Recommended live poker tournaments to play in 2017: Irish Open

Nobody was more pleased than we were when we heard the Irish Poker Open had been saved after rumours suggested 2015 would be the last year.

Actually, maybe the organisers, after a staggering 802 runners turned up to pay the €1,150 buy-in… And maybe Dan Wilson, who pocketed the €150,000 first prize. And possibly everyone else in attendance who got to experience a truly unique poker experience.

The Irish Open is Europe’s longest- running poker tournament, founded by Terry Rogers, the colourful character who was also responsible for bringing no-limit hold’em to these shores. Its history is as rich as Fedor Holz,and it’s seen poker superstars like Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, Amarillo Slim and Chip Reese make the trip across the pond. Buy-ins have fluctuated, rising to €4,500 when Neil Channing beat 666 other runners to land the trophy and the €801,400 first prize – still the biggest live cash in his career. Only 411 runners played the 2014 event as it looked like it had run out of steam. However, knowing the demand was there, new organisers Paul O’ Reilly and JP McCann stepped in, dropped the buy-in to €1,150 and helped the tournament back to its former glory.

If you’re going to play one event in 2017, we’d recommend it’s this one. You won’t find a tournament like this anywhere else in the world, and you certainly won’t replicate the field – a unique mix of plucky amateurs and well-known pros, all determined to lift the trophy but, failing that, to fill the bar and have a damn good time in defeat. The new lower buy-in makes it it looked like it had run out of steam. However, knowing the demand was there, new organisers Paul O’ Reilly and JP McCann stepped in, dropped the buy-in to €1,150 and helped the tournament back to its former glory.

Famous winners of the event include Noel Furlong (1987), Liam Flood
(1990 and 1996), Joe Beevers (2003) and Marty Smyth (2007). In 2013 Ian Simpson won it for €265k after coming fourth in 2013. He immediately proposed to his fiance at the table to complete a very memorable week.

The Irish Open is also responsible for unleashing Will Kassouf onto the poker world. After a huge cash session at The Vic in London, he decided to
buy himself into the 2009 Irish Open and came sixth for €100k. With that bankroll behind him he decided to turn pro and the rest is (very recent) history. Add your name to the history books this year and find out just how much fun a live poker tourney can be.

Satellite into the Irish Open today!

The Irish Open isn’t tied down to a single online site, which means you’ve got much more choice about where and how you try to qualify.

1. partypoker

Direct Satellite: $109

What: €1,150 Seat only

When: Every Sunday, 9pm

partypoker are guaranteeing two €1,150 seats to the 2017 Irish Poker Open every Sunday at 9pm GMT for $109. $5.50 feeder satellites run throughout the day every Sunday.

2. iPoker

Direct Satellite: $100

What: €2,500 package

When: every Sunday, 8pm

iPoker sites are running daily satellites to win a full €2,500 package to the Irish Open which includes your Main Event buy-in, five nights at the Citywest Hotel and €800 expenses to cover flights and several pints of Guinness. Daily satellites start from just €1 and lead into the €100 Final on Sunday. There are four packages guaranteed on January 29, February 5, 12, 19, 26 and March 5, and six packages guaranteed on March 12.

You can also qualify via €2.50 Twisters, which are running with jackpot odds of 5,000/1. If you don’t hit the jackpot, 20 times you’ll play for a €100 Irish Open ticket, 100 times you’ll play for a €20 ticket, 811 times you’ll play for a €10 ticket and the remainder will be for a €5 ticket.

3. Live satellites

Where: Various locations

If you don’t like playing online you can still qualify for the Irish Open, with live satellites running across Ireland at various casinos and card rooms. As the organisers say, “We have a host of venues around the country who are running satellites for the Irish Open 2016. From Cork to Donegal and Dublin to Galway, there is no shortage of venues to choose from.”

Click here for the full satellite schedule or watch this interview with 2003 Champion Joe Beevers

PokerPlayer mag can be read for free every month simply by clicking this link

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