|Leading online poker site PaddyPowerPoker.com has announced that next year’s Irish Open tournament is to be held in Dublin's Citywest hotel in order to accommodate an increased number of players.|
The $4.23 million guaranteed festival of poker is to take place over the Easter holiday from March 19 to 24 with PaddyPowerPoker.com serving as the event’s main sponsor. The Irish Open is Europe's longest running annual poker tournament and the online site said that it was forced to relocate to a larger venue in order to accommodate some 1,000 players.
'Citywest Hotel is the ideal location for the 2008 Irish Open,' said a Paddy Power spokesperson. 'We searched the length and breadth of the country to find a venue that could provide players with the famous atmosphere and communal spirit of the Irish Open while still being big enough to accommodate the huge field.'
The previous Open saw Marty Smyth defeat Roland De Wolfe in a long-running heads-up battle to claim the Terry Rogers Memorial Trophy and over $916,000 in prize money. The field featured many of the world's top poker players including Carlos Mortensen, Dan Harrington, Mike Sexton, Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Antonio Esfandiari, Dave 'Devilfish' Ulliott, Andy Black, Padraig Parkinson, Scott Gray, Ram Vaswani, David Plastik, Eddie Scharf, Surinder Sunar, Frank Cruess Callaghan, Ian Frazer, David Benyamine and Ericka Schoenberg.
Next year’s tournament will feature a buy-in of $5,922 plus $423 to give as many entrants as possible a crack at the large prizes on offer.