The Irish Poker Open is the longest running No Limit Texas hold 'em poker tournament in Europe and second longest in the world after the World Series of Poker.
First organised in 1980 by Terry Rogers, a well known Irish bookmaker, the tournament is Europe's longest and a fixture on the international poker calendar. It is traditionally held over Easter weekend each year.
When Terry Rogers died in 1999 the tournament, originally held in Dublin's Eccentric Club, was hosted by tournament director and poker player Liam Flood and the Merrion Casino.
paddypowerpoker.com began sponsorship of the event in 2005 and oversaw the huge growth in the tournament. By 2006 the event, with 339 players, had outgrown the Merrion Casino and was held in Jury's Ballsbridge Hotel in Dublin. In 2007 the venue was changed to the Burlington Hotel, Dublin to accommodate the bigger field, while in 2008 and 2009 the Irish Open venue was Citywest Hotel, Dublin. In 2010 the tournament returned to the Burlington Hotel and numbers declined year on year up to 2015 which was inline with trends and decline in the online poker industry.
In 2016, the Irish Poker Open was taken over by IPF Limited and with that the Irish Poker Open returned to Citywest Hotel for a week long festival, culminating in the €500k Main Event. Since then the festival has continued to grow and now has a Guaranteed Prizepool of €1 Million with the prizepool in 2019 reaching over €1.8 million.
Irish Poker Festivals Limited (IPF Limited) is owned by Paul O'Reilly and JP McCann, who both have a long association with the Irish Poker Open. Between them there is over 40 year’s experience in organising and directing poker tournaments around Europe and the world.
Their vision is to make the Irish Poker Open the premier festival in Europe and one that caters for every buy-in range for players. “We continue to listen to all the feedback and strive to make improvements to ensure Europe’s oldest poker tournament remains the people’s tournament, with a lot of craic on the side.”
In the last decade alone, millions of Euros have been won while the heady mix of peripheral shenanigans make each festival unforgettable: all-night shuffleboard contests, world-class live-stream commentary, non-stop cash game action and even a marriage proposal. The Irish Open is a poker festival with a difference which makes it a Unique experience.