Rudi Zirio - Cash Games manager
Italian tournament director Rudi Zirio is a very well-known figure on the European poker circuit thanks to nearly two decades of working at major events all over the continent. He first started his career in Lugano where he worked as a casino duty manager. Poker was slowly being introduced and the Lugano venue already had a few tables however Rudi was keen to travel and decided that that he would rather work at poker festivals than a fixed venue.
Rudi has now spent some 17 years working on PokerStars’ flagship European Poker Tour, almost since the tour began. And it is through the EPT that he got to know Irish Open organiser JP McCann. When JP and Paul O’Reilly took over the running of the Irish Open, Rudi was hired as Cash Game Manager, a role he’d also been undertaking on the EPT. Nowadays Rudi is just as happy working cash games or tournaments but one thing is clear to him – the Irish Open is a very special event. He said: “I can’t pick a favourite moment – for me, it’s all of it, the ambience, the atmosphere. Trust me, we work very, very, very hard but it’s also a lot of fun. The Irish Open is not as formal as other events so you do your job well but it’s all a lot more relaxed.”
Aside from EPTs and the Irish Open, Rudi can also be seen hard at work at Winamax events in France and festivals at the Merit Casino in Cyprus.