Europe's longest-running poker tournament, the Irish Open, returns on April 3 with the 34th installment of arguably the most fun live event of the year.
First organized in 1981 by legendary bookmaker Terry Rogers, the Irish Open has grown in size and stature and is now one of the must-play live poker tournaments in the world each year. Now sponsored by Irish gambling giant Paddy Power, the 2015 edition of the Irish Open will cost €3,500 to enter. For that buy-in, players will receive a generous helping of 30,000 chips and play to 60-minute blinds.
When the Irish Open ran in 2014 it was Patrick Clarke who emerged victorious and walked away with the massive €200,000 first prize. However, Clarke was credited with €250,000 thanks to Paddy Power Poker gifting him an additional €50,000 courtesy of him being the last Paddy Power Poker qualifier in the field — Clarke has qualified for only €4.
Clarke should be at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Dublin in an attempt to defend his title, but he'll have a hard time doing so when you consider the best of UK and Ireland poker looks set to descend on the Irish capital. Plus, you've got the likes of international stars Mike Sexton and Kara Scott coming out to battle.
In addition to the eagerly anticipated four-day Main Event, April 4 will have the €1,125 Liam Flood Memorial tournament, and it is sure to be one of the best attended on the schedule. Flood, one of poker's true legends, won the Irish Open in 1990 and again in 1996 (he also finished second in 1984), but "The Gentleman" sadly passed away on August 16, 2014, at age 71.
With pot-limit Omaha, turbo tournaments, "win the button," and an Irish Open "Mini," and more on the agenda there is something for everyone to get their teeth into April 3-6.
2015 Paddy Power Poker Irish Open Schedule
|Thursday, April 2||7 p.m.||€225 Rebuy Super Satellite to Irish Open Main Event|
|Friday, April 3||1 p.m.||€3,500 Irish Open Main Event — Day 1|
|8 p.m.||€115 with €50 Rebuys Satellite to Liam Flood Memorial|
|Saturday, April 4||12 p.m.||Irish Open Main Event — Day 2|
|2 p.m.||€1,125 Liam Flood Memorial — Day 1|
|8 p.m.||€225 Turbo Win the Button|
|Sunday, April 5||12 p.m.||Irish Open Main Event — Day 3|
|1 p.m.||Liam Flood Memorial — Day 2|
|1 p.m.||€335 Irish Open Mini — Day 1|
|3 p.m.||€785 Pot-Limit Omaha Double Chance|
|8 p.m.||€170 NL Hold'em Turbo|
|Monday, April 6||12 p.m.||Irish Open Main Event — Day 4|
|1 p.m.||Irish Open Mini — Day 2|
|2 p.m.||€175 NL Hold'em Scalps|
Are you heading to the 2015 Irish Open? Are you confident of following in the footsteps of past champions such as Flood, Neil Channing, Marty Smyth, and James Mitchell? Let us know in the comments box below.
Image courtesy of poker.paddypower.com.