Big in Belfast

Big in Belfast



Belfast’s Cavendish Club has announced details of an enormous no-limit hold’em competition, Feb. 25–26.


With £100,000 guaranteed to the winner, The Cavendish Classic demands an entry fee of £1,500, with club owner Sean Murphy hoping for a total prize fund of £300,000.


“Following the success of the Northern Ireland Open, and due to demand, we’ve decided to go bigger and better,” explained Murphy. “Once again, we will be making a charitable donation to the Northern Ireland Hospice, although on this occasion it will be drawn from the £150 registration fee.”


The club will be providing dealers along with a players buffet. Proceedings get under way at 6 p.m., with blinds going up on an hourly basis and a 10,000-chip starting stack. and Victor Chandler will be running satellites for the Cavendish Classic that offer a package that includes airfare and accommodations.


Here today, gone …

Dealer’s-choice cash games lasted as long as an Irish summer at Dublin’s Merrion Casino — just a few weeks, to be precise. Despite appearing to be popular, the cash action has since reverted back to pot-limit hold’em and Omaha of varying sit-down amounts.


Mickey taking the … money

Northern Ireland’s Mick McCloskey had a great start to the year when becoming the latest big European online tournament winner.


He kicked off 2005 in style by landing $90,000 when settling for an equal three-way split in a $500 PokerStars event.

McCloskey also captured two land-based tournaments during 2004 — a ¤150 no-limit hold’em event at Vienna’s EWSOP and the ¤1,000 no-limit hold’em main event at Nova Gorica — earning an additional ¤25,720.


¤50 Tournament Wednesdays

Cork’s Macau Casino has introduced a weekly Wednesday night ¤50 no-limit hold’em tournament that offers a single rebuy or top-up.


Open on the box?

The rumour mill suggests that the Merrion poker online mogeqq Club’s Irish Open, scheduled for the last weekend in March, will be televised on a terrestrial channel that has not previously featured poker.


The Merrion has played host to the cameras on three previous occasions, with the 2002 Poker Tournament, the 2004 Gaming Club World Poker Championships, and the 2004 Winter Tournament (which doubled as an EPT event) all finding airtime on Sky Sports.


The most recent renewal of the Irish Open was won by Northern Ireland’s Ivan Donaghy, who immediately declared that his ¤57,000 in winnings was being used to send a close friend to Boston, Massachusetts, for lifesaving surgery.

The news immediately led to heartwarming gestures from poker players all around, who offered to boost the fund. It included a single ¤5,000 pledge from Michael Harbourne, a founding member of the Merrion Club.


The road to glory starts in Cork?

A World Series of Poker main event seat will be up for grabs in Cork during early April when a ¤150 no-limit hold’em satellite is set to take place.


Tournament league set for Fitz

Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Casino has introduced a tournament league designed to say thank you and give something back to its loyal players.


“The league is run over three-month periods and offers a nice prize donated by the club and not taken from prize pools,” explained Cardroom Manager Luke Ivory.


“The outright winner will receive ¤1,000, while the top nine finishers in the league will play off for a package that offers flights, accommodations, and entry into a UK event.”


Meanwhile, tournament action has been moved to the upper floor of the Fitzwilliam, with cash games occupying the lower level, including recently introduced ¤25 sit-down tables.


Final Comment

Woody Allen once said: “It’s very hard to get your head and heart to work together in life. In my case, they are not even friendly.”


If only the man were playing cards in Ireland, who knows what gem of a line Woody would come up with. No doubt, “stepping on toes” and “swimming in the big sea” are two phrases that would feature prominently.


You see, a masterpiece of planning recently saw the Merrion Club stage a valuable cash league that directly clashed with Cork’s end-of-year main event festival.


These things do happen, but considering that Cork has run satellites for Merrion events and even organised minibus transport to the Dublin venue, a bit of a calendar reshuffling could have surely been warranted.


Cooperation has to be the name of the game, the kind of mutual understanding that would allow the Fitzwilliam’s dealers to play in Cork, for example.


Yet, it seems that players are being guarded like military plans in a foolhardy manner last employed by cold-war generals.


I know it’s a free market, but when promoters lay claim to being poker enthusiasts whilst giving no consideration to their sizeable tournaments continually clashing, thus placing barricades on dealers and loyal customers, you really do get that oppressive, futile Eastern Block feeling.


Common folks, methinks the phrase “glasnost” should be introduced into the Irish poker vocabulary sometime very soon.

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