Thursday 4 March 2010


By Mick McCloskey

I was in Co. Kerry recently for the Lakes of Killarney Poker Festival. Shortly after midnight on the day before the main event I was talking to Co. Down bookie, John Keown. He had just arrived at the hotel after driving down from Newry and discovered that his wallet, containing his poker bankroll for the weekend, was missing. He knew he had left home with it as he had stopped at a 24 hour filling station near Naas for fuel and had paid cash from the wallet. He still had the fuel receipt so he called the number on the receipt to enquire if the wallet had been found. Luckily for John, the station cashier told him his wallet had been found lying on the forecourt and had been handed in by another customer. John got straight back into the car and hit the road to Naas, where he recovered the wallet, with the bankroll fully intact. So there are still a few honest people left in this world.
I spoke to a happy John the next day and he told me that he felt that he was on a sort of a freeroll for the rest of the weekend after getting his cash back. His good luck certainly continued as he ended up in second place in the main event, taking down a €10,000 payout. I doubt if John will have many weekends as lucky as this one.

NEWS has announced that the company is to sponsor the 2010 Irish Poker Rankings. The years leading player will walk away with a $10,000 sponsorship package and there will also be prizes for the player who earns the most ranking points each month during the year. The ranking system has been expanded this year to include many more clubs and events around the country. Paul Spillane, Head of Poker at said “We recognise Irish Poker Rankings as a fantastic way to connect with and bring together Ireland’s grass roots poker community.”
You can keep track of player rankings at


The inaugural running of this event is due to take place in the Eglinton Casino in Galway, starting on Thursday 4th March with a €100 + 10 super satellite, with €50 re-buys, for seats in the main event. The Pot Limit Omaha Championship event has a buy-in of $1,000 + 100 and is scheduled to run over three days, starting on Friday 5th March. The main event is a triple chance affair, with 60 minute levels and a starting stack of 10,000, with two additional stacks of 10,000 each available during the first three levels, as required. The two side events cater for the Texas Hold’em players and consist of a €250 two day event on Saturday 6th and a €150 freezeout on the Sunday. For full details log onto


A new event on the calendar for the Macau Club in Cork is this €400 + 40 three day tournament with a 50,000 starting stack. The festival kicks off on Thursday 18th March with a super satellite for seats to the main event with a buy-in of €40 +5 with one re-buy or one add on at €40 available. Six seats are guaranteed. The three day main event starts on Friday 19th March with a guarantee of €20,000. The first of two side events starts on Saturday 20th March and features a round of Hold’em and a round of Omaha freezeout with a buy-in of €100 + 10. The final NLH tournament has a buy-in of €100 + 10 with one re-buy or add on available at €50 and has a €5,000 guarantee.
The Macau Club is renowned for its hospitality and quality hot food buffet and this event is certainly on my schedule of must play tournaments. For full details log onto


Ireland’s biggest major poker event this year returns to Dublin’s Burlington Hotel, the scene of Marty Smyth’s victory. Marty was the last Irish winner of this title in 2007. Could this be an omen for another Irish winner?
The festival kicks off on Thursday 1st April with a €200 + 20 super satellite, with re-buys, for seats in the main event. The four day main event has a buy-in of €3,200 + 300 and starts on Friday 2nd April. Saturday sees the start of a two day Pot Limit Omaha tournament with a buy-in of €750 + 75. There is a €300 + 30 two day Ladies Championship event starting on Easter Sunday as well as a two day €1,500 + 150 NLH freezeout. Easter Monday sees the finish of the main event, the Ladies Championship and the €1,500 freezeout. Monday also features a one day “Scalps” game with a buy-in of €270 + 30 reg. plus €30 for the scalps, for a total of €330.
Full details can be found at

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