Irish poker pro Nick Newport has just four words of advice for poker fans hoping to compete at next year’s Irish Open – “play the online satellites!”
Newport has been playing the satellites on Paddy Power since they started in early November. With three seats guaranteed every week – one on Wednesday and two every Sunday – the sats are a great way to win your way into next year’s €1,150 Main Event.
Nick’s 2024 campaign
For the 2023 event, Newport – who plays as “NicoSanty” on Paddy Power – won a total of six seats and used five of them in the unlimited re-entry tournament. His campaign for the 2024 edition is already well under way – he won a week ago and is aiming to win a lot more over the coming months.
He said: “It just makes sense to play satellites! They tend to be a little bit softer than regular tournaments and it’s a great way to get into bigger buy-in tournaments for cheap. Satellites are also a great way to learn a bit about ICM which is very important in tournaments. They tend to have small fields so you get a lot more final tables and get a lot of experience playing on money bubbles. That is definitely all very helpful when it comes to playing the live events themselves.”
It has to be said that Newport, who lives in Dublin, is something of a satellite king and rarely competes in big live events unless he has won a prize package online.
His biggest satellite Return on Investment to date came when he won a seat in a $109 satellite for PokerStars’ 2016 Estrellas Barcelona Main Event – and finished fourth for €202,420. He also recently competed at EPT Cyprus after winning a PokerStars Power Path Gold Pass worth $10,300.
So far, Newport has notched up more than $800,000 in live tournament earnings, plus almost $2 million more online and he’s currently ranked 33rd on Ireland’s all-time money list. Playing satellites is a key part of his tournament strategy – whether the target event is live or online. It’s certainly proved effective when it comes to the Irish Open.
Nick’s 12 years of Irish Opens
Newport has been playing the Irish Open since 2011 and started qualifying online from 2012 onwards. Put another way, Newport has hardly ever paid full whack to enter the Main Event in a dozen years of taking part. He cashed at this year’s tournament, finishing 184th for €2,990 however his best Main Event result to date came in the online Irish Open held during lockdown when – as always – he satellited in and finished 68th for €5,507. He has also racked up some decent cashes in Irish Open side events. In 2018, he won the €350 Norwegian Championship NLH 8-Max for €12,985 and in 2022, made the final of the €1,100 Mystery Bounty, finishing sixth for €5,430.
Now 35, Newport first turned pro in 2010 and enjoyed a sensational breakout year – winning the Irish Masters for €125,000 and crushing on PokerStars, where he plays as “YerSoLucky”. However, after a prolonged period of playing too big, travelling too much, and taking too large a percentage of himself, his six-figure bankroll almost disappeared before he slowly grinded his way back up.
Win multiple seats – and sell them on!
He said: “Playing satellites is a no brainer. But it’s important to compete in sats where you’re allowed to win multiple seats, especially for a tournament like the Irish Open which has re-entries. You can sell any spare seats or use as credit to other eligible tournaments. That’s very beneficial.”
Next Sunday, Newport will be back online on Paddy Power trying to win a second seat and, as soon as the PokerStars satellites get underway in just a few weeks, he’ll be trying his luck in them as well.
For more info on all the different ways you can qualify for the 2024 Irish Open, click the satellites page on the Irish Open website!