A celebration of Irish poker
Since prehistoric times, people have celebrated equinoxes and solstices as sacred events. In secular culture, the vernal equinox is celebrated through various pagan traditions, most notably the gift of (chocolate) eggs. In Christian culture, Easter is celebrated when believers reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus.
players from all over the world descend on Dublin to kneel before the poker gods
In Ireland, a historically Catholic country, Easter has a special place in the liturgical calendar. However, for the Irish poker player, Easter weekend has a different meaning. There is still plenty of praying, pleading and cheating as players from all over the world descend on Dublin to kneel before the poker gods in the hope that their stacks can rise again.
The Irish Poker Open is one of the most popular events on the poker calendar, enjoying huge international popularity. This time last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic intensified, festival organizers quickly responded to find an online home for the event at partypoker.com. This year they have continued that relationship, with the festival running from March 26 to April 7.
Terry Rodgers started everything in 1980
Legend has it that when bookie Terry Rogers walked into the Binion's Horseshoe Casino in downtown Las Vegas in the late 1970s, he stumbled upon a high-stakes poker game. His interest was piqued when he realized that players had only two cards in their hands, and they were making any bet on the preflop and on the three streets where the common cards were dealt. At the time, stud poker and draw poker were popular in Ireland, but Rogers saw this new game, Texas Hold'em No Limit, as the future and the home he set out to spread the good word.
The 1980 Irish Poker Open, hosted by Rogers at Dublin's Eccentric Club, was born. Despite his reputation as a cheapskate, Rogers was actually considered one of the most generous bookmakers by the Vegas gambling community. He thus befriended the likes of Doyle Brunson, Puggy Pearson and Stu Angar, who came to the Irish Open in 1982 and 1983.
The history of the Irish Poker Open rollercoaster
After a decade of steady growth, the Irish Poker Open eventually outgrew the Merrion Casino and began being held at hotels. The Ballsbridge Hotel, Burlington Hotel and Citywest Hotel have taken turns hosting the extravaganza since 2006, when the field size grew from 339 players to a record 1,807 players in 2019.
The buy-in rose and fell during this period, reaching €4,200 (US$4,947) when British poker pro Neil Channing won in 2008, and dropped to €1,150 (US$1,355) in 2016, where it has remained ever since. That was when IPF Limited bought the event from PaddyPower, which helped bring the event to its peak, but also prevented it from falling.
The modest guarantee of €500,000 ($588,950) in 2016 caused surprise as some feared the worst for the once-powerful event. Fortunately, those fears were unfounded, as in the capable hands of IPF CEO J.P. McCann and company, the festival grew year after year. The 2019 Main Event prize pool reached €1.8 million ($2.12 million), the most since 2011.
COVID-19 made the festival online
Last year, the Irish Poker Open was the first major live event to be held on the cyber-field. В in conversation with VegasSlotsOnline News J.P. McCann, who is also tournament director, said that "the online Irish Open is ideal for both IPF and partypoker."
McCann has every reason to be excited about how things turned out last year. His festival's strong brand, buoyed by the online poker boom, meant players were paid €5.6 million ($6.6 million) across all tournaments in 2020 . Pablo Silva of Brazil won the main event title , beating 2,945 players to win €462,100 ($544,308).
thank partypoker for their initiative "
McCann explained how "Silva was one of 22 champions to win tournaments during the festival, including virtual versions of Irish Open classics such as the" Liam Flood Memorial "," Mini Irish Open "," JP Masters "and of course the Main Event guaranteed € 1 million ($ 1.18 million)," adding: "We would like to thank partypoker for taking the initiative to help ensure the longest running poker festival in Europe at this very challenging time.
243 players reached Day 2
Days 1A and 1B of this year's Irish Poker Open are already scheduled, with Artem Prostak from Belarus leading the tournament so far. 15% players have moved on to Day 2 and are in the money. The average stack is 1338271 chips and there are many high profile players in the top 100 of 243 players at the moment:
Day 1A - in the top 50
- Isaac Haxton. 4,202,053 chips
- Patrick Leonard. 3,435,635 chips
- Dylan Linde 3 008,209 chips
- Benjamin "Bencb" Rolle 2 090 221 chip
- Luke Greenwood. 1,431,134 chips
- Dietrich Fast 1,412,179 chips
- Conor Beresford. 1,345,112 chips
Day 1B - in the top 50
- Mark McDonnell, 4275366
- Daniel Smith 3,455,994
- Niklas Astedt 3 254 774
- Jaime Staples. 1,322061
- Alex Foxen - 1,184,343
- Riding luster 1,137,746
- David Yan 1,136,177
This afternoon, just before all the players come together for Day 2, there will be a turbo flight (Day 1C). So far 30 Irish players have made progress, including Mark McDonnell, Cathal Shine, Andy Black, Louise Butler, Padraig O'Neil, Daniel Smith and Ivan Tononi.
For Christians, Easter follows Lent, a period of 40 days (not counting Sundays) marked by penance and fasting. Most poker players have missed live poker for 400 days, and it may well be a few more months before it returns. In the meantime, at least, the Irish Poker Open and other similar online festivals are giving us a much-needed taste of the game we love. Come Wednesday night, the champion will be crowned.
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