Ten times World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth Jr has been installed by the event's sponsors, Paddy Power, as the early favourite for the 2007 Irish Open. Hellmuth, the so called 'poker brat', has been priced at 66-1 by the leading Irish bookmakers for the €3,300 (+€200reg) Main Event, which takes place over the Easter weekend at Dublin's luxurious Burlington Hotel.
Hellmuth, who joined poker legends Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson on ten bracelets during the 2006 World Series, has earned the nickname 'the poker brat' for his public displays of emotion. It is unlikely he will find much to complain about at this year's event, the tournament playing area is situated inside the famous Burlington ballroom within the hotel itself. The ballroom has a capacity of 700, which will provide players the space and comfort required to enjoy one of the highlights of the European festival calendar.
With a €2 Million guaranteed prize pool and the final table broadcast live across Europe on Sky Sports, the 2007 event is sure to attract a field containing the biggest names in poker. The Irish Open is Europe's longest established poker tournament and has a well earned reputation for being Europe's friendliest poker festival. The event was first held in 1981 by Irish legend Terry Rogers and some of the biggest names in the history of poker have participated, Stu Ungar, 'Amarillo Slim' Preston and Puggy Pearson are just some of the players to journey to the Emerald Isle to compete.
The Irish will be hoping for a repeat of 2006 where Dubliner Vincent Melinn kept the trophy on home turf by defeating a record breaking field of 339 and winning €350,000 at the final table. Qualifying competitions are running daily at the event sponsor's online poker room where entry can be won for as little as $1. Land based satellites will be running across Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe in the months leading up to the event.
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