Tuesday 7 December 2010


By Mick McCloskey

Having recently initiated the British Poker Awards, Bluff Europe Magazine obviously thought it would be a good idea to have an Irish version. So it came to be at a ceremony held during the Boylepoker International Poker Open in Dublin in October. Proceedings were kicked of by warm up act, “Mad” Marty Wilson who then handed over to magazine chief, Michael Caselli and guest presenter Neil Channing. Three Englishmen presenting the Irish Poker Awards? Happily the rest of the proceedings were dominated by the home grown talent, although I’m not quite sure that Paul Marrow, nominated for Poker personality of the year, could, strictly speaking, be regarded as Irish. But, what the hell, if Tony Cascarino can play football for Ireland......

The nominees were chosen by a committee comprising representatives from Bluff Europe, Boylepoker.com, Poker News.com, pokerireland.ie, and d4events.com. The process then went to a public online vote to determine the winners of each category.
On the night there were four double winners. Padraig Parkinson picked up the award for Poker Personality of the year as well as the award for Best Poker Blogger. John O’Shea won the award for Best Tournament Player and the award for the Best All Round Player. Owen Robinson won the award for Break Out Year as well as the award for Player of the Year. The other double winner was J.P. McCann who picked up the Best Tournament Director award as well as the award for running the Best Poker League.

Other winners were:-

Best Cash Player – Andy Black

Best Online Player – Jude Duffy

Best Irish Card Room - The Fitzwilliam Casino

Best Irish Poker Forum – Irish Poker Boards

Best Poker Festival – Boylepoker IPO

Congratulations to all the winners.

This may not be the end of the awards for Ireland this year as Irishpokerrankings.com held their own version of the Irish Poker Awards for 2009 and will probably do the same for 2010. There are also, of course, the 2010 Poker Europa European Poker Awards, scheduled to be held in Paris in February. It would not be the first time that a few Irish players found their way into the nominations for these awards. Full details of the European awards can, I believe, be found in another page of this edition of Poker Europa.


Many Dubliners are known for their quick wit and off the cuff remarks. Among the older poker players in this category would be Padraig Parkinson and Alan Betson. A mutual friend of ours turned up at the Regency Hotel for the Boylepoker IPO. The man in question was American John “Schof” Sheffield. Schof has lived and worked in Las Vegas since the late sixties and was for many years involved in running the WSOP at Binion’s Horseshoe. He always worked the day shift and was well known to most of the Irish and European players who would stop off for a drink at the poker bar at night. Schof would generally join the players after work and was in a position to look after the drinks tab for the players. He also had a rich supply of jokes and stories to help keep the company entertained. The craic was so good most of the time that the session carried on well into the small hours, there being no closing time for the bars in Las Vegas. This wasn’t too bad for the players who could get some sleep afterwards. For Schof it was quite often a very short sleep, a change of clothes and back to work in the morning. This sort of schedule went on for days on end for Schof and he never seemed to show any signs of slowing down. We were sitting in the bar in The Regency Hotel one night and Schof was talking about how many hours he had been drinking since arriving in Ireland. Quick as a flash, Alan Betson came out with the comment “So you’re drinking in hours now when it used to be in days.”



Due to local demand, The Macau Club in Cork has decided to run another Christmas festival this year. It will kick off on Thursday 9th December with a €50, one rebuy, one add on, super satellite for seats in the main event. The €500 + 50 main event starts on Friday 10th at 8pm and runs for three days. Players will start with 20,000 chips. Saturday has a €180 + 20 + 20 scalp side event. Sunday sees an unusual event where you can choose your own buy in level. For €50 you will start with 7,000 chips. For €100 you will start with 10,000 chips and, if you want to start with 15,000 chips, it will cost you €150 + 15 to enter.


By the time the print version of this magazine hits the card rooms the first tournament of Season 2 of the Poker Stars UKIPT should be done and dusted and a new Irish Poker Champion crowned in Galway. Let’s hope we have another Irish Champion this year, following Padraig Parkinson’s win last time round. There are no other major events planned for Ireland in December so players can have a little rest from the hectic tournament schedule we witnessed in Ireland in 2010.

It only remains for me to offer all Poker Europa readers best wishes for the Christmas holiday season and hope that you all have a peaceful and profitable poker new year.

If you have any news, views or events, you can contact me by email to mickymccloskey@hotmail.com.