The latest addition to the PokerStars international tournament schedule began Friday in Galway, Ireland, as 259 players took to the felt for the first leg of the PokerStars United Kingdom Ireland Poker Tour.
The first of eight tournaments on the tour, Galway drew a mix of locals and international players such as Team PokerStars Pro John Duthie, JP Kelly and noted Irish player Jude Ainsworth.
Ainsworth, who originally hails from Galway, is somewhat of a hero on the Galway poker scene thanks to his breakthrough win at the Irish Poker Championship in 2008. Ainsworth then proved that he had chops online as well by scoring a win in the $10,000 Spring Championship of Online Poker Main Event. He banked $963,338 after defeating 501 players for the impressive win.
Other top players who paid the €2,000 buy-in to see action include Donnacha O'Dea, the first member of the European Poker Hall of Fame; two-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Kelly; Liam Flood, who has just under $1 million in live tournament earnings; and 1995 WSOP Main Event third-place finisher Padraig Parkinson.
These top-flight players are mixing it up with the locals to take home a piece of the €518,000 prize pool, and all have their sights set on collecting the €120,000-plus first-place prize.
To keep up to date with tournament proceedings and view images, please keep an eye on the Pokerstars Blog, which will have all the latest news, final player numbers, player lists, payout structure and the big hits and knockouts as they happen.