Karen Muir – flying the Irish Open flag at Queens of Tallinn festival

Irish Open Ambassador Karen Muir was flying the flag for Ireland and the Irish Open last weekend when she competed at Queens of Tallinn, the first women-only poker festival in Northern Europe.“When you tell people about the Irish Open, the reaction is always very positive

The festival, hosted by OlyBet and the Olympic Park Casino in Tallinn’s luxurious Hilton Hotel from November 30 to December 3, was held as a celebration of women in poker and featured 11 different tournaments as well as 24-hour cash games.

Karen travelled to Estonia with poker buddy Jenny Steele and was determined not only to cash at the four-day event, but to spread the word about next year’s Irish Open.

“The Two Irish”

Irish Open Ambassador Karen Muir and Jenny Steele at Queens of Tallinn

Karen and Jenny were the only Irish players competing at the event and were dubbed “the two Irish” wherever they went. Karen said: “I knew a lot of the women from social media but it was great to finally get to meet them face to face. We had a lot of fun and Tallinn is just so lovely at this time of year with all the Christmas markets.”

She added: “I also really wanted to know what the experience would be like – not just playing a single ladies’ tournament but competing at a full women-only festival. It’s also great to get in at the beginning of something and I think this festival will grow and grow.

“There was a real mix of players competing as lots of the women had qualified online and hadn’t played much live poker at all while others were very experienced. But the atmosphere was fantastic and it was really well-organised. Instead of trophies, the winners of all the events were given beautiful necklaces including a gold necklace for the Main Event winner Marta Porter.”

Enjoying the craic in the side events

Although Karen failed to snag a Queens of Tallinn necklace for herself, she didn’t leave empty-handed after cashing twice in side events including third place in the €60 NLH / PLO4 Mix.

Irish Open branded bubbly at Queens of Tallinn

The highlight of the festival though was the Mini Main held on the last day when she and Jenny Steele ended up heads-up – with Jenny triumphing for the title, cash prize and coveted prize necklace.

She said: “It was actually the second time that weekend that Jenny knocked me out as she also knocked me out of the Main Event!” Despite not making the money in the Main Event, Karen had a treat in store for the bubble girl with a €250 Irish Open Ladies Event ticket worth going to Estonia’s Marian Bastamow-Sinkko.

The Queens of Tallinn festival attracted a bunch of well-known players from all over Europe including Fantastic Ladies in Poker founder Daiva Byrne, Michelle Bricknell, Kairit Leibold and former Miss Finland Sara Chafak.

The festival was Karen’s first event in Europe as Irish Open Ambassador and she loved the experience. She said: “There is always such a positive reaction when you talk about the Irish Open and I hope to see a lot of the players that I met in Tallinn come over for our festival next Spring.”

The 2024 Irish Open runs March 25 to April 1 at the Royal Dublin Society with 35 different tournaments including the €250 buy-in Ladies Event, the €500,000 guaranteed Mini Irish Open and the €1,150 buy-in, €1 million guaranteed Main Event. Satellites are running now on Paddy Power poker and are set to launch on PokerStars.