Tuesday 2 August 2011

WSOP 2011

WSOP 2011
By Mick McCloskey

With all the side events completed, there have been no final table appearances for the Irish contingent and, unfortunately, not a lot in the way of cash returns. As I write, Day 3 of the main event is in progress and it looks like Day 4 will be bubble day. Still in the mix are Eoghan O'Dea, Nick Heather, Nick Newport and Pete Murphy, along with a few lesser known players. Best of the bunch so far, in the side events has been Omaha specialist Dave Callaghan from Dublin who narrowly missed out on a final table seat when he was knocked out in eighth place in the $5,000 Pot Limit Omaha 6 handed event. He picked up $53,210 for his finish, the highest return for any Irish player in this year’s series. Next best was Galway’s Jude Ainsworth who picked up a total of $36,342 for two cash finishes. Most prolific of the Irish in WSOP events were Eoghan O'Dea and Dara O'Kearney with three cashes each.

Despite the closure of the major online poker sites to American players, and lack of access to online funds in some cases, the numbers for the WSOP side events this year were generally up on the previous year. Poker players are a resilient lot so, if they can’t play online, they might as well turn up in Vegas to play live. There certainly seems to be a lot more cash action this year and the main event numbers have been more than general expected. I will update the Irish results in my next column


This is a brand new event on the poker calendar and was backed by Irish Eyes Poker.com. The €260 + 40 main event was held over three days in mid June at the Fairways Hotel in Dundalk. The organisers included two Northern Irish based players, Paul Lecky and Seamus Birt along with Martin Silke, who organised a similar event in his native Mayo earlier in the year. For this size of tournament, the structure was excellent with a 15,000 starting stack and 60 minute levels. It certainly attracted good numbers for a new event with 200 players turning up to try their luck. The good structure was probably a factor in the eventual deal made between the final six players who decided to chop the remaining prize money based on chip counts. Aidan McAllister was declared the winner and took home the trophy and $9,300. The rest of the money was divided as follows:-

2nd Alex Scullion €7,100
3rd J.P. Whyte €6,475
4th Stephen Neeson €5,830
5th Con O’Sullivan €5,520
6th Jeff Jones €4,925



Following a bit of a breather during the early summer, for those who weren’t in Las Vegas that is, the late summer and autumn sees a marked increase in the number of Irish events. First up is the annual trip to Cork for one of the only week long poker festivals in the country at the Macau Sporting Club in the City, scheduled to run from 15th to 21st August. Included in the schedule are PLO events, short handed events, turbo events and satellites leading up to the €500 + 50 three day main event. The buy in has been reduced this year from the previous €1,000 entry fee so we may see more runners as a result. The main event will have two starting days on the Thursday and Friday. I’m a bit intrigued by the final event on the Sunday when you can choose your own buy in, either €100, 200 or 300, with a €30 reg. fee. Not really sure how that works but will no doubt find out.
The Macau Club always put on a good show and the hospitality during the festival is next to none. Full details can be found at www.macausportingclub.com


The same weekend in August sees the Grand Final of Season 4 being held at the Regency Hotel in Dublin. Players can qualify or buy in direct for €175 + 25. Further details can be found at www.pokerinthepub.ie. I’ve never played in any of these particular events but have take part in something along the same lines. If this event is anything like the ones I have experienced, it should be a fun weekend.


Another major European Tour comes to Ireland for the first time from 25th to 28th August. The Unibet Open main event has a €1,500 + 150 buy in and the venue is Dublin’s City West Hotel. I believe that this tour attracts a lot of European players and has other stops in Malta, Barcelona and Riga. The main event has a 20,000 starting stack and has two day 1s on the Thursday and Friday. Full details can be found at www.unibetopen.com


The start of September sees the return to Ireland of the Poker Stars UKIPT for the Dublin leg of the tour. The venue this time round is the Ballsbridge Inn from 8th to 12th of the month. The €500 + 60 main event will have a guaranteed €250,000 prize pool and will be capped at 700 players. If past experience is anything to go by, this will be a very popular event so, if you want to be part of it, early booking may be advisable. You can try to qualify online at Poker Stars or, failing that, buy in directly online. Full details are not available as I write this but I would assume that there will be two starting days for this event. Check out the website at www.ukipt.com for full details.


Irish snooker pro Ken Doherty has opened a snooker club in Terenure Cross, Dublin 6 at the rear of Brady’s pub in Terenure Place. Ken is also quite fond of a game of poker and has decided to combine the two disciplines under the one roof. He is currently running a cash game there on Thursday nights and hopes to run poker there most nights of the week in future. Here is your chance to take on a living legend at snooker or poker. I would suggest you may have more of a chance at the poker table than the snooker table. Whatever your choice, good luck. Ken is quite handy at both games. Details, mostly regarding snooker right now, can be found at www.kendoherty.ie or you can call the club on 01 515 6092 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01 515 6092 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

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