Wednesday 5 November 2008


By Mick McCloskey

What recession? As I write this piece in the second week of October the news is dominated by items about the crisis in the banking sector, the credit crunch and the news that the Irish economy is officially in recession with the UK and American economies probably heading the same way. However, I have just returned from a trip to the Ladbrokes poker festival in Killarney and recession seemed to be the last thing anyone there was thinking about. There was plenty of cash action and all the tournaments were sold out, with the main event setting new records in Ireland and the UK and every tournament having a waiting list of eager punters waiting to step in as alternates. The buy-ins may have been fairly affordable in poker terms with the main event costing €550. At much the same time, some of the biggest tournaments in Europe were taking place or had just finished. These included the WSOPE and the London leg of the EPT with buy-ins which included £5,000, £10,000 and £20,000. For events with this level of buy-in, there seemed to be no shortage of takers. It seems that recession is the last thing on the minds of poker players. It is said that the casino and gaming industry is one of the few that is recession proof and the events of the last few weeks seem to bear this theory out. However, it is generally accepted by economists that harder times seem to be just around the corner as the credit crunch begins to bite and some people are likely to lose their jobs. This could have a knock on effect in the poker community as there may be less new money being introduced. It will be interesting to watch how things pan out in the poker world in the coming months and years as some people may find a better home for any spare cash than plonking it down on a poker table. I fully expect the poker industry to survive but numbers may be down in future as reality bites.


I reported here a few months ago that Padraig Parkinson had been sponsored by Poker Trillion. As it turned out this was a temporary arrangement to cover the 2008 WSOP. I am happy to report that Padraig has now found a more permanent backer in the form of Irish based bookmakers and poker site Boyle Sports. Padraig tells me that he has signed a one year deal with Boyle Poker and joins Irish Open Champion Marty Smyth in representing Boyle poker on the international circuit.
“I’m obviously delighted to be joining a top flight poker team such as Boyle Poker” said Parkinson.
Paul Spillane, head of poker at Boyle Sports, said, “Padraig’s talent both on and off the felt speaks for itself. He is a tremendous ambassador for the game, an extraordinary player, and we’re extremely lucky and proud that he will be representing Boyle Poker at the world’s biggest poker tournaments.”


The Party Poker Irish Championship Tour continues with events as follows:-

November 14/15 - Park Hotel, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo
November 22/23 - South Court Hotel, Limerick
December 4/5/6 - Gold Club Casino, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
December 12/13/14 - Red Cow Hotel, Dublin

These are a series of qualifying tournaments producing tickets and cash prizes in the run up to the Party Poker Irish Poker Championship in Galway at the start of January 2009. Each leg of the tour will have €2,000 added money and a good structure, 10,000 starting chips and 45 minute levels run over two days. The buy-in is €350
Party Poker are running online satellites and free rolls for main event tickets. For full details log onto Party Poker or


There are a number of tournaments coming up, some unfortunately clashing. In a change of dates, the North of Ireland Masters moves to December 12/13/14 at the Emerald Casino, Dundalk.

Bruce Poker will be holding a Launch Festival from 14th to 16th November at the Green Isle Hotel, Dublin. The festival kicks off with a €120 (€15 reg. Included) tournament with one €50 re-buy or add on. A pot of €10,000 is guaranteed along with €5,000 cash and a €2,500 trip to Las Vegas added. The €250 (€30 reg. Included) main event has a €25,000 guarantee and also has €5,000 cash and a €2,500 trip to Vegas added. The festival finishes with a Freeroll with €5,000 cash and a trip to a Man. Utd. Champions League game added. One €50 re-buy or add on is allowed in this event. The whole thing sounds like excellent value to me. Early Christmas presents from Bruce Poker.

The Wexford Poker Festival is set to take place from 4th to 7th December at the Quay Casino, Wexford. The main two day event has a €1,000 + 100 entry fee. For further details log onto


The Irish Christmas Poker Festival takes place at the Macau Club from 27th to 30th November. It kicks off with a €150 + 15 super satellite with 6 main event tickets guaranteed. The three day main event starts on Friday 28th and has a €100,000 guaranteed prize pool. The buy-in is €1,000 + 80. The festival continues with a €300 + 30 Double Chance event and finishes with a €225 + €25 Scalp + €25 reg. Freezeout. Super satellites for all tournaments will be held in the early afternoon before each one. Online qualifiers are also available on


Congratulations to Galway’s Fintan Gavin for his great performance and runner up finish at the EPT main event. Although officially second, Fintan took home the lion’s share of the prize money, after a three way deal.

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