Laura Cornelius - Irish Open host & presenter
Laura Cornelius has been a professional poker presenter and reporter for well over a decade including roles with Sky Poker, PokerNews and Unibet. She has loved card games since she was a child but first took up poker when a work colleague sent her some Daniel Negreanu training videos and invited her to her first game – in a secret room at a pub in Camden. Laura loved it and started going every week.
Laura trained as an actor so the transition to presenting came naturally to her. Early on in her career, she was the presenter for a late-night casino TV show and would do live on-air shifts dealing blackjack, baccarat and spinning roulette. But poker was her passion and soon she landed her first presenting role with “The Poker Player Magazine”.
In 2011, Cornelius joined PokerNews and has now worked at tournaments all over the world including the Unibet Open, the European Poker Tour, Battle of Malta and the Global Poker League. She first started hosting the Irish Open back in 2014 and loves the event for its unique ambience and the “craic”. She said: “The atmosphere is really unbeatable. Everyone talks to everyone, and the Irish make their guests feel very welcome. It’s also an amazing opportunity to catch up with lots of friends and colleagues.”
One of her favourite Irish Open moments was interviewing 2023 champion David Doherty last year after his victory. She said: “I’d already interviewed him very early on in the tournament and he told me then that he just had this feeling he was going to win. Watching him progress – and eventually take it down – was definitely quite a unique experience. Steve Dwyer’s winner interview in 2022 was also a big one – so emotional!
“It’s really very hard to pick a single favourite moment – as we all know, the Irish Open is full of amazing moments – but one of the highlights off the felt was going to Shelbourne Park Dog Track last year. We were a pretty raucous crowd and, for some reason, we were all wearing our Paddy Power-branded knickers over our trousers. A dog called “Discopants” was in the last race so obviously we all put our money on – and it came in! That was definitely a great Irish Open moment – we won a fortune!”