Guinness Flows as Irish Poker Open Gets Underway in Dublin

April 3rd, 2015 | by Greg Shaun
2015 Irish Poker Open

Let the craicing begin: the Irish Poker Open is underway and continues through Monday.  (Image: Kyran O’Brien)

The Irish Poker Open, Europe’s longest-running live poker event, gets underway today inside Dublin’s Double Tree by Hilton Hotel. The  series is backed by Paddy Power and set to welcome a slew of travelling pros, including Irish Open regular Mike Sexton.

With players flying in from the four corners of the globe, the famous Irish “craic” will no doubt be on display as the chips fly and the Guinness flows. Last year the €2,250 ($2,447) Main Event attracted 411 players, and when the betting was over, it was Patrick Clarke who walked away with the trophy.

Clarke’s Impressive Spin Up

The local man managed to qualify for the tournament via one of Paddy Power’s €4 ($4.35) online satellites, which not only meant he bagged a huge return on his investment, but a €50,000 ($54,398) bonus for being Paddy Power’s Sole Survivor (the longest surviving online qualifier).

Clarke’s crowning moment came after a back-and-forth battle with Dave Pollock. The final hand saw Clarke’s Kd 8d maintain its lead against Pollock’s Qc 7c after the board ran out: 2h 7s, Ks 4h, Jh. That pot clinched Clarke his first Irish Open title, as well as an overall prize worth €250,000 ($272,084)

Improved Roster of Events

This time around, the Main Event will cost €3,500 ($3,800) to enter, but the organizers are hopeful the turnout will be just as impressive as last year.

“We’ve put together great schedule of side events for the Open which should cater for everyone in attendance. This year we’re expecting the prizepool to increase significantly which will no doubt lead to a bigger and better event,” said Paddy Power’s Patrick Thornton.

In fact, to bolster the event’s overall appeal, there will be a full menu of side events also taking place between April 3 and April 6. As well as a €1,000 ($1,087) memorial event for one of Ireland’s legendary players who died in 2014, Liam Flood, players can also ante-up in the €335 ($364) Mini Irish Open and the €785 ($854) PLO event, among others.

Irish Open Schedule of Events

Friday April 3:
13:00 Irish Open Main Event (4 Day Event) – €3,500 ($3,800)

Saturday April 4:
15:00 NLHE Freezeout – €1,125 ($1,223)
20:00 Turbo ‘Win the Button’ NLHE – €225 ($244)

Sunday April 5:
13:00 Irish Open ‘Mini’ – €335 ($364)
13:00 NLHE Freezeout Day 2
17:00 Pot Limit Omaha Double Chance – €785 ($854)
20:00 NLHE Turbo – €170 ($185)

Monday April 6:
13:00 Irish Open ‘Mini’ Day 2
14:00 NLHE ‘Scalps’ – €125 ($136) + €25 ($27) + €20 ($21)

History of the Irish Poker Open

In addition to being known as the most entertaining poker festival in the world, the Irish Poker Open is also one of the oldest. Confirmed as the longest-running major poker tournament in Europe, the event was first set up in 1981 by Terry Rogers.

After a trip to Vegas, the Irish poker player befriended the likes of Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, and Benny Binion, who showed him the virtues of No Limit Texas Hold’em. Falling in love with the game, Rogers took the variant (which wasn’t played much outside of the US at the time) back to Ireland and set up the Irish Open.

Since its initial outing, the event has attracted players from across Europe and the US, including the aforementioned Brunson and Sexton, as well as poker legend Amarillo Slim.

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