The Irish Poker Open is one of the most iconic poker tournaments in the world. It was introduced to the poker world in the early 1980s, when Terry Rodgers returned from Vegas with a dream about No Limit Hold’em tournament poker taking over the industry. Rodgers himself got the idea from Binion’s Casino in Las Vegas and is now widely credited with spreading the popularity of European poker, but there was initially a baffled reaction from players such as partypoker LIVE President John Duthie.
“Terry Rogers was the first person to bring Hold’em over to Europe.” The partypoker LIVE President and film and TV director John Duthie told us. “We were all still playing seven card stud back in the day and nobody had even heard of Hold’em. Rodgers brought it back and, of course, the rest is history."
With previous winners such as Ian Simpson, Neil Channing, Liam Flood, Joe Beevers, Marty Smith and James Mitchell, the Irish Poker Open Main Event began in 1980 and has taken place an incredible 35 times. This year, with partypoker LIVE now an official partner, Duthie believes that the festival will be bigger and better than ever before.
“The Irish love poker, the dialogue at the table is always incredibly liberating. The general party atmosphere is always good fun. There’s never a dull moment at the Irish Open.”
With satellites into the famous old tournament having taken place for months, the Citywest Hotel, which can easily cope with a massive poker crowd having done so before, will expect huge numbers. This year, The Irish Poker Open guarantee has been doubled from €500,000 to an astonishing €1,000,000. Only partypoker could take that kind of target on! Duthie is proud to associate both himself and partypoker with the legendary festival.
“The Irish Open is a tournament in my poker calendar that I’ve never missed and the reason for that is just because it’s such fun, it’s such a good craic. The whole experience is just something completely different from anywhere else on the planet.”
With the €1,150 Main Event kicking off on Wednesday 14th March, the festival itself begins with the Grand Prix Poker Tour on Wednesday 7th March, itself having a €500,000 guarantee for a low buy-in of just €220. You couldn’t get a better warm-up event for the longest running No Limit Hold’em tournament in Europe. Players are entitled to one re-entry during the Main Event, so there is an extra shot for those who are unlucky enough to bust early. With only a single re-entry permitted, the Main Event still offers amateur players just as good a chance of making their name go down in history as seasoned professionals.
Some of the most legendary players in history, such as Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson and Chip Reese all attended the Irish Poker Open at one time or another. John Duthie himself has been going for decades and that inbuilt love of playing poker in Ireland is something he wants every partypoker player to enjoy. He’s excited to be returning to the Emerald Isle.
“I feel half-Irish. It’s great that partypoker LIVE are involved and I think it’ll add to the success of the event to have partypoker as allies. It’s a very well-run tournament and Citywest is a great venue. There’s also a golf course on the doorstep, there are spas, there’s a lot going on around the event itself. There’s always music, parties and gatherings in Ireland. It’s unique and you feel part of a community.”
As always, the partypoker LIVE team can’t wait to meet new players along with regulars from past events in Ireland at this year’s Irish Poker Open. If you’re longing for the kind of live poker atmosphere that nowhere in the world can replicate, Dublin is the place to be over the next few weeks with partypoker LIVE!
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- Василь Личко
- Elena Kurennaya