The Irish Open is well-known for making sure that pockets don’t get too stretched when it comes to tournament buy-ins. After all, players have got to have something left in their wallets to enjoy the craic at the bar.
With that in mind, this year’s Irish Open once again offers up a plentiful choice of tournaments with loads of buy-ins as little as €150, not to mention 13 super satellites on the schedule.
The Irish Poker Open is the longest-running No Limit poker tournament in Europe and one of the world’s most prestigious and lively poker festivals. This year’s festival is taking place from April 3 to April 10 at the Royal Dublin Society in Ballsbridge. In addition to the €1 million guaranteed Main Event, the packed schedule boasts nearly 40 different events.
At last year’s festival, more than €4 million was awarded in prizes with 6,247 entries across the 30 events. We’ve already thrown a spotlight on many of this year’s tournaments in our news pages, but here’s a summary of what to expect in 2023.
The €1 million guaranteed Main Event
The highlight of the Irish Open is undoubtedly the Main Event – a €1 million guaranteed extravaganza starting on April 5, held over six days and costing €1,150 to enter. What’s different about 2023 is that this year’s event is set to field a record number of qualifiers. Hundreds of players competing in the Main Event will have won their seat – or even a €2,200 prize package – online. PokerStars and Paddy Power have been running a ton of satellites to the Main Event between them while the iPoker network is likely to generate scores more.
There are four Main Event start days this year including a Day 1d Turbo. On all the start days, players kick off with a 30,000 starting stack, one re-entry per flight is permitted, and players can re-enter right up to the start of Day 2. Days 1a, 1b and 1c all have 60-minute levels and the final 1d Turbo – at 10pm on April 7 – has 20-minute levels.
Last year’s event was won by the legendary Steve O’Dwyer, an honorary Irishman who has lived in Dublin for over ten years. O’Dwyer’s bravura final table performance – which included busting every single one of his opponents – secured him a €318,700 payday. Not a big cash by O’Dwyer standards but a victory that means more to him than any other. There were 2,040 Main Event entries last year, generating a €1,989,000 prize pool.
Side events: €350 or less
A ton of tourneys are priced at €350 or less this year including the very first event on the schedule – a €350 buy-in NLH 6-max. There are even some very affordable Championship events – such as the €250 Hendon Mob Championship event and the €350 Heads-Up tournament (both on April 4), the America’s Cup on April 5, the €250 Ladies Championship on April 6 plus the €250 Liam Flood Memorial on April 9 and €250 Championship Seniors event on the final day. The two-day Mini Irish Open, which starts on April 9, also costs just €250 to enter and will give players a great taste of the full Main Event schedule at a fraction of the price. Last year’s event attracted 345 entries creating a €74k prize pool; winner Silvio Buccellia won a lifetime best cash of €14,423.
Side events: High rollers
High-stakes players also get plenty of action at this year’s festival with two High Roller tournaments on the schedule: a €5k Championship tournament starting April 4 and a €3k Championship event kicking off on April 8. There are also two satellites running for the €5k so even if you don’t class yourself as a high roller per se, you still have a chance to join the big boys!
The two High Roller events last year – the €5k Coin Rivet High Roller and a €2k High Roller – both had big fields. There were 90 entries in the €5k with London chef Alex Peffly taking home €111,835. Among those who cashed were Triple Crown winner Niall Farrell, former Irish Open Main Event champion Ian Simpson, Andrew Hulme and Paul “Top Dollar Man” Newey.
In the €2k, there were a staggering 157 entries with Danny Pyke beating Jamie Nixon heads-up for the trophy and a €65,840 first prize. More than 20 players cashed including Dominik Nitsche, Raphael Verdugo, Mitch Johnson, Mitch Hynam, Kevin O’Donnell, Andrew Hulme and MainEventTravel CEO Fraser MacIntyre.
This year’s Irish Open may be taking place at a brand new venue, but there’ll be no letting up on the cash game action! As per every other year, cash games will be running around the clock at the Irish Open. Subject to demand, all kinds of variants will be on offer, starting from €1/€2 NLH.