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Irish Open Successes

by Brendan Murray |  Published: Jun 01, 2012

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While numbers may have been down, reflecting the broader economic downturn perhaps, the Irish Open was again a triumph on several levels showing why the tournament that brought hold’em poker to Europe is still not only relevant but vital.

Firstly the number of quality overseas players who made the trip was up considerably, itself reflecting the broader poker climate where players are having to travel greater distances to get decent action since online poker has flatlined.

More significantly though, at least for this sometimes jaded old hack, was the sterling online media coverage which was one of the best I’ve yet witnessed.
Incorporating the usual blog, Twitter, forum, and streaming platforms the coverage managed to breathe new life into what is now all too often a moribund, neglected format.

It moved fluidly and energetically between roving live reporters on the tournament floor and expert hand analysis in a makeshift bar area, live final table betting with hole cards to on-the-fly interviews with some of poker’s most recognisable names.

With the game at a crossroads around the world there was no better advertisement for the colour and drama of poker than paddypowerpoker.com’s coverage over Easter weekend and many online poker operators would do well to buck up their ideas, show some passion and provide genuine entertainment like that provided by this year’s Irish Open.

There’s no tournament like it and it’s proof positive that live poker can still innovate online.

Full Tilt Fever

At the time of writing speculation was mounting about the possible return of Full Tilt Poker, or at least a version thereof. As reported in this issue, Pocket Kings, the Full Tilt company based in Ireland which effectively ran the site, has been advertising short-term contract roles on various job websites.

Also there has been some activity relating to company registrations and an Alderney license application that look promising without any announcement having been made that a deal has been reached to salvage the company.

By the time you read this we may know a great deal more about the fate of the company, the players’ money which has been locked down, and the fate of the principals behind poker’s worst ever scandal.

Or we may not.

In what has become the longest dwell up in poker history it seems the clock is about to be called and the main protagonists will have to showdown their hands. Let’s hope the hand that wins is one which will rake in a pot that satisfies every player affected by this blight on the game.

WSOP One Drop

As we were going to press a number of European players were confirmed for the $1 million buy-in One Drop charity tournament at this year’s World Series of Poker. They include Patrik Antonius, Gus Hansen, Bertrand Grospellier, and Arnaud Mimran.

The tournament will award the highest first prize in the history of poker and generate at least $3 million for charity. Thirty players have been confirmed with the goal to attract 48 and whatever happens we’ll have a new all-time tournament earnings leader, even if they’ve never won a poker tournament before! ♠