Monday 14 July 2008


By Mick McCloskey

For a long time now, I’ve been at a loss to explain why so few Irish poker players were getting sponsorship deals. Ireland has consistently been setting new records for tournament entries over the last few years. I would imagine that the large turnouts have been reflected in the numbers playing online as well. It looks like Ireland’s enthusiasm for poker has finally been recognised by some of the online poker rooms. I recently reported that Marty Smyth has signed a deal with Boyle Sports Poker. Two further deals have recently been announced. Ireland’s largest bookmaker, Paddy Power, has finally opened the purse strings and splashed out on a deal to sponsor WSOP bracelet winner, Ciaran O’Leary. Although Ciaran lives in the USA and Paddy Power do not accept American customers, the popular Cork man has been playing in some of the larger Irish events lately and will no doubt be making more regular trips back home to Ireland. Ciaran is a very popular and able player and will be an excellent ambassador for Paddy Power worldwide.
It has also been reported that Poker Trillion will sponsor Padraig Parkinson. What can I say about Padraig that hasn’t been said before? Well, a few things actually but they will have to wait for another day! Padraig has one of the sharpest wits in Irish poker and this is well reflected in his various magazine articles and internet blogs and in his numerous TV commentaries, helping to keep Jesse May amused in the commentary box. I wish Marty, Ciaran and Padraig every success in their various deals.

Although not many individual Irish players have been sponsored, there seems to be plenty of interest shown by various internet poker sites in sponsoring tournaments and festivals in Ireland. Paddy Power, Betfair and Ladbrokes, among others, are regulars on the Irish Poker scene. It now looks like Bodog are taking an interest in Ireland. Having sponsored the Waterford Open in June, it seems that they may come in to sponsor more events in the future. Welcome to Ireland, Bodog.


As I write this piece, the World Series is well under way in Las Vegas. By the time you read it, all the events will have been completed, apart from the $10,000 main event which now has a completion date in November! Many Irish players are already in Vegas trying their luck and I wish them all the best. I will be joining them shortly. There is no news yet of any final tables with an Irish interest although there have been some minor cashes by Irish players. Hopefully there will be many more to come.


Dublin’s Colossus Club has gone to 24 hour operation. They will be holding a €100 cash game at 10 pm every Saturday night in a private room upstairs. The game is for sober players only with free food available. Any player with a good tank will be directed upstairs so there will be a steady stream of fresh players coming into the game. For further details, call 01 478 5858 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01 478 5858 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

The Sporting Emporium Casino in Dublin is holding a €400 + 40 freeze-out on Saturday 19th July with a 10,000 starting stack and 40 minute levels. For further information call the poker room on 01 703 0600 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01 703 0600 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or check out their website.


Also in August comes the popular Irish Classic Festival at the Macau Club in Cork. Running from Monday 11th August to Sunday 17th, the festival features a three day main event with a buy-in of €1,500 + 100 along with a full schedule of support events and satellites. The main event will feature a very player friendly 15,000 starting stack and 75 minute levels and has a guaranteed prize pool of €150,000. A host of well known visiting players are expected including WSOPE £1 million winner, Annette Obrestad. So, if you want a shot at playing against the mini girl wonder, make your plans for Cork now. Numbers are capped at 200 so book now to be sure of a place at the tables. For those interested in taking part in a much bigger event, a super satellite for the 2008 WSOPE will be part of the festival at the Macau. The event sponsors, Betfair, are running online satellites for the Irish Classic Festival now. Green Joker Poker are also running online satellites for the main event. For further information, check out the Macau Club website.

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