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Irish News

by Roy Brindley |  Published: Apr 06, 2005


First Festival for the Fitz
The Fitzwilliam Casino in Dublin will be staging its first festival. From April 27 to May 2, three 50, a 100, a

250, and a 350 tournament will take place, with all but one being no-limit hold'em. The odd one out is a pot-limit hold'em/Omaha round of each.

As yet, there is no word on an event sponsor, although sponsorship is described as a "distinct possibility." Field sizes are expected to be in treble digits for the larger competitions, and could well be the same for the smaller events.

Merrion's WSOP Satellite
Dublin's Merrion Casino will again be staging what is expected to be Europe's largest land-based satellite for the World Series of Poker when a minimum of four tickets are expected to be given away on Thursday, June 9.

The buy-in for the no-limit hold'em tournament is 330 with rebuys. The casino is guaranteeing two seats, as was the case last year when a total of five places were won.

Amongst last year's ticket winners was "Big Al" Kelleher, who took home $125,780 for a fourth-place effort in a $3,000 hold'em tournament preceding the "big one."

Viva Las Vegas in Cork
Cork's Macau Casino stages its "Viva Las Vegas" World Series satellite during the weekend of April 29-May 1.

Daily qualifiers demanding a 150 entry fee and offering the usual top-ups and add-ons will be played down until a final 20 percent of the field remains. These successful players will then proceed to the final stage on the evening of Sunday, May 1.

"Last year we generated two tickets," explained Casino Manager Ken Cockery. "So, all being well, it's hoped we can send three or even four players to the World Series."

Meanwhile, has been confirmed as the sponsor of Cork's Irish Classic, which takes place July 28-31.

"The site is adding 5,000 to the main event, which will be 500 no-limit hold'em," said Cockery. "In return, we are installing eight terminals on our upper floor for customers' use."

Irish Poker Tour Off to a Great Start

The first event in the Victor Chandler-sponsored Irish Poker Tour was an unqualified success, with 150 players paying a 250 entry into the freezeout tournament at Galway's Westwood Hotel.

All participants were obviously looking to book their place in the 100,000 guaranteed final, restricted to 16 players, to be staged in Dublin June 10-11.

On this occasion, and after 16 hours of play, it was Derek "The Dangerous" Murray who took the title and trophy as part of an agreement that saw him split 8,000 with runner-up Enda "The Hulk" Moran. The pair will be joined by third-place finisher Aiden Power in the grand final, where a seat is obviously worth 6,250.

The next round of qualifiers will take place in Cork's Rochestown Park Hotel April 15-16, followed by Dublin's Citywest Hotel May 27-28.

In between those dates, 50 feeder satellites will be staged at Galway's Westwood Hotel and Cork's Macau Casino on Wednesday nights. Plus, there are also fortnightly qualifiers on Thursdays at Dublin's Red Cow Hotel.

The Irish Poker Tour's organiser, Fintan Gavin, who has understandably taken a great deal of pride in seeing his vision of a tournament "for the people" come together, commented: "The plan was to introduce the man in the street to tournament poker and to give local players [referring to his hometown of Galway] the opportunity to go forward and compete on the worldwide stage.

"Nothing like this has happened on Ireland's west coast before, and we are now delighted to have the support of the entire Irish poker community." Gavin also praised Tournament Director Donal Macaonaghusa and his assistant, Richard Neilson.

Equally happy is Ian Marmion, head of sponsor Victor Chandler Ireland, who explained: "Galway will act as our model benchmark for the Irish Poker Tour, as it was such a successful night for We are overwhelmed and delighted by the response and the level of interest in our tournament."

VC Poker is offering satellites for future Irish Poker Tour legs starting at $3, while also offering a free £5,000 entry ticket for the outright winner in the 2005 Victor Cup.

Serious Numbers at Dublin's Trinity College

Victor Chandler, under the guise of VC Student Poker, has also backed the Trinity College Card Society's 270-runner event at the Gresham Hotel in Dublin.

William Whelan, a 20-year-old commerce student, landed the 1,500 first prize for the 20 entry fee event. The youngster began playing in the Fitzwilliam Casino but has become more and more of an Internet player in recent months. He stated, "There's nothing to beat a live win, and this was the biggest adrenaline rush I've ever had." One suspects that Whelan may return to his roots.

Trinity College's Card Society boasts the biggest numbers in Ireland, with 645 members – a figure it expects will swell as the year progresses. Meanwhile, VC's Rakesh Chablani is reported as saying VC Student Poker has 4,500 registered student users, with 2,500 of them playing regularly. ´

Serial tournament winner Roy "The Boy" Brindley is sponsored by and writes courtesy of