Dublin’s Merrion Casino

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U2’s Edge Could be a Player

Last month the Merrion slot88 played host to the rock group U2 for a night. The group had been in town performing live from their studios for a Radio 1 special earlier in the evening.


“We did have an inkling they were coming,” said Mags Manton, cardroom manager at the venue. “But they had asked for their visit to be kept under wraps with no press or cameras.


“Although it was only a brief stay, ‘The Edge’ [a band member] showed more than a passing interest in Texas hold’em, and I’d say there is every chance we might be seeing him again soon.”


Dealer’s Choice

The Merion has become the first Irish venue to offer dealer’s choice games as opposed to the traditional unique casino, four-card Omaha, or a round of each. The newly introduced games are seven-card stud, five-card Omaha, and four-card Irish, all high only.


Meanwhile, an extremely large cash game is being staged at the venue on Tuesday nights. Unfortunately, entry is limited — as it is played and organised exclusively by the Chinese community — and one can only speculate on what type of poker is actually played. Basically, it starts with a left-handed deal, it’s noisy, and things get more and more confused from that point on.


Automatic Shuffle Means More Play

More hands per hour are likely to be played at the Merrion in the future with the introduction of automatic shuffling machines. “We have taken just one automated shuffler on a trial basis,” explained Mags Manton. “Should they go down well with the players, we will use them on all tournament tables and possibly on the cash-game tables.


“The shufflers should not be a distraction, as they will work under the table and they allow far more hands to be played per hour, because they shuffle one deck as another is being dealt.”


Beginners Night

The Merrion’s general manager, Dara Hanlon, is hosting small-stakes cash game nights for beginners on Mondays and Thursdays. “The sit down is just 50 and the games are bringing in a new breed of up-and-coming cash-game players,” she stated. “We have a lot of fun, give out lots of free meals, and can boast Ken Docherty [former world champion snooker player] amongst our numbers.”



Current promotions at the Merrion include a minimum 1,000 bad-beat jackpot when four of a kind is beaten by a straight flush, and a tournament league that requires players to participate in at least 30 tournaments by May in order to qualify for a playoff, in which the added prize is a holiday for two to Greece.


Dublin Fitzwilliam Card Club

Upstairs, Downstairs

There are no frills and no gimmicks, just poker, and lots of it. That seems to be the way of things at the Fitzwilliam, whose management’s response to the question “Any news?” was, “Take a look upstairs.”


At press time, “upstairs” consisted of four fully laden tournament tables, plus a buffet hurriedly organised for an ever-popular end-of-the-month 250 tournament.


Further inspection showed unfurnished floors and half-painted walls, walls that have an unusual number of plug and phone sockets — the type of sockets that Internet connections are plugged into; the type of Internet connections that allow you to play online poker. Strange!


The place has clearly prospered since its opening, despite hiccups, and the opening of the second floor will double the number of card tables available to the faithful regulars.


Here, There, and Back Again

Scotty Grey, once a die-hard live game “worker,” has all but disappeared from the scene, as he apparently set up shop online and is doing particularly well for himself.


His company will be missed, although returning phoenix-like as a replacement is Anthony “Don” Fagan, one of Dublin’s “old-school” who’s been to the Internet and is planning a return.


Don plans to continue his Internet activities — specialising in big multitable tournaments — whilst playing “a lot more poker on the big stage.” To underline his intentions, Don joined Irish players Padraig Parkinson and Donnacha O’Dea at the Foxwoods leg of the WPT toward year’s end.


Another familiar face to Fitzwilliam players and Parisians alike, Peter Roche, might also be boxing shy, as word is that he is on the verge of a big dot.com breakthrough.


Cork Macau Casino

Europe’s Fastest Growing Cardroom?

Cork’s Macau Casino, despite occupying its current premises for less than six months, may have to consider expansion as tournament field sizes grow and grow.


“Every week, the numbers increase,” said General Manager Ken Corkery. “We are up to 60 entrants for tournaments now, and there is no sign of a slowdown. Don’t get me wrong, we are not complaining; it’s great for everyone.”


Monthly Tournament Next

Falling in line with other Irish venues, the Macau is about to introduce a monthly 250 no-limit hold’em tournament. That will complement tournament and cash-game leagues, which are played out every four months.


The prize pools for these leagues is accumulated through a 10 percent skim of tournaments, rake from cash pots, and an added 10 percent by the club. It combines to make a tidy sum.


Sean “The Taxi”

There wasn’t one, but if there was, Sean “The Taxi” Coughlin would have been the worthy recipient of the “most improved Cork player award” for 2004. An eighth-place effort in the Irish Masters EPT tournament added to his three in-the-money finishes at the Barcelona Open. That’s not bad for a player who once struggled to put down bottom pair in Omaha.


Phone Number

The Macau Sporting Club has a new phone number:

+353 21 4530477


Belfast Cavendish Club

The Cavendish Club Classic mooted here last month is going ahead as planned about judi poker online pkv, albeit at a later time slot — Jan. 28–29. The field size is limited to 200 players paying a £1,500 (plus £150 registration fee) offering, for a prize pool of £300,000.


… and Finally

Many would be surprised to discover that the Isle of Man — that small island with a 76,000 population, situated somewhere between County Armagh and the westerly winds of Sellafield (sorry, Windscale) — does not boast a cardroom.


The island was, of course, the venue for the first Poker Million. But despite that competition’s success and the Hilton/Gala Casino remaining very active, poker is not on the agenda.


There is, however, an enthusiastic band of die-hard poker players who meet and play on a weekly basis at the home of Paul Maughold near Ramsey, about a 25-minute drive north from the capital, Douglas.


With numbers approaching 30, the Friday night no-limit hold’em tournaments can create a tidy prize pool, although Maughold’s girlfriend, Suzanne, likes to keep the prize fund at home — and often does!


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