Thursday 2 September 2010


By Mick McCloskey

While in Las Vegas during the WSOP I played a media only free roll event at the Rio Casino. I happened to be drawn at the same table as the head of casino security at the Rio. On the very first hand of the tournament all hell broke loose on our table with four people going all in. The hands were pocket AA, pocket KK, for the head of security, pocket 10, 10 and pocket 3, 3. The flop was A, K, 10, giving three people a set. The turn was a 3, giving a fourth set and, wait for it, the river was also a 3 giving one player four of a kind and the other three full houses! Bad beat city! With press cameras rolling and flashing all around the table, it was announced that it had all been a set up and that everyone was to start again with their original chip stacks. The one thing I don’t understand was how they knew that I was going to pass my pocket JJ in this hand. Go figure that one out!

On my way home I was booked on the Virgin direct flight from Vegas to London. On the same flight I spotted recent WSOP bracelet winners Mike Ellis and Steve Jelinek. I sort of assumed that the pair would be travelling in upper class or even first after their success. I was surprised therefore to see both guys seated a couple of rows behind me in economy class. Joint winnings at the 2010 WSOP, $827,722. Good to see the lads watching the pennies and being careful not to squander their winnings! After all, everyone on the flight gets from Vegas to London no matter where they sit, right!

Another Vegas wedding to report. Julian Gardner, runner up in the WSOP main event in 2002 for $1.1 million, tied the knot with his long time partner Kerry. My reaction, like many others, on hearing the news was, “Damn, I thought they got married years ago!”
Best wishes for the future to Julian and Kerry and the family from myself and all here at Poker Europa.

Finally, to round off my Vegas report, congratulations to Dublin’s James Fennell, top Irish finisher in this years main event. James picked up $168,556 for his 48th place finish along with his first ever entry in The Hendon Mob database. Nice start sir.


September sees the start of a busy period for poker tournaments in Ireland. First up is the Dublin leg of the Poker Stars UK and Ireland poker tour, running from 9th to 12th September at the Burlington Hotel. Following a player survey, the buy in has been reduced from €1,000 to €500 + 60 but the €250,000 guarantee remains in place, meaning that the organisers are expecting a 500+ field. Following the success of the UKIPT in other venues, I doubt they will have any problem meeting the guarantee. The event will be recorded for broadcast on Channel 4 early in the new year. For further details log onto


This event takes place in the Ballsbridge Inn, Dublin from 15th to 19th September. The buy in is €500 + 50 for the six handed three day event, which will have two starting days. The capacity is set at 600 but, if the demand is there, this may be increased. Side events will be played as normal 9 or 10 handed tournaments in the initial stages before becoming 6 handed. For full details see


This event kicks off with a super satellite on 30th September with the €500 + 50 three day main event starting on 1st October in the INEC complex at the Gleneagles Hotel in Killarney. The tournament has a €250,000 guarantee and has proved to very popular with players over the last two years since its first running. Part of the attraction is the Ladbrokes player lounge where people can chill out or have a meal or a drink as well as having a little pool or darts action on the side. Satellites and direct buy ins are currently available on Ladbrokes poker site.


One of the year’s most fun events is the record breaking International Poker Open, scheduled to run from 15th to 17th October at the Regency Hotel in Dublin. For a buy in of €200, players of all abilities can experience a professionally run major event and rub shoulders with celebrities and well known poker pros from the UK and Ireland. As if that wasn’t enough, Boyles are adding a juicy €20,000 to the prize pool. The only way to register for this tournament is to win a seat on or to buy in direct through the poker site. You can get extra starting chips for the tournament by registering early and earning player points on Check out the online poker site for full details.

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

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