Tuesday 2 June 2009


By Mick McCloskey


Details have been announced of what is claimed to be the world’s largest team event, the Team Championship of Poker, to be held at the City West Hotel, Dublin from 20th to 23rd August. The idea behind this event is that teams of 6 battle it out over 3 days for an overall team prize as well as individual prizes. The cost of entry is €400 per player which includes a €40 registration fee. It is estimated that €30,000 will be added to the prize pool through sponsorship. The idea is that every team will have a sponsor who will pay €500 to the organisers for sponsorship rights. There has been some confusion among prospective players regarding this €500 charge for sponsorship. Any team can of course arrange for their own sponsor to pay this fee on their behalf. However, I have been talking to Fintan Gavin, head of pokerevents.ie, the outfit behind this team event. Fintan assures me that his organisation has enough sponsors signed up to ensure that any team who wants to take part can be paired up with a suitable sponsor. He tells me that a large number of online poker sites have expressed an interest as well as a number of commercial sponsors. So, basically any team that wants to take part need not worry about paying the €500 sponsorship fee. There are apparently enough sponsors out there to cover this part of the buy in. There is a full program of support events, including a charity tournament, in place over the weekend. Pokerevents.ie ran a similar tournament a couple of years ago in the same venue, based on Irish county teams. I thought this was a great success at the time and everyone involved seemed to enjoy the whole weekend. This event opens up the whole team concept to anyone who is interested as well as to teams from outside Ireland. Even individuals who can’t gather up a team of 6, or are short on numbers, can get in touch with the organisers who will endeavour to match you up with similar individuals to constitute a full team. There is a dedicated website for this event which can be found at www.teamcop.com


I have commented in the past about the minimum payouts that have been offered in this event. For the past three years the lower placed players in the Irish Open have played for two days to get into the top 10% of the field only to be given their entry fee back, thus getting no extra reward for making it this far. This is the only poker tournament that I am aware of which does not give these lower placed players some profit on their investment. To find out what other players think on this subject, I started a thread on the Irish online poker forum, Boards.ie, which included a series of 4 questions on the subject on which forum members could vote.

The choices were:-
1) Happy with current payouts
2) Would prefer to see 25% profit over entry fee
3) Would prefer to see 50% profit over entry fee
4) Would prefer to see double the entry fee

I realise that this is not a scientific survey but, the results for what they are worth, were interesting.
Only about 7% of those who voted were happy with the current payouts. The biggest vote was for double the entry fee at 42%, with around another 32% opting for a 50% profit on their entry fee. So, in total, 74% of those who responded wanted to see at least a 50% profit element in the payouts.
Some food for thought for the tournament organisers?


This show started out as a nightly WSOP updates on TV a couple of years ago. Fronted by Jesse May and Padraig Parkinson, it acquired a bit of a cult following. It has now been resurrected as a live internet radio show with the same two presenters as well as a new face, Sky TV presenter Matt Broughton. It is produced by Matchroom Sports in association with sponsors, Boylesports. The show has interviews with well known players and listeners can call in live to contribute or they can email their comments. The show goes out live between 8pm and 11 pm every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night and can be found by logging onto www.thepokershowlive.com


Following the success of the Irish Open promotion, Paddypowerpoker has announced another Sole Survivor promotion for online qualifiers to the Irish Winter Festival, due to take place from 24th October to the 26th at the City West Hotel, Dublin. The longest lasting qualifier in the main event will receive a package worth €20,000.


The Gold Club Casino has announced details of their Letterkenny Summer Festival which will take place from 3rd to 5th July. The main event will have a €500 + 40 entry fee and two support events will also be included in this European ranking festival. For full details, check out the Gold Club website.


Galwayman, Jude Ainsworth, first came to my attention when he won the Irish Poker Championship in his home city in January 2008. However he had been winning online well before this victory. He has now cemented his place in internet poker history in Ireland by winning the main $10,000 event of the Spring Cup of Online Poker (SCOOP) on the giant Poker Stars site. He achieved this victory over the Easter weekend, picking up the top prize of just under $1 million, playing in his room at the City West Hotel in Dublin where he had come to play in the Irish Open. Well played sir.


Good luck to all Irish players heading to Las Vegas this month for the WSOP.

If you have any news, views or events, you can contact me by email to mickymccloskey@hotmail.com