The Irish Open is poised to attract yet another star-studded line-up.
Several top names confirmed their participation in next month’s paddypowerpoker.com-sponsored event.
Dan Harrington, the 1995 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event winner from Massachusetts, is definitely playing in the April 22-25 event, as is Hull star Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, who collected a WSOP bracelet back in 1997, and Irishman Alan Smurfit – yet another WSOP bracelet winner from 2007.
Already added to that trio is European Poker Tour winners Julian Thew, from England, and Welshman Roberto Romanello – the Prague champion from December.
Nothern Irishman Marty Smith – an Irish Open winner in 2007 – and English star Neil Channing, who won in Dublin the following year, will return, while ex-Irish international soccer player Tony Cascarino and former world snooker champ Ken Doherty will be hoping to succeed at Dublin’s Burlington Hotel in the $4500 plus $425 no limit hold’em tournament.
In other news, PokerStars is organising a massive Champion of Champions climax to their European Poker Tour’s seventh season, which will get under way on Friday, May 13, at Spain’s Casino Gran Madrid.
Fans will be happy to know that the event – to run the day after the Grand Final Main Event final table – will be filmed for broadcast, but also streamed through PokerStars.tv.
The by invitation-only tournament will see the EPT Main Event winners from seasons one to seven face each other in an exclusive freeroll to win €50,000 (approximately $70,500) worth of EPT season eight buy-ins.
The other three EPT Passports up for grabs are valued at €25,000 ($35,250) for second place, €15,000 ($21,150) for third, and €10,000 ($14,100) for fourth.
Fans can expect a stellar line-up for the 70-strong field, including the likes of Liv Boaree – after she won season six’s EPT Sanremo – Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald, Jason Mercier, following his season four success in Sanremo, Jake Cody, EPT Copenhagen winner from season one Noah Boeken, and season two’s Baden Classic winner Patrik Antonius – if he doesn’t play the Onyx Cup.
Elsewhere, The Royal Surrey – a London card room – will celebrate Easter a little bit late this year when they host a £5000 guaranteed prize pool at a very special live tournament.
There’s a £150 plus £50 buy-in (that’s about $242+$81) for the Easter Special Main Event on Saturday, April 30, although there’s more action with the Morden venue also hosting a £1500 guaranteed tournament the following Monday with a buy-in of only £20 – or about $32.
Meanwhile, PokerListings.com – the world’s biggest online poker guide – is set to buy 50% of prominent poker room Cake Poker Network.
The deal, with no figures yet available – but expected to be about $1.5million – will see the media site and poker affiliate take control of the online poker network, although neither party has commented on the proposed deal.
The Cake Poker Network includes Unabomber Poker, Red Star Poker, OnlyPoker, King Midas Poker, Victory Room, and Superpoker, among many others, although the deal won’t include LockPoker and DoylesRoom after they departed the network in 2010. DoylesRoom left for Yatahay, but did not reveal why the decision had been made.
Also excluded from the purchase will be former card room manager Lee Jones, who quit last year after a dispute with the company’s management over “strategic decisions”.
The network was criticised last year when ratings and stats website PokerTableRatings exposed a major security failing similar to the one found on the Cereus Poker Network, which could be used to reveal hole cards, passwords and usernames.
All this has seen a 30% downturn in rakes from December to about $1.1million in revenue last month.