Wednesday 2 March 2011


By Mick McCloskey

I heard a funny story at the recent European Deepstack Championship in Dublin. I spoke to the man involved so I’m sure he is happy enough to have his name in print after his escapades. His name is Fergal Cawley. He lives in Co. Sligo and would not be a regular in Irish ranking events but he decided to come to Dublin to play in this one as a friend of his was playing. Unfortunately, when he arrived in Dublin he headed to the Burlington Hotel even though the tournament was actually taking place in the Ballsbridge Inn. After looking around the hotel foyer for any signs of a poker event, he asked the people at reception about the poker tournament and, naturally enough, no one knew anything about a poker event in the hotel. So, he called his friend and told him he was in the hotel but could not find the tournament room. The tournament was already well underway by this stage so his friend gave him directions about how to get from the hotel reception area to the tournament room. Fergal hung up and went off to search for the poker area, as directed, again without much success. He called his by now exasperated friend again to tell him that he still could not find the poker room. The two now decided that the next logical step would be for Fergal’s friend to get up from his own poker table and for the two to meet up in the hotel reception area. Naturally enough, as they were still in separate hotels, this plan was no more successful than the previous ones as the two lads stood waiting for each other in different parts of Dublin. So, it was onto the phone again and, eventually the penny dropped. Fergal finally made his way to the right hotel, found his table and seat and sat down to play poker, some four hours late.

The story has quite a happy ending though. Fergal managed to double up after playing only two or three hands and then went on to make the final table and finished in 6th place for a €14,200 payday. I’m not quite sure how Fergal’s friend reacted when the two met at the first break (the first break they happened to be in the same hotel that is) to be told that Fergal had by then twice as many chips as he had, despite only playing for about an hour or so compared to his friends 6 hour session. Perhaps his 10% share of Fergal’s winnings helped to dull the pain and the possible sense of injustice. After all, how can a man play proper poker with all these distractions going on!



After what seems like a deluge of poker tournaments coming thick and fast in Ireland, the month of March and the early part of April, before The Irish Open, is pretty much free of major events right now, especially for Texas Hold’em fans. There is a little something for Pot Limit Omaha fans in the form of the Irish Omaha Masters, scheduled for the 25th and 26th March at the Eglinton Casino Galway. The €500 + 50 main event is a triple chance affair with a 10,000 starting stack and two more chunks of 10,000, for a total of 30,000 chips, with 60 minute levels and is set to run for two days. The tournament starts at 7pm on the Friday night, with a cap of 108 players, playing 6 levels on the first night meaning, with breaks, a 2am finish to day 1.The main event action continues on Saturday at 3pm.

Saturday at 5pm sees the start of, what I believe, is Irelands first ranking Pot Limit Omaha 8 or better tournament. This is also a triple chance tournament with 10,000 chip stacks and add ons for a total of 30,000 chips. The levels are pretty short at 20 minutes so the action should heat up pretty quickly. The buy in is €90 + 10.

For the Hold’em fans there is a €135 + 15 freezeout of Saturday night at 8pm with a guarantee of €5,000.

Sounds like a different and interesting weekend, if you like that sort of thing. Full details can be found on Irish Poker Boards or on For details of local accommodation email or call 00353 (0)91 569222 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 00353 (0)91 569222 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

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