Europe’s longest running poker tournament festival is set to return in March 2016 and do so with a €500,000 guaranteed Main Event.
The Irish Poker Open was started in 1980 by the legendary Irish bookmaker, Terry Rogers. It has run in Dublin each Easter weekend since its creation and has seen some of the poker world’s biggest names take part, including, Doyle Brunson, Phil Laak, Daniel Negreanu, Mike Sexton, and the late David “Devilfish” Ulliott.
Some of Ireland’s prominent poker players voiced their concerns about the future of the Irish Open as the main event’s buy-in, prize pool and attendance was falling year-on-year and one such player, Dara “Doke” O’Kearney, wrote his thoughts and experiences of the Irish Open in his popular blog, even suggesting that Paddy Power were discouraging players from playing satellites due to their policies.
He ended that blog entry by writing: “It would be truly sad for Irish (and indeed European) poker if Europe's oldest tournament were to wither further or die completely. The hope is that someone with a bit more imagination and drive than Paddy have shown in recent months will step in next year to start the revival. The fear is that this may indeed have been the funeral.”
Past 10 Irish Poker Open Main Event Results
Although The Hendon Mob database lists the 2016 Irish Poker Open as being the Paddy power Irish Poker Open, it appears that Paddy Power have washed their hands of the festival. The press release announcing the 2016 Irish Poker Open came from a non-Paddy power email address and there are no mentions of Paddy Power on the new Irish Poker Open site that is still under construction.
The press release states that the 2016 Irish Poker Open main event features a €1,150 buy-in, has a re-entry option and a €500,000 prize pool is guaranteed. The festival also has a new venue, with the City West hotel and Golf Resort in Dublin being where the action takes place between Monday 21 March and Monday 28 March, 2016.
In addition to the main event, there is to be a €2,000 High Roller, a €350 buy-in Liam Flood Memorial six-max turbo, a €350 pot limit Omaha triple chance, a €350 no limit hold’em six-max, a €350 heads-up tournament, a €250 buy-in Seniors event and a €250 Mini Irish Open.
Speaking on behalf of the Irish Open, Paul O’Reilly said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing the Irish Open back to the masses with a reduced buy in and guaranteeing a bumper prize pool of half a million euro. There will be a huge week of poker partying in Dublin and anyone who’s ever been here knows Dublin can party! We can’t wait to welcome people from all over Ireland and the World to City West for what will prove to be an amazing week-long poker event.”
UK & Ireland PokerNews has reached out to the Irish Open organisers to see if Paddy Power are still involved in some capacity and where, if anywhere, online satellites are to be hosted.