By Mick McCloskey
Well, unless you’ve been living as a recluse in a cave somewhere, you will know by now that Ireland has a very able representative still playing for a WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 main event. Dublin’s Eoghan O’Dea made the final table, otherwise known as the “November Nine” second in chips with just under 34 million. The final 9 will meet up again in the Rio Casino at the start of November to finish their business and play down to a winner, who will walk away with $8.7 million and instant fame as the 2011 WSOP Main Event Champion. Ninth spot is already guaranteed $782,115 with all left to play for.
26 year old Eoghan is a pro player who makes a lot of his money playing online but is no slouch at live tournaments having several large cashes to his name in the past including a second in the Poker Million and another second in a World Poker Tour event. Let’s hope he can go one place better in November. Eoghan has some poker pedigree being the son of Irish poker legend Donnacha, who has a WSOP bracelet of his own for winning the $1,500 PLO event in 1998, defeating Johhny Chan heads up. Wouldn’t it be great if Ireland could produce the first ever father/son combo of WSOP bracelet winners?
I hear that Eoghan, a keen tennis player, is getting extra fit for his big opportunity in November by training to take part in a triathlon. He will need to be totally fit, mentally and physically for this, potentially life changing challenge. I’m sure you will all join me in wishing Eoghan all the very best in November.
With Eoghan sort of overshadowing all the other Irish players this year, a well done mention must go to a few others who cashed in the Main Event. Congratulations to Nick Newport, Pete Murphy and Reggie Lyons for their efforts.
This festival, held in the seaside resort of Tramore, is always a pleasant way to spend a weekend in the summertime. The town always seems to be buzzing at this time of year and the poker was getting into the same mood. 152 players turned up to play the €400 + 40 main event and Jason Tomkins, recovering from an illness which prevented him from travelling to Las Vegas this year, took the title and €12,000 after a deal which saw Michael Walsh picking up €10,000 for second spot and Adam Early finishing third for €8,500. 2010 Irish Open runner up, Paul Carr, picked up €6,500 for 4th place.
The European Masters of Poker made it to Ireland for the first time at the end of July. The Irish leg was part of a Europe wide tour featuring a number of €1,000 + 100 well structured main events. The tour tends to be made up from a large number of online qualifiers from Scandinavia and Europe and quite a good number of local entries. A total of 303 players took their seats over two starting days at the Clontarf Castle Hotel. I’m no great expert on ancient Irish history but, I believe that Clontarf was the scene of a major battle back in the 11th century. When it got down to the final table it was a battle for the title between 5 Scandinavian and 4 Irish players. The numerical advantage may have been a deciding factor with Denmark’s Soren Larsen defeating Ireland’s Dara O’Kearney heads up for the EMOP title and a first prize of €71,210. Dara, putting on a great display for his sponsors, Irish Eyes Poker, part of the sponsoring network, had to settle for €42,720. Third place and €27,880 went to Finland’s Jukka Nyback with yours truly picking up €16,970 for fourth place.
The month of September is pretty saturated with poker festivals in Ireland with two events actually taking place on the same weekend in Dublin. The Poker Stars UKIPT Dublin has already been previewed in my previous column. The three weekends in a row after that event are fully booked for any player who wants back to back action.
In an interesting tournament variation, Bruce Poker, along with various partners, are involved in running a €120 buy in event with a massive €50,000 guarantee. There will be 4 starting days with half the field from each day qualifying for the final stages. The twist is that players can re-enter, as opposed to re-buy. Players can even do multiple re-entries if they qualify with a short stack and want to take a shot at going through with a bigger stack. The venue is the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth, Co. Kildare. The event runs from 12th to 18th September. Full details can be found on Irish Poker Boards.com
IRISH OMAHA CLASSIC
This event is being run in conjunction with the Irish 100’s, detailed above, in the same venue and is a €400 + 40 Pot Limit Omaha treble chance event starting on Friday 16th September and finishing on Saturday. Players start with a 10,000 stack, playing 60 minute levels, and can take another two 10K stacks as required up to the end of level 4. Again, full details can be found on Irish Poker Boards.
WINAMAX EUROPEAN SHORTHANDED CHAMPIONSHIP
This event returns for the third time to the Ballsbridge Inn, Dublin from 21st to 25th September and, as the title suggests is a 6 handed max event with a buy in of €500 + 50 with a guaranteed €150,000 prize pool. There are two starting days and players knocked out on day1a can re-enter on day1b. The event is organised by local promoters D4Events and full details can be found on their website as well as on Irish Poker Boards.
BETFAIR POKER LIVE
This is a bounty tournament with a buy in of $500 + 50 with an additional 100 for the bounty for a total of $650. It is scheduled to take place in Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Card Club from 23rd to 25th September. There has been no real publicity effort to promote this event in Ireland but Betfair are running regular online satellites so I can only assume that they are targeting their own customers for this event. There might be a bit of value to be had here if you would rather play a full table rather than the short handed event just down the road in Ballsbridge. Full details can be found at www.poker.betfair.com
LADBROKES IRISH FESTIVAL
If you are not pokered out after all that action over the previous three weeks then why not take the trip to Killarney for one of the biggest and most fun events of the year outside of Dublin. This is always an action packed weekend at the INEC at the Gleneagles Hotel with 633 runners last year, a load of online qualifiers, a €500 + 50 main event and a €250,000 guaranteed prize pool. The event is scheduled to run from 29th September to 2nd October. Details can be found at Ladbrokes.com or on Irish Poker Boards.
I’m almost exhausted already just looking at that schedule for September. There is a lot on and I just hope that they all do well.
Another first for Ireland is the recent announcement that the World Poker tour is coming to these shores for the first time. A €2,500 buy in event will take place in the City West Hotel from 5th to 8th January 2012. This event is being sponsored by PKR.com who, I assume, will be running online satellites. More on this in future columns.
Congratulations to Fintan Gavin who just took down the Edinburgh leg of Poker Stars UKIPT. Fintan, who lives in Co. Galway, overcame a field of 519 players to take the first prize of £61,500 and the UKIPT title. You can see how he did it on Channel 4 television in September as part of the UKIPT coverage. Very well done sir.
If you have any news, views or events you can contact me by email to email@example.com