Nottinghamshire poker player Alexandru Talica will be making his first-ever trip to Ireland next month after winning the Irish Open & MainEventTravel’s “Luck of the Irish” competition and snagging a €2,200 Irish Open Main Event prize package.
Alex was up against stiff competition in the contest which was run on MainEventTravel.com’s Facebook page to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day this weekend.
MainEventTravel.com is the Official Travel Partner for the Irish Open and is helping scores of players with their hotel accommodation in Dublin. This year’s Irish Open is running April 3 to April 10 at the Royal Dublin Society and a record number of entrants are expected for the €1 million guaranteed Main Event.
Nearly 100 players entered the Luck of the Irish promotion which was launched on March 8. Fans were asked how they thought the expression “Luck of the Irish” first came about; the seven responses with the most likes – plus three specially chosen by MainEventTravel – were entered into a random draw which took place on Friday (March 17).
Winner Alex, who hails from Iasi in Romania but now lives in Worksop in Nottinghamshire, already has more than $53,000 in live tournament winnings to his name. But his MainEventTravel win puts him in line for a lot – the Irish Open Main Event comes with a €1 million guaranteed prize pool and last year’s winner (the legendary Steve O’Dwyer) won €318,700 after beating a record field of 2,040 entries.
Thanks to winning MainEventTravel’s Luck of the Irish promotion, Alex will be competing in an event with a buy-in far in excess of his normal fare. Alex, who runs his own landscape and gardening company in Worksop, has excelled at tournaments at his local casino, Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham. He has nearly 60 tournament cashes there including a monster haul last month when he cashed five times at The Festival. That run also gave him his biggest score to date: £5,785 for his runner-up finish in the Hendon Mob Championship.
Alex’s cousin Vlad also entered the MainEventTravel competition and may accompany Alex to Dublin. Alex said: “I haven’t decided who is coming yet but definitely Vlad or my wife Claudia. I'm very excited to win the package – it’s actually my second package this year as I also won another package to the Malta Poker Festival in May. I can't wait to get to the tables to play!”
The runner-up was Scottish player Mel Simpson whose €215 prize features €115 live Irish Open satellite seat plus €100 MET travel credit. Everyone who took part is eligible for a £10 travel credit.
MainEventTravel.com’s Retail Sales & Marketing Consultant Kelly Saxby said: “Alex is really on a roll at the moment as he also won a Hippodrome Mystery Bounty package via MainEventTravel last September. He is a regular at Dusk Till Dawn so it’s great to see him get the chance to compete in a really big tournament.”
Runner-up Mel Simpson said: “I’m gutted not to win the Irish Open package but I’m going to look at travel over the weekend and see if I can get to Dublin to compete in the live satellite. Well done Alex, and thanks to MainEventTravel for such a great promotion!”
Kelly Saxby said “Players taking part came up with some absolutely Craic-ing tales about the origin of the phrase ‘Luck of the Irish’! Selecting our favourites was certainly hard work, it was great to get the fun started before the festival even begins!”
IRISH OPEN HOTEL & TRAVEL ADVISORY: Rooms near the RDS are being book fast and furiously now. MainEventTravel still has LOADS of exclusively discounted rooms and packages available at the Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge which is also just a few minutes from the Royal Dublin Society venue and one of the best-priced hotels available for Irish Open. If you have not booked yet, get a move on!
In addition to hotels, MainEventTravel has flights to Dublin from around the world, and Buy-ins for the Main Event, High Rollers, and €1k Mystery Bounties available online. Luxon Pay is available at check out on MainEventTravel.com.
Photo credit: Kelly Saxby at The Hippodrome, Hendon Mob, The Festival