Party Poker Awarding Irish Poker Championship Seats
By Staff
The Irish Poker Championship is set to take place in Galway from January 2 to 5 and will feature some of the globe’s top players battling it out at the first major tournament of 2009.

Irish poker is in the ascendancy after the Emerald Isle’s domination of the recent Poker Million and the Irish Poker Championship will take place at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Galway before being televised by broadcaster RTA and then distributed internationally.

Those who have already confirmed their presence include Poker Million winner Marty Smyth, Premier League II champion Andy Black and last year’s champion Jude Ainsworth from Galway. There will also be a big international contingent including Mike Sexton, Kenna James, Dave Ulliott, Benjamin Kang, Surinder Sunar, Mickey Wernick, Alan Vinson and 2008 Irish Open champion Neil Channing.

In addition to the Main Event, the Irish Poker Championship will include a number of side events and satellites while there will be a special party on New Years Day featuring a full bar, food and entertainment. There will also be a special charity event, Poker For The Homeless, on January 4 with a percentage from each buy-in going to worthy causes in Dublin and Galway.

Last year’s winner took home $180,000 out of a prize pool worth $542,500 from the 298 competitors while the runner-up, Mike McCool from Nottingham, received a cheque for $100,000.

Online qualifiers for the Main Event have been running on since the first of the month and eleven players have already booked their spots. The package is worth $5,000 and includes the $2,800 buy-in, $1,000 in spending money and accommodation in a luxury hotel. Regular $275 Main Event online satellites are still happening every Sunday afternoon with a package awarded for every 20 players.
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