Tuesday 28th February, 2023

Irish Open 2023 highlights: High Rollers

By Mad Harper

A veritable feast of High Roller action is on the schedule at this year’s Irish Poker Open in Dublin. The packed calendar features both a €5k tournament on April 4 and a €3k event four days later.


This year’s Irish Open is taking place from April 3 to 10 at the Royal Dublin Society. MainEventTravel.com is the Official Travel Partner for the Irish Open with a whole bunch of special deals for this year’s event offering accommodation and buy-in combined.


High Rollers are increasingly popular at the Irish Open and starting to attract seriously big fields. This year seems likely to break records once again.


The history of High Rollers at the Irish Open is the history of the event itself. For years the Main Event buy-in was €3,500 and there was very rarely a High Roller on the schedule. However, when JP McCann and Paul O’Reilly started running the Irish Open in 2016, they were determined to bring the Main Event back to a more affordable level while also creating a true festival of poker to suit bankrolls of all kinds.


They brought the Main Event buy-in down to the current €1,150 while also adding a High Roller to whet the appetites of players with bigger funds. It’s a formula that has really worked and both the Main Event and the High Roller continue to increase in size.


The first €2k High Roller attracted a modest field – 28 entries – but the word was out and the following year, numbers and prize pools were up significantly. Kevin Killeen, (pictured below) who finished third in 2016, beat a 66-entry field to win a substantial €38,585 first prize. In 2018, numbers were up again with 70 entries. 


In 2019, the High Roller attracted 84 entries with champion Max Silver, (pictured) Ireland’s #1 live tournament player, wining €45,130, another event record. (Silver also went on to finish seventh in that year’s Main Event). A list of the finalists in the 2019 High Roller also shows just how competitive and prestigious the tournament had now become: Benny Glaser, Patrice Brandt, Andy Black, Marc MacDonnell, Keith Johnson, Orjan Skommo, Dan Wilson and Ankit Ahuja.


Huge High Roller fields in 2022

After two years online during the pandemic, it was clear that players were getting pretty thirsty for live High Rollers. The two High Rollers in 2022 – the €5k Coin Rivet High Roller and a €2k High Roller – both had big fields. There were 90 entries in the €5k with London chef Alex Peffly (pictured with Christos Xanthopoulos) taking home €111,835. Among those who cashed were Triple Crown winner Niall Farrell, former Irish Open Main Event champion Ian Simpson, Andrew Hulme and Paul “Top Dollar Man” Newey.


In the 2022 €2k, there were a staggering 157 entries with Danny Pyke beating Jamie Nixon heads-up for the trophy and a €65,840 first prize. More than 20 players cashed including Dominik Nitsche, Raphael Verdugo, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Hynam, Kevin O’Donnell, Andrew Hulme and MainEventTravel CEO Fraser MacIntyre.




This year’s Irish Open is taking place from April 3 to 10 at the Royal Dublin Society and   whether you’re a once-a-year kind of player or seasoned pro, MainEventTravel.com has a whole bunch of special deals for this year’s event.


Once again, the High Roller events look set to attract record fields. For full details, please see the Irish Open schedule. You can buy-in to the High Rollers on MainEventTravel and save carrying currency abroad! 

April 4: €5k High Roller 8-Max – 2 days - 50,000 chips – 40 min clock

April 8: €3k High Roller 8-max – 2 days - 30,000 chips – 40 min clock

Photo Credit: Irish Poker Open



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