Tuesday 6 January 2009


By Mick McCloskey

Over the last three months of the year just passed there has been a real glut of major poker tournaments taking place around Ireland. While all this action is to be welcomed, a few of these events clashed with each other. Ireland is not really a big enough country for two tournaments to clash without both suffering in terms of numbers. I have been talking to a number of people about this situation and the general feeling seems to be that too many clashes are taking place and that organisers should be more diligent in trying to ensure these do not happen. Obviously, there are certain traditional dates in the poker calendar which are well known for hosting major poker events. These dates are more or less sacrosanct and it would be foolish for any new entrant to mess with them. As regards other newer events competing for a share of the market, I think it makes sense for both organisers and players not to be left in a position of having two, or more major events in the same week.

There are various ways available to organisers to try to avoid clashes. A thread on this subject has been opened on the Irish online forum, boads.ie This site also has a special section available for organisers to list details of their tournaments.
For organisers who wish to run tournaments eligible for European Ranking status, full details of the criteria necessary for ranking status, as well as an up to date list of ranking events, can be found on the website, pokerineurope.com. This site operates in conjunction with Poker Europa magazine in trying to keep up to date listings both online and in print.

Another useful tool available to organisers and players alike is the Hendon Mob data base which lists all poker tournaments worldwide as well as having the facility to break down the lists to look at tournaments by country, by region or by continent.

Finally, I endeavour to keep an up to date list of major Irish tournaments on my own website and am always happy for organisers to get in touch with me with details of their events.

These are just a few of the methods which tournament organisers can use. Unfortunately not all organisers make the effort to use the resources available to them to publicise their events. If they did, there would be less duplication.


Celtic Poker Tour are set to hold their Grand Final in the Clonmel Park Hotel from 16th to 18th January. The main event has a guaranteed prize pool of €100,000 and costs €500 + 50 to enter with one re-buy or top up available at €200. Also running over the weekend is a super satellite and a €150 + 20 support event.

Cue Club Events, in conjunction with Bruce Poker.com, present the Lakes of Killarney Hold’em Festival from 29th January to 1st February. The sponsors, BrucePoker.com are adding €5,000 to the prize pool of the €500 + 50 main event which will feature a 15,000 starting stack and 60 minute levels The main event is scheduled to run for three days. The festival includes a super satellite, a two day support event priced at €300 and a final freeze-out costing €170. For further details, email cueclub@eircom.net

European Deepstack Poker Championship II

Green Joker Poker has announced details of the second running of their Deepstack event. It will take place in the Green Isle Hotel, Dublin, from 5th to 8th of February. The three day main event has a buy-in of €1,500 +150 and features a huge 50,000 starting stack with a 60 minute clock and a slow structure starting with the usual 25/50 level. Only 250 seats are being made available for this event so deep stack fans would be advised to book early. This year there will be one starting day for all players on Friday 6th February. The festival includes a super satellite on 5th February and two support events priced at €500 + 50 and €300 + 30. All the events will be run under the control of the excellent J.P. McCann and his team. Online satellites are currently underway and full details of qualifiers and of the Festival can be found on the Green Joker Poker website.


Qualifying satellites for this Easter’s Irish Open continue on Paddypowerpoker.com and qualifiers can look forward to being included in Paddy Powers last longer promotion, which will be worth a juicy €100,000 to the winner in cash and tournament entries. As we go to press, it has just been announced that, as forecast in my last column, the venue for the Irish Open will indeed be Dublin’s City West Hotel. You heard it here first.


Congratulations to the latest Irish player to have a big poker pay day. Irish poker legend Donnacha O’Dea’s son, Eoghan took down the main event of the European Championship of Online Poker, playing on Paddy Power.com He defeated a field of 1,282 players in this $1,060 buy-in event to walk off with the first prize of $315,000. Perhaps Eoghan can now come out from under the shadow of his famous father and claim his own place in Irish poker’s elite.
If you have any news, views or events you can contact me by email to mickymccloskey@hotmail.com