In May 1979, Irish bookmaker Terry Rogers was in Las Vegas and had a few days to kill so he visited Binion’s Horseshoe Casino downtown and discovered a massive poker game taking place. Rogers befriended some of the players competing in the event and began spreading the world of a new game called no-limit hold’em.

Rogers then created the Irish Open, which is now the oldest poker tournament behind the World Series of Poker. Over the years, the Irish Open has welcomed some major stars through its door, including Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese and Stu Ungar.

Past winners of the Irish Open include Noel Furlong (twice), Liam Flood (twice), Joe Beevers, Marty Smyth, Neil Channing and James Mitchell.

Previous Five Irish Open Results

Year Entrants Buy-in Prize pool Champion Prize
2012 502 €3,500 €1,606,400 Kevin Vandersmissen €420,000
2013 505 €2,250 €1,010,000 Ian Simpson €265,000
2014 411 €2,250 €822,000 Patrick Clarke €200,000
2015 321 €3,500 €1,027,000 Ioannis Triantafyllidis €209,500
2016 802 €1,150 €801,500 Dan Wilson €150,000

Last year’s Irish Open was the biggest for many years in terms of number of entrants as 802 players bought in for €1,150. Dan Wilson walked away victorious in 2016, banking €150,000.

Belgium’s Kevin Vandersmissen won the biggest prize in the past five years when he turned €3,500 into a colossal €420,000 by outlasting 501 opponents in 2012. While it is very unlikely that the 2017 Irish Open will award such a princely sum to its champion, the tournament should have no problem in smashing its €500,000 guarantee.

Irish legend Dara “Doke” O’Kearney said on social media that he believes the prize pool will top €1 million.

Several side events have been completed at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, but there are more than a dozen still to run, including the €500,000 guaranteed Irish Open Main Event that runs March 30 through April 3. The buy-in for the Main Event stands at €1,150 and this relatively low-price entry should see players from Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe flock to the venue in droves.

Remaining 2017 Irish Open Events

Date Time (BST) Tournament
March 29 4 p.m. €2,060 NL Hold’em High Roller Eight-Max
6 p.m. €385 PL Omaha Six-Max
8 p.m. €120 Satellite to Irish Open
March 30 2 p.m. €1,275 NL Hold’em Irish Open Main Event Day 1a
4 p.m. €70 NL Hold’em Turbo
6 p.m. €170 PL Omaha Deepsatck Six-Max
8 p.m. €120 Satellite to Irish Open
March 31 2 p.m. €1,275 NL Hold’em Irish Open Main Event Day 1b
6 p.m. €170 Round of Each
8 p.m. €170 NL Hold’em Deepstack
April 1 2 p.m. Irish Open Main Event Day 2
2 p.m. €275 NL Hold’em Mini Irish Open
8 p.m. €170 NL Hold’em Deepstack Turbo
April 2 2 p.m. Irish Open Main Event Day 2
2 p.m. €380 NL Hold’em Liam Flood Memorial Six-Max Turbo
5 p.m. €380 NL Hold’em Seniors
6 p.m. €380 NL Hold’em Deepstack
8 p.m. €380 PL Omaha Deepstack Turbo
April 3 2 p.m. Irish Open Main Event Final Day
2 p.m. €170 NL Hold’em Deepstack Turbo
4 p.m. €385 NL Hold’em Eight Max
6 p.m. €275 PL Omaha Eigh-Max
8 p.m. €170 NL Hold’em Deepstack
April 4 2 p.m. €170 NL Hold’em Deepstack
4 p.m. €385 NL Hold’em Eight-Max
6 p.m. €1,040 PL Omaha High Roller Eight-Max
8 p.m. €170 NL Hold’em Deepstack Turbo

Running alongside the Irish Open events from April 1 through to when it concludes on April 8 is the 2017 Norwegian Championships, which is only open to residents of Norway or poker players with a Norwegian passport. These championships, held in Ireland for the past six years, are attended by more than 1,200 players and always make for a great atmosphere.