Sunday 3 February 2008


Cork is an interesting city. It’s partly built on the side of a hill overlooking the River Lee and must have some of the steepest streets in Ireland, outside of Derry City. I just love my visits to the city for the poker festivals at the Macau Club. However, it is not like other Irish cities I have been to. For a start, it has its own dialect which is pretty much like a foreign language to most visitors. I find myself nodding and smiling a lot when some of the locals are talking to me. For visitors from the UK or Europe it must be even more difficult to communicate with the locals. The city centre has its fair share of shops and pubs, much the same as most Irish cities. Walking around however, I noticed a marked difference in the type of some of the premises. There seem to be more traditional barber shops in the city, offering a full cut throat razor shaving service, than any where else I have ever been to. I was also amazed at the number of music shops I came across in the city centre area. When I say music shops I don’t mean record or CD shops. I mean shops selling a full variety of musical instruments. They are everywhere. Cork must have some of the most well groomed and best equipped musicians in Ireland!
The last time I visited, I booked one of those cheap flight deals and flew in from Dublin. The parking charge at Dublin airport cost more than the flight. Flying into Cork, you land at one of the most modern and attractive airport terminals in Ireland. The people at Dublin airport must be green with envy. I’m not sure of the relationship between the people of Dublin and Cork and how they view each other these days. All I can tell you is that when the flight from Cork arrived back in Dublin, all the passengers had to proceed through passport control and Customs. What does that tell you? And there was me thinking that Cork and Dublin were part of the same country. Didn’t I tell you that Cork was different!


So, who is it gonna be? Where is it gonna be? Who will be first to organise a reasonably priced HORSE tournament in Europe? I know that there was one in London this year as part of the WSOPE but that was hardly in the reasonable price range. Are you, like me, getting a little jaded with all the No Limit Hold’em tournaments on offer around Europe? Would you like a bit of a challenge in trying to master the mixed games contained in HORSE? The games are all played with limit betting and consist of rounds or levels of Hold’em, Omaha high low eight or better, Razz (Seven Stud lowball), Seven Card Stud and Stud high low eight or better. Whoever decides to take the plunge and try something different during their 2008 festival, please reserve a seat for me.


Big Slick Events and Blonde Poker continue their collaboration in promoting poker in Ireland with two events in February. The first is the four day Coursing Festival running from 3rd to 6th at the Minella Hotel in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Following that, they are organising a team event in the Woodlands Hotel, Waterford from 22nd to 24th February. Each team consists of four players and the buy-in is €210 per player. The players start the tournament with a 10,000 chip stack each. Support events will run on the Saturday, €150 + 20, and on the Sunday with a €100 + 20 freeze-out. More details can be found on the Big Slick or the Blonde Poker websites.


The much anticipated Green Joker Poker European Deep Stack Championships takes place in the Drogheda Poker Club from 2nd to 10th February. Drogheda Co. Louth is about a 20 minute drive north from Dublin Airport. Following six handed NLH and Pot Limit Omaha support events, the main event has a two day start on Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th and continues on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For their €1,400 + 100 entry fee, each player starts with a massive 50,000 chip stack and 60 minute levels, starting at 25-50. Full details can be found on the Green Joker Poker and on the Antes Up websites.


The build up to Ireland’s premier poker event, the Paddy Power Irish Open, continues. Live and online satellites can be found at various venues and sites. The main event is guaranteed to pay out at least €3 million and anything up to 1,000 players, and possibly more, from all over the world, are expected to take part. The action kicks off at the City West Hotel, Dublin, with a €300 super satellite (re-buy) on Wednesday 19th March. Day 1a of the €4,500 main event starts on Thursday 20th with day 1b starting on Friday 21st. Friday also sees the €300 + 30 Ladies Irish Open Tournament. The first support event is a €1,500 + 150 two day freeze-out starting on Saturday 22nd. A €400 + 40 Pot Limit Omaha re-buy starts on Sunday 23rd and the final event is a €300 + 30 Double Chance Scalps (€30) tournament on Monday 24th March. You can register and pay now for the 2008 Irish Open and find full details at

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