For many players at the Irish Open, the lively cash game scene is one of the big attractions of the festival. Cash games at the Irish Open offer even more fun and banter (if that were possible!) than tournaments – where tensions can understandably run a bit on the high side, especially near the bubble.
Every night at the Irish Open, long after tournaments are winding down, cash games are buzzing and this year we’re introducing a bunch of improvements to ensure players have a truly unrivalled experience.
A whole new dedicated cash game area is being created and a new automated registration system is being introduced. This will help reduce queues and ensure that everyone who wants to play never has to wait too long.
For the 2024 festival – which runs March 25 to April 1 at the Royal Dublin Society – cash games will enjoy a huge space all to themselves with nearly 50 tables running 24/7. The cash games area will also have its own dedicated bar.
Overseeing the whole show is tournament director Rudi Zirio. Rudi said: “I love working the cash game area at the Irish Open because it’s such an amazing atmosphere. This is the #1 poker event in Ireland. No one misses this event. If you’re Irish and you like poker, then you’re there. It’s not just the poker – it’s the fact that everyone is there, all together, for eight days. It’s just great.”
Work is currently underway on a number of innovations to improve cash game registration. Plans include setting up an automated system that will enable players to register for cash games from anywhere near the venue. Irish Open organiser Paul O’Reilly said: “Our goal is to make the whole system as efficient as possible. We want to keep queues to a minimum and introduce a seamless process. Once players have registered at the cash desk for the first time, they will be able to sign up for a particular game without having to keep checking lists or hanging around the cash game area. That means players can get on with having fun in the bar or player lounge.
Cash games to suit all players
Friend of the Irish Open Martin von Zweigbergk – better known by all as Franke – loves the Irish Open cash games. Franke founded the Cash Game Festival and is an expert when it comes to knowing what makes cash games successful. He said: “In many ways, for recreational players like me, it’s the cash games that drive us to events. But we also need to be Gamble Aware so it’s important that we don’t play – or find ourselves forced to play – at high bring-ins. The Irish Open take pride in having games at all stakes – not just dangerous “nosebleed” levels. That means that those who like to play smaller stakes can find plenty of options.
“To really experience Irish Poker Open, the true “craic” is a glass of that dark brown gold, late night PLO cash games and some person trying to tell a joke to you! You laugh with them even though you didn’t understand ANYTHING due to the Irish accent. That’s the craic my friends and why we all keep coming back every year. There’s just nothing like it. Yes, we might be the fish in the pond, but still, the feeling of beating that known Irish pro by luck/suck-out/good play is priceless.”
Irish Open Ambassador and PLO cash game fan Chris Dowling added: “Since I started playing 16 years ago the cash games at the Irish Open have always been the best games. The majority of players are in holiday mode and very few are taking it too seriously. I know plenty of players who only come to the event for the cash action, especially PLO.
“This year’s going to be particular exciting because of the new cash game area. It will be great to have dedicated cash game tables and our own bar rather than competing for space with the tournaments. I know that will prove a big draw for a lot of players.”