Thursday 5 August 2010



No, it was not a hostile business takeover. What happened was the rescue of yours truly from a very confined space. Let’s start at the beginning. Paul Lucey, from the Atlantis Casino in Carlow had very kindly issued an open invitation to all the Irish players in Vegas to a party at a very nice villa at the Mirage Casino. The villa had three bedrooms, a lounge and a bar/entertainment area as well as an outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi and putting green. As the party got into full swing, I made a visit to one of the many bathrooms in the property. As I went to leave, the door handle came off the inside of the door and I was trapped. I began banging on the door until I heard a voice outside asking if I was all right. It belonged to none other than the lovely Rebecca McAdam, Card Player Europe’s roving reporter. I explained my predicament and Rebecca was able to open the door from the outside to complete my rescue. It’s always good that poker magazine reporters can help each other out when they are on the job, so to speak. So, if Rebecca ever finds herself in the same predicament, I will be only too happy to return the favour.

As I write, all the WSOP side events have been completed and the main event is underway. Numbers are up this year, despite business being well down in Vegas overall, due to the recession in the USA. Congratulations have to go to the Brits who are taking home five WSOP bracelets and a lot of money for runner up and final table appearances. Very well done to Praz Bansi, James Dempsey, Richard Ashby, Mike Ellis and Steve Jelineck. Actually leading the UK money list is Sam Trickett, who took over half a million dollars for a runner up spot as well as another five cashes.
Topping the Irish money list is Denis Murphy, closely followed by Nick Heather who I hear has landed himself a sponsorship deal with Paddy Power Poker on the back of this and other results. Sean Prendiville has continued to show form in Vegas following a good run back home. He cashed twice here in Vegas. Of course the main event has yet to be completed, so let’s hope for a few more Irish results.

Las Vegas itself sees a lot of changes this year. There are a few abandoned building sites around town but, at the same time, the impressive new City Centre project is pretty much completed, virtually dwarfing the nearby Bellagio property. A brand new casino, the Aria, has opened in the City Centre. It has a poker room and a high roller room named after Phil Ivey. Rumour has it that The Big Game may move from its home at the Bellagio to the brand new property
At the other end of town, Binion’s casino is sadly almost derelict. The hotel rooms are all closed down as well as the famous Coffee Shop. They have had a series of poker tournaments during the WSOP but the cash action, compared to last year, is almost nonexistent. It makes me sad to see the decline of such a historic casino, the original home of the World Series.



Ireland’s biggest week long festival kicks off in the Macau Club in Cork on Monday 16th August. The varied schedule includes a Triple Shootout event, a shorthanded event and a Pot Limit Omaha freezeout as well as the €1,000 + 100 main event. The three day main event has a €100,000 guarantee and has two starting days on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th August. The starting stack is set at 20,000 chips with 75 minute levels. The award winning Macau Club is renowned for its hospitality and the nightly hot food buffet is undoubtedly the best I have personally experienced anywhere in the UK or Ireland.
Look out for live satellites in clubs around Ireland. Online satellites for seats are also available on Stan James Poker,,, and Paddy Power Poker.
For further details log onto

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