This weekend (Friday, 2nd October to Sunday, 4th October 2009) Killarney, Co. Kerry is bracing itself for the influx of Europe’s biggest poker tour ranking event for poker pros. The Ladbrokes.com Irish Poker Festival main event, which will take place in the Irish National Events Centre (I.N.E.C.), has long-since been sold out through a series of online satellites (series of winner-stays-on mini games) and a limited number of direct buy-ins.
Patrick O’Donoghue, Managing Director of the Gleneagle Hotel Group which serves as the accommodation hub for the festival said that it brought a much needed boost to the Killarney Tourism Sector on a slow October weekend. “The Ladbrokes.com Irish Poker Festival is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the beauty and opportunity which Killarney has to offer to people across Ireland and internationally,” said Mr. O’Donoghue. “The festival is in its second year and has been a fantastic success – last year there were 832 high-rolling entrants in the main tournament alone, along with all their supporters. There was also a Cork winner in 2008, but we may have a home-grown one this year, after all 2009 seems to be Kerry’s year!”
With a guaranteed prize pool of €250,000 (which last year reached €416,000) and a top prize of €100,000, the festival will be hotly contested. There are also two side-tournaments on Saturday, 3rd October and Sunday, 4th October for €270 and €150 buy-ins respectively.
The town of Killarney will be awash with high rollers and celebrities alike as Ronnie Whelan, Ken Doherty, Jimmy White, Barry Murphy (Après Match), Shane Lynch and Roy ‘The Boy’ Brindley test their wits against other poker sharks. Live bands and entertainment will take Killarney by storm for the much anticipated weekend, providing a back-drop to the tournament for those who come along to support or who exit early!