With the 2015 World Series of Poker Europe coming to a thrilling conclusion and the European Poker Tour Malta festival in full swing, it could have been easy to forget there was plenty of poker action going on in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Fortunately for all of us watching, the players from these shores decided to step up their game and give the UK & Ireland PokerNews site something to write about.
The Dublin stop of the International Poker Open (IPO) is traditionally the best-supported leg on the tour, and this year was no different, despite it having new sponsors in the shape of Full Tilt. Almost 1,400 players participated in the $250 Main Event, but there could only be one winner. That winner was Germany's Konrad Swinarski, who bulldozed his way through the final table to get his hands on $47,064 in cold, hard cash.
While Swinarski was busy making a nuisance of himself in Ireland, Darren Grosvenor was navigating his way to his first major live title in 10 years. Grosvenor was one of 274 players to exchange £220 for a generous helping of tournament chips in the Genting Poker Series (GPS) Mini Star City Main Event, and it proved to be a good decision for him to enter as he finished as top dog and banked £12,000 for his win.
Grosvenor has a good record in GPS events and should be one to watch when the 2015 GPS Grand Final heads to Sheffield in November.
Keeping with the live poker scene, news came that the popular Welshman, Roberto Romanello, reentered the top 20 in the UK Global Poker Index (GPI). Romanello narrowly missed out on securing the coveted live Triple Crown when he finished fourth in the €3,250 Pot-Limit Omaha event at the WSOP Europe, a result that netted him €40,480 and a place back among the UK's elite players.
In the online rankings, Tom "Jabracada" Hall pushed himself into the top 20 in the UK despite the fact he spends a large percentage of his time grinding satellite tournament that don't award leaderboard points. Hall is a feared figure in the UK and could possibly be one of the most underrated tournament players of his generation, a tag he's sure to shake off if he continues to grind points-awarding tournaments online.
More online poker-related news now, as this week Unibet Poker announced that the ever-popular Sam Grafton is to be a big part of their Twitch broadcasting plans. Grafton, who has more than $3.8 million in online tournament winnings, is to take to the €0.25/€0.50 and €0.50/€1 cash game tables every Wednesday evening and stream his play while answering any questions put to him by the viewers. Grafton is an energetic, lively character with a brilliant poker mind, so we see this endeavor being nothing short of amazing and something you'll want to tune in to.
One player we wish was streaming on Twitch this week is the player known as "WhatA298," thanks to him helping himself to a huge $65,512.27 score by finishing as the runner-up in the PokerStars Super Tuesday. It's been quite a year for the online player, as he won $40,000 and one million FPPs in the PokerStars Makes Millionaires promotion.
This week's Round-Up ends with two contrasting financial results from companies listed on London's stock exchange.
bwin.party digital entertainment plc, owners of the partypoker brand, released their third-quarter trading update. It showed yet another reduction in revenues, particularly in the poker division that plummetted 26 percent. The company's directors, however, showed their faith in the company by purchasing more than £250,000 worth of shares, with chief executive Norbert Teufelberger now holding some £13.64 million worth of them.
While Playtech's poker figures were also lower than the same period in 2014, its investors should be delighted with the progress the rest of the company is making. Playtech's revenues soared by an incredible 47 percent in Q3 of 2015 and the company has now matched 2014's revenues with three months of 2015 to spare.