Irish poker has a new event and a new five-star venue. Organized by the Irish Poker Tour – an operation currently hosting the Killarney Poker Festival – the Irish Poker Festival has been a late addition to the European poker calendar. It will take place during the first week of November and feature €1 million in tournament guarantees.
Given the tagline ‘Ireland’s largest buy-in tournament’, a €3,000 entry No Limit Hold’em competition is the Irish Poker Festival’s showstopper. It comes with an individual guarantee of €700,000. Additional €100,000 guaranteed prize pools will be applied to a €550 entry Grand Prix event and €2,500 entry High Roller.
Other highlights of the festival – that numbers 14 tournaments and will take place in the five-star Intercontinental Hotel – include the €50,000 guaranteed €400 entry Mystery Bounty and the €750 entry Dublin Poker Cup. It also carries a €50,000 guarantee.
Satellites Set to Take Off Soon
Irish Poker Festival organizers have arranged for Main Event satellites to be staged at Dublin’s Sporting Emporium Casino, Cork’s Macau Casino, Galway’s Eglinton Card Room & Casino and Card Casino Bratislava during October.
The best online poker sites will also allow players to play the event via satellites. Party Poker’s qualifiers, starting at $0.01, include five nights’ accommodation at the Intercontinental Hotel and €500 spending money.
Dutch Classic in Name and Nature
It is a very different story in Amsterdam. Holland Casinos established November 10-18 dates for its Masterclassics of Poker – a festival that dates back to 1992 – at the start of the year. However, the full schedule of events has only just been released.
Holland Casinos, the Dutch state-owned company that runs 14 casinos in Holland, has prepared a packed Masterclassics program. It features two-day No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha events, a €4,000 entry High Roller, bounty tournaments, hyper turbos and satellites for lower stakes players.
The Main Event is once again a €3,000 No Limit Hold’em. Frenchman Julien Sitbon won the tournament in 2022, claiming the €237,808 winner’s prize after topping a 498-entry field. Sitbon joined the likes of Bas de Laat, Jussi Nevanlina, Ram Vaswani, Noah Boeken, Robert Mizrachi, and Ole Schemion on the prestigious Masterclassics Roll of Honour.
Karen Has Irish Open on a Plate
As always, Masterclassics field sizes are limited, and all seats will be sold out in advance. It means no operators are hosting online satellites for the event. All tournament winners will receive a ‘bordje’ – a commemorative dinner-style plate – a longstanding and unique Masterclassics tradition.
This week, it was announced that Karen Muir, an Irish player who won a ‘bordje’ in 2017, has been appointed as an Irish Open ambassador. Her new role involves “raising awareness of the Irish Poker Open both at home and overseas and helping to promote the event to her wide network of female players.”
Following the success of the 2023 Irish Open, it has also been confirmed the 2024 event will take place at Dublin’s RDS (Royal Dublin Society) for a second successive year. March 25 until April 1 has been confirmed as the dates for Europe’s longest-running poker festival.
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