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How Poker Became Popular In Ireland

The Irish Poker Open Has Run Since 1981


When did poker become popular in Ireland? Irish gamblers were the most daring before the Scandinavians stripped them of this title. They would risk it all. We’ve had a few poker stars from Ireland with Noel Furlong’s 1999 World Series of Poker trophy being the most memorable one. It is believed that Terry Rogers is the one who introduced no-limit hold’em to Ireland. It was a rather accidental discovery. Terry was a businessman who loved trying his hand at poker tables on the side.

While on one of his business trips to the USA in 1979, he had a few days off and saw it wise killing time in a Vegas casino where he played this game. The Eccentrics Club was born. All the biggest poker players in Ireland of that time would come together for an annual tournament. Together with Furlong who took the day, two more members of the Eccentric Club made it to the WSOP poker championship in 1999.

How Poker Became Popular In Ireland

Poker is tied to the Irish Culture. In his essay on entomology, Daniel Cassidy shares his fascinating discovery on how the modern-day poker game has its root in the Irish game poca. Poca translates to “pocketing”. In this game, players would bet against each other, pocketing the money, unlike today where we all bet against the house. Modern-day poker, the French poque and pochen are all believed to have originated from Ireland. There’s even an Irish Poker drinking game where players must take a drink with each hand lost. Ireland is famous for its numerous pubs and drinking culture you know.

Online Poker Rooms Made Poker Accessible To The Masses

Gambling on poker is popular in Ireland – it’s second to sports betting. Poker rooms hosted online have a larger market share than land-based ones. They’re considerably cheaper than brick and mortar ones as they don’t have to rent a premise. There are numerous poker rooms with the best internet casino having generous welcome offers. Most casinos are found in Dublin. Online ones aren’t geographically limited. You can wager from anywhere as long as there’s an active internet connection. You won’t incur transport costs and maybe parking fees either.

All The Big Poker Rooms Host Irish Poker

Irish Poker is thought to be a blend of Texas hold’em and Omaha, taking the best from each. Today, all the big poker rooms host Irish poker making it accessible to the masses.

Poker Is Regulated In Ireland

Poker gambling is legal In Ireland and at least 5 government authorities are regulating it. Players have peace of mind knowing that they’re playing at a casino that has been vetted. Even though this is not a requirement, poker rooms are assessed by third parties like Fair Play that guarantee that their algorithms are indeed random. The ORNL that was enacted in 2013 regulates all gambling-related activities. We even have the ASA ensuring that poker isn’t aggressively advertised to the public.

Poker Tournaments And Events Are Held On The Regular

We’ve had four seasons of the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) where small poker events are held across multiple locations. On each tour, nine poker tournaments are arranged by PokerStars in different cities in Ireland and the UK.

The Irish Poker Open holds the record for being the longest-running poker festival in Europe It attracts poker stars from all over the globe and can only be compared to the WSOP.