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Irish News

by Roy Brindley |  Published: Nov 01, 2005

Super Satellites Dates
Event Location Date Buy-in Prize Pool
Galway Open Westwood


Oct. 21-22 €350 + €35 €55,000
Leinster Cup City West


Oct. 28-29 €350 + €35 €80,000


Lodge Hotel

Nov. 4-6 €350 + €35 €50,000
Ulster Cup Slieve


Hotel Cavan
Nov. 12-13 €350 + €35 €60,000


Court Hotel

Nov. 18-29 €350 + €35 €70,000
Sligo Open Clarion

Hotel Sligo
Nov. 25-27 €350 + €35 €60,000



Dec. 21-22 €300 + €30 €50,000 Irish Poker Championships Announced

Boyle Sports, one of Ireland's leading bookmakers, has joined forces with Irish Poker Events to set up what's being billed as the biggest poker tournament ever staged on Irish soil.

Under the recently launched banner, the Irish Poker Championships is comprised of a series of nationwide events, which will culminate in the All-Ireland Poker Final – a three-day €1,000 freezeout poker tournament with an estimated prize pool of €500,000. The final will take place in City West Hotel, Dublin, Jan. 6-8.

According to organisers, players from all over Ireland will have the chance to battle against some of poker's biggest names.

"Local weekly satellites, held nationwide, will feed into supersatellites. The top players at these supersatellite events will qualify for the national final," stated promoter Fintan Gavin.

"Players also can qualify via, the new online poker website from Boylesports. We're expecting about 500 participants to compete in the event.

"The final will be broadcast live on television, and will bring the cream of European poker talent to Dublin. Supporting events will include €500 and €250 freezeout tournaments, with estimated prize pools of €100,000 and €75,000, respectively.

"This will be one of the biggest poker tournaments ever staged in Europe. It has taken a year to plan, and, finally, with the help of Tournament Director Donal Mac Aonghusa, the time is now right. We will put the emphasis on value for the money, and comfort for the players and their families.

"The main tournament will be a three-day event, giving the best players the time to come out on top. We are delighted with our partners at, who can see the potential of the game. They have launched online recently with the best software I've seen yet, and we expect many players to qualify via their site," Gavin concluded.

Irish Poker Championship Dates
Location: City West Hotel, Dublin
Event Date Buy-in Prize Pool
Main Event Jan. 6-8 €1,000 + €100 €500,000
€500 Freezeout Jan. 7 €500 + €50 €100,000
€250 Freezeout Jan. 8 €250 + €25 €75,000

Irish Win at the £125,000 Celebpoker Classic

Celebrity Irish businessman Alan Smurfit won the Palm Beach CelebPoker Classic no-limit hold'em tournament at the Palm Beach Casino in London's Mayfair.

Smurfit, who sold his Dublin-based packaging company for €3.9 billion two years ago, has renounced retirement in favour of playing on the international poker circuit – with spectacular success.

He outplayed a strong field of 125 experts and online qualifiers, including snooker celebrities Jimmy White, Mark Williams, and Ken Doherty, actors Michael Greco and Terrence Maynard, PGA golf pro Sam Torrance, and a host of poker professionals.

Smurfit had found himself low on chips when fourhanded at the final table. He went all in with 6-5 offsuit, and when the board gave him 9-8-7 for a straight, he was back in contention.

Golf fans could do a lot worse than to lose a few pots to Smurfit; he owns a popular spot called the K-Club, which happens to be the venue for the 2006 Ryder Cup!

From Westlife to Cardlife

Dublin's cardrooms are no stranger to high-profile guests, and Brian McFadden is the newest addition to the celebrity players club.

The former Westlife member was baptised in a midweek no-limit hold'em tournament and has vowed to both return and improve his game.

Craning in the Customers

The Crane Club Casino in Mullingar reports ever-increasing numbers for its Friday night tournaments. The €50 no-limit hold'em tournament, offering two rebuys and a top-up, now has field sizes approaching 50.

Friday nights apart, the plush venue, located in the town centre, is the only Irish cardroom to offer no-limit cash hold'em.

Organiser Sylvester Geoghegan has big plans for the venue, and is preparing a "Big Hitter's Weekend of Poker."

"The idea is to attract the highest-stakes players in late October or early November for a festival-style weekend, although all the action will be cash games," said Geoghegan. "Hopefully, we can supply free accommodations for the high rollers and a range of games to suit everyone – from Shifting Sands to Southern Cross."

Those interested can contact The Crane Club by telephone on: +353 (0) 44 901191, or by e-mail:

Kev 'The Pro' Killeen

Could Killeen be Ireland's next World Series of Poker main event final-table finisher? Well, according to respected player Gavin Stevens, fellow Cork resident Kevin Killeen has become one of Europe's finest players.

Killeen, who is no stranger to Dublin's cardrooms, took second place in the highly successful Irish Classics, but it is his outstanding record within the Macau Sporting Club that is catching everyone's attention.

Added to that, the player acerbically nicknamed 'The Pro' and usually clad in a denim jacket has been highly productive online, booking his place into the Ladbrokes Cruise and World Speed Poker Championships, amongst other notable achievements.

So, look out for the name Killeen in 2006, and remember, you heard it here first.

'Dangerous' Derek's Connacht Teamis Ireland's Finest

The inaugural Irish Poker Cup took place at the Merrion Casino recently, and it was watched by a host of media representatives and keen supporters.

The event, a first in Irish poker, was a provincial team tournament in which 14 players represented Leinster, captained by Christy Smith; Connacht, led by Derek "The Dangerous" Murray; Munster, fronted by Ken Corkery; and Ulster, headed by Paul Lecky.

In each team, 10 players qualified through regional leagues and four were handed wild-card entries. The 56 players represented some of Ireland's finest poker talent, and they battled for a prize pool of more than €30,000.

The first six finishers were Niall O'Flynn (representing Munster), Pat Griffin (Munster), Ken Corkery (Munster), Tommy Watson (Connacht), Chris "Mayo" Farragher (Connacht), and Conor Ainsworth (Connacht).

However, despite Munster's impressive top-three finishes, Connacht's well-hatched strategy of avoiding early eliminations and filling a number of midlevel places meant they prevailed in the overall standings, finishing with 492 points to Munster's 480. Leinster took third with 393 points, while the Ulster squad finished with 303.

A Flood of Changes for Festival

The Irish Winter Festival will once again be staged at the Merrion Casino, and not at Citwest Hotel, where the Irish Open was held in the spring.

This is not the only change to the forthcoming event. "Gentleman" Liam Flood is no longer involved in the promotion of the tournament, and the buy-in to the feature event, The Irish Masters, was increased to €4,000 due to its inclusion on the European Poker Tour (EPT).

Mags Manton, tournament coordinator, has also removed the infamous and unpopular three-blinds structure, and brought forward the starting times of all tournaments.

Meanwhile, rumours abound that next year's Winter Festival, traditionally staged in October, will be renamed the Autumn Festival.