Monday 4 January 2010


By Mick McCloskey

Just returned from the Christmas Festival at the Macau Club. As usual, Cork is always an interesting place to visit. This time there were flood alerts in operation over the weekend and there had been serious flooding in the city in the previous weeks. As I understand it, parts of the city are built on an island on a tidal estuary. To add to the problems, there is apparently, a dam in the hills above the city which overflows into the city’s River Lee. During the recent heavy rain storms the pressure on the dam became too much for safety and the level had to be reduced by releasing excess water into the already swollen river. Thankfully, all passed off OK while I was there but there was damage in the previous weeks.

Another interesting aspect of my visit was seeing a very nicely dressed lady in the hotel bar one night. With long blonde hair, a mini skirt and fish net stockings, she really looked the part. That was until she spoke. The deep male voice gave the game away. This person was happily chatting up both male and female customers in the bar but seemed to be having more luck with the female revellers. Now maybe I have led a sheltered life but, this is the first time I have ever encountered a real live transvestite in Ireland, outside of drag acts and fancy dress parties. Maybe this is one of the reasons why people flying from Cork to Dublin still have to pass through Passport Control at Dublin Airport!


Another year has passed and we are now into a new poker year. Is it just me or do the years seem to fly by? As usual, Ireland has plenty to offer in terms of poker tournaments, large and small. There are already a good number of major events planned and more in the pipeline, no doubt.


The first of the larger events is scheduled to take place in the picture postcard surroundings of Killarney in County Kerry. To be honest, I think the scenery and tourist facilities are probably wasted on the poker players. Then again, Kerry in the dark days of January is probably not looking its best. The festival, organised by Cue Club Events, in association with Irish Eyes, is being held in the four star Dromhall Hotel. Organiser, Connie O’Sullivan, has struck a deal with the hotel to cater for the special needs of players attending a poker tournament. The deal includes:-

1) Breakfast served up until 1pm
2) 24 hour bar service available!
3) 24 hour hot food service
4) All hotel rooms reserved for poker players only over the weekend.
5) Wireless internet access throughout the hotel.
6) Agreed rate of €45 pps

To book a room call ++353 1850 603050

The action kicks off on Thursday 14th January with a €50 super satellite with one re-buy or add on. The €500 + 50 three day main event, with a €50,000 guarantee, starts on Friday 15th, featuring a 15,000 starting stack and 60 minute levels. Blinds start at 25 – 25 and running antes don’t come into play until the third level of day two. No pressure there then. A two day €200 + 20 side event starts on Saturday with a €150 + 20 side event on the Sunday. A 16 player €500 heads up tournament is also pencilled in for the Sunday. Qualifying satellites are running exclusively at
Full tournament information can be found at


This event was originally planned as a €1,000 buy-in tournament with a €100,000 guarantee and was a joint promotion by Big Slick Events and Celtic Poker Tour (CPT). As CPT has recently been taken over by new owners, it has been decided to run the €1,000 event at a later date. The festival will go ahead however from Saturday 30th January to Tuesday 2nd February at the Park Hotel in Clonmel. The festival kicks off with a €50 + 10 super satellite with re-buys. The main event now has a buy-in of €220 + 30 and a €25,000 guarantee and starts on Sunday 31st January. Two side events, each with a buy-in of €100 + 20, will run on the Monday and Tuesday.
Full tournament details can be found at


Early February sees the return of the Green Joker Poker European Deepstack Championships being held at a new venue with a smaller €500 + 50 buy-in but with the same 50,000 starting stack. The venue for the third running of this event is the Ballsbridge Inn, Dublin. The organisers have arranged for a limited number of rooms at the hotel to be available at a special rate of €49 per night. The number to call for this rate is ++353 1 668 4468.

The weekend starts on Thursday 4th February with a €50 + 10 super satellite (with re-buys) guaranteeing 15 seats to the main event. The main event kicks off at 2pm on Friday 5th February. The structure has been tweaked a little this year so that the blinds start at 50 – 100. The levels are 60 minutes for the first two days with 90 minute levels on the final day. The first support event on Saturday has a €270 + 30 buy-in and a 20,000 starting stack played over two days. The final event on Sunday has a €180 + 20 buy-in. In addition to the main tournaments, there is a second chance event at 8pm every night, priced at €180 + 20.
The whole show is being overseen by excellent tournament director J.P. McCann so everything should run pretty smoothly. A 50,000 starting stack for €500. Sure where else would you get it?
Online qualifiers are now running and full details of these and other event details can be found on the Green Joker Poker website.

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

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