but, in these economically challenging times, I’m not quite sure if the country is ready for such an ambitious project, especially one which is quite some distance from Ireland’s capital city. For the casino part of the plan, there would also have to be a change in the law relating to gaming, although such a change has been in the pipeline for a while now.
Whether the project will go ahead right now or will be put on the long finger, only time will tell. It is certainly an ambitious looking scheme and would probably be a great venue for major poker tournaments in Ireland in the future.


The tour rolled into Cork in May and attracted 602 players from 28 countries to the Rochestown Park Hotel for the €500 + 60 main event. The winner was England’s Sam Razavi who took the trophy and €71,000 after a heads up battle with Ireland’s David O’Connor, who had to settle for the consolation of taking home €41,200. Quite a nice first entry to have on your Hendon Mob profile for David. In third spot was Germany’s Martin Mulsow who picked up €25,200. Martin got really unlucky when he had pocket Aces cracked by David’s AK.
Unusually for an event with two starting days, day1a had more players than day1b. UKIPT Tour boss, Kirsty Thompson put this anomaly down to the Queen’s visit to Cork City on day1b but I’m not quite so sure. Part of the problem, I think, was the fact that Poker Stars online site had stopped taking registrations for day1b for at least two weeks before the tournament. I assume that this was to encourage more people to register for day1a but, I think that this strategy may have backfired a little. Players were left with the impression that day1b was full and were unwilling to travel to Cork unless they were guaranteed a seat in the tournament. I don’t think it helped that Poker Stars had decided to run this event by themselves without a local organiser in Ireland who could have kept the local players up to speed on the availability of seats for each day. I really feel that the numbers for a tournament of this quality could have been higher in Cork. Hopefully, Poker Stars will have a look at this issue for future events in Ireland.


This is a grassroots tour which organises events all over Ireland throughout the year. Each event awards tickets for the annual Grand Final to the top qualifying players. The Grand Final took place in the Dolmen Hotel, Carlow at the start of June and the qualifiers were joined by anyone willing to put up the €600 + 75 buy in for the main event. The numbers were probably a little disappointing for the organisers with 136 players taking to the tables to fight it out for the title. Even with these modest numbers, the 20,000 starting stack and the slow structure ensured lots of play over the three days needed to find a winner. With 16 players being paid, a deal was done at the end of day 2 to pay the bubble, so 17 players returned for the final day. Another deal at the final table between the last three saw Dublin’s Tom Kitt take the title and €19,200, which included a €1,100 ticket for EMOP, Dublin and a €600 ticket for next year’s CPT Grand Final. The next two also had CPT 2012 tickets included in their prizes. Dimitri Pembroke was second for €15,200 and Tommy Walsh took third for €14,700.



This festival takes place in the Grand Hotel, Tramore from 22nd to 24th July. The buy in for the main event is €400 + 40 with a guaranteed prize pool of €40,000. This is one of those Irish festivals with its own unique atmosphere. Maybe because it’s held in a small friendly hotel, in a family orientated seaside resort, at the height of the summer holiday season but there is definitely a holiday feel to the whole thing. It’s not the best hotel in the world but the general friendliness and helpful attitude of the staff more than compensates for that. My room is booked already. Full details can be found on


Yet another Europe wide tour comes to Ireland for the first time this year from 28th to 31st July. The venue is the Clontarf Castle Hotel and the buy in for the main event is €1,000 + 100. Satellites are available on Irish Eyes Poker as well as on other sites on the Entraction network. There are two starting days on the Thursday and Friday. Not much more I can say about this event as I have never played any of their tournaments but, as this is stop 4 of Season 3; they seem to have some experience behind them. Further details can be found on


Although it’s quite a way off right now, I think it deserves a bit of advance publicity because of what I can only describe as its epic scale. The man behind the Boylepoker IPO, Stephen McLean, along with fellow tournament directors John Scanlon and Lee Johnston, has come up with an ambitious plan to seat up to 4,000 players at the same time, same venue, at the end of February next year. The venue is the City West Hotel, Dublin and the buy in for the three day event is €300 + 40, creating a possible prize pool in excess of €1million. Actually, looking again, they plan to get to the final 9 at the end of day two as day 3 (the final table) will take place a month later at a yet to be announced venue. I checked with Stephen to make sure he hadn’t totally lost his marbles and he assures me that the plan is perfectly feasible and that the venue can quite easily accommodate that number of players at one sitting. He is already running a series of live satellites at various venues around the country so, look out for one in your area. Further details can be found on and on Irish Poker Boards.


It’s that time of year again when many Irish players head off to Las Vegas to take part in, or just to soak up the atmosphere at the WSOP. By the time you read this, I will be there myself and I hope to report back on any Irish success stories in the next issue. In the meantime, I just want to wish all the Irish players out there the very best of luck on their trip.

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

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