800+ players win their way into Irish Open Main Event

An unprecedented number of players will be competing at this year’s Irish Open for a fraction of the normal buy-in after winning their entry online.

The Irish Open’s second year of partnership with PokerStars and Paddy Power has already reaped huge rewards for players with hundreds winning full prize packages or €1,150 Main Event seats.

PokerStars sends 450+ to Irish Open

PokerStars have hosted scores of satellites – with buy-ins from as little as €1.10 as well as “free buy” satellites offering a free entry for the first bullet. More than 450 players will have qualified on PokerStars including some 40 players who snagged themselves a PokerStars Silver Pass worth $2,500. The Silver Pass winners have worked their way through various steps with many starting off their road to Dublin in Step 1 Spin and Gos costing just 50 cents to enter. Players from all over the world have qualified on PokerStars including 179 from the UK, 110 from Ireland and 13 from Canada.

There are still loads of satellites left to play on PokerStars with four seats guaranteed in tonight’s $109 qualifier (March 20), another four seats guaranteed this Friday and eight prize packages worth €1,500 guaranteed on the final night of satellites on Sunday.

Paddy Power

Paddy Power also gave a massive leg-up to players with a huge roster of satellites starting last November. Players were able to get their campaign going in tournaments costing as little as 1 cent. Close to 180 players will have qualified directly on Paddy Power. Paddy Power’s satellites are continuing with nightly satellites right up to Day 1 of the Main Event on March 27 with more than 20 seats guaranteed overall as well as five packages this Sunday (March 24). Check out their lobby for full details of feeders and satellites.


Nearly 200 players have won their seat on the iPoker network. Satellites have been running right across the iPoker network including Betfair, Betsson, Nordicbet, Boyle Sports, Holland Casino, Grosvenor Poker, Paf and Svenska Spel. iPoker players will be winging their way to Dublin from all over the world including Brazil and India as well as nearly 90 players from Ireland.

Super sats in Canada, the UK and Ireland

Online satellites haven’t been the only way players can snag a cheap entry into this year’s Main Event. For the first time ever, Canada’s famous Playground card room in Quebec ran a special Road to the Irish Open promotion with a two-step satellite structure offering players the chance to win a package for as little as C$135. Ten players will be joining us from the Playground after winning their C$6,180 prize package.

Closer to home, Dusk Till Dawn, one of the UK’s leading poker venues, ran a qualifier in early March with ten £1,500 packages guaranteed. Clubs around Ireland have also been hosting satellites including the JP Poker casino in Tallaght.

Docherty turns $109 into €365,000 win

This year’s Irish Open festival runs from March 25 to April 1 at the historic Royal Dublin Society. Last year’s Main Event was a record-breaker, with a staggering 2,491 entries creating a €2,428,725 prize pool.

The Mini Irish Open only costs €200 to enter but guarantees a whopping €500k prize pool – the largest guarantee for a buy-in of this size in Irish poker history.

A total of 350 players qualified for last year’s event on PokerStars including champion David Docherty who won €365,000 after snagging his €1,150 entry in a €109 qualifier. More than 200 won their way into the event on Paddy Power.

Event organiser Paul O’Reilly said: “Last year the Irish Open broke all records and that was certainly down to our amazing partnership with PokerStars and Paddy Power. Both sites ramped up the satellite schedule even more this year and it’s given hundreds more players the chance to compete in this year’s Main Event. This is the highest number of players that PokerStars has ever qualified for a partner event.”