Friday 1 October 2010


By Mick McCloskey

I must start with an apology. As the title indicates, I am at a bit of a loose end this month. It’s a mixture of writers block and disappointment that some much anticipated news failed to materialise, at the very last minute, as my deadline approaches. I had been hoping to announce details of the Irish dates of Season 2 of Poker Stars very successful UK and Ireland poker tour. However, the people at Poker Stars decided not to let me have advance notice of the dates even though the full details should be widely available by the time you read my sad excuses for lack of content this month. I did however manage to pick up a couple of snippets of news regarding the UKIPT which I will share with you. First snippet is that the Irish Poker Championship will return to Galway at the start of December and second, that a leg of the tour will be held in a Cork hotel, probably in May next year. By the very nature of instant communications these days, you will probably know more than me about these things by the time this article is available in print. Ce la vie.


Boylepoker IPO

The Boylepoker International Poker Open takes place in the Regency Hotel, Dublin, from 15th to 17th October. There are two starting days and anyone wanting to play must register online at For a modest €200 you will get to take part in a professionally run major event and test your skills against lots of high profile pros and celebrities from Ireland and the UK. This event had a massive 1,440 entries last year with a top prize of $62,250 going to Germany’s Markus Sippe. are adding €20,000 to the prize pool. Not too shabby for a €200 event.

Irish Winter Festival

The Irish Winter Festival moves to Dublin’s Burlington Hotel this year and takes place from 22nd to 25th October. The weekend kicks off with a €150 + 15 super satellite on Friday the 22nd for seats in the main event. The main event is a three day affair running from Saturday to Monday, a Bank Holiday in Ireland. The buy in for the main event is €1,500 + 150. Also scheduled for Saturday is a €200 + 20 NLH side event. On Sunday there is a €500 + 50 two day side event as well as something completely different, a €100 + 10 Blind Mans Bluff Championship. Card holding hats will be supplied, I believe. Getting back to semi normality, Monday’s events include a €300 + 30 round of each freezeout as well as the Irish Mythical Championship for a buy in of €100 + 10. For full details check out


If you have never been to Vegas for the WSOP, or even if you have, here is a chance to play WSOP type events for a fraction of the cost of the real thing. All the events use the same structure as the corresponding WSOP tournaments but with shorter levels. This is the second year of this festival, organised by J.P. McCann and his team, and is scheduled to run from 4th to 7th November at the Maldron Hotel, Tallaght, Dublin. The hotel has a reduced room rate of €79 per night using the promo code “poker 2010”. Last year’s festival had 325 runners for the €350 main event, generating a prize pool of over €100,000. The action starts on Thursday night with a €150 short handed event and this is followed by a €80 super satellite for seats in the main event. You will have another chance to win a main event seat in a €80 turbo satellite on Friday afternoon. The €350 three day main event kicks off at 8pm with players starting with 30,000 chips, playing 45 minute levels. On Saturday there is a €250 side event, also with a 30,000 starting stack and 30 minute levels. There is also a €80 turbo side event with 4,500 chips and 20 minute levels on Saturday night. Sunday is going to be all action with four events planned on top of the conclusion of the main event itself. In short, there is a €250 HORSE event at 3pm, a €150 triple shootout at 5pm, a €250 heads up event at 7pm and another €80 turbo event at 9pm. Phew, my head’s spinning already but I’m sure J.P. and his team can handle it all with ease.
J.P.’s events are among the best structured tournaments to be found anywhere. To ensure that this continues he has stated that “If the average stack, in the main event and the 250 event, drops below 25 big blinds, we will rerun levels to a maximum of three times to help ensure the game doesn’t become a crap-shoot.”
J.P. does have his own website at but, unfortunately, the site is not updated as often as it should be. However, he is fairly good at getting his events onto other websites. Full details of the festival can be found on the Hendon Mob poker forum and on, among others.

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