Get To Know The Pros Who’ve Shaped Poker In Ireland

By Christine
February 28, 2024
Irish poker VIPs

Irish poker has carved out a remarkable niche in the global poker scene. Irish poker VIPs are renowned for their unique blend of skill, strategy and unmistakable Irish charm.

The Emerald Isle is of course known for its rich storytelling tradition and hearty camaraderie and this extends to the poker rooms of Ireland too. That means Irish poker VIPs have grown up in an atmosphere that is both competitive and convivial.

We’re going to tell you a little bit more about Irish poker VIPs, including who they are and some of their remarkable achievements. They’ve not only mastered the art of the game, but also contribute significantly to the game’s vibrancy and global appeal.

Through strategic prowess, unwavering patience and the innate ability to read the table, these luminaries have put Ireland on the map. They’re not just players, after all. They’re ambassadors of Irish poker, blending traditional tactics with innovative strategies.

We’re going to explore their journeys. For all of these players, Ireland has shaped the way they play the game and see the world.

Irish poker VIPs

The one who’s a trailblazer

An old guard at the poker table, Donnacha O’Dea is one of the Irish poker VIPs who have paved the way for many others. But he didn’t start life as a poker player. In fact, his tradition of excellence began in the pool. And we don’t mean snooker. He was an Olympic swimmer before he turned to the felt! But anyway, back to poker… He made history in the 1998 WSOP, becoming the first Irish player ever to come home with a bracelet. And just how did he do that? He bested Johnny Chan, no less, at a Pot Limit Omaha rebuy event.

The one who takes after his Dad

If you have a father like Eoghan O’Dea does, you’re going to have all eyes on you when you start on the felt. Son of Donnacha, who we’ve already chatted about, Eoghan does things his own way. Full of charisma and with a history of big wins under his belt, he’s carved out his own niche. One of his most impressive performances to-date has been in the 2011 WSOP, where he scooped $1.7m for a sixth place finish at the Main Event

The one to watch right now

Dara O’Kearney, also known as Doke, is certainly someone who’s a force to be reckoned with at the moment. Whether you’re playing online tournaments or in-person live events, he’s killing it at the tables right now. Firmly one of the top 10 Irish poker VIPs at the moment (or at least at the time of writing), he’s bringing a whole new level of strategy, endurance and analytics to the table. A potent cocktail on the felt!

The one who took a break to be a buddhist

It might sound incredible, but one of the most prominent Irish poker VIPs spent five years living in a Buddhist monastery at the height of his fame. That man is Andy Black. The world became aware of this Belfast-born player during an impressive performance at the 1997 World Series of Poker Main Event. Stu Ungar took the top prize, but Andy Black came out of nowhere to finish in 14th place. And it was just after that that Black swapped poker for the monastic life. However, that wasn’t the end of poker for this Northern Irish pro. He had yet another notable appearance at the WSOP in 2005, where he scooped $1.75m after coming in fifth place.

A little gift for aspiring poker VIPs…

Whether or not you’re Irish, or whether or not you want to be a VIP or just have fun on the felt, you’re going to need a good online poker room. And we’ve got a suggestion for you. Bet365. It’s got a diverse range of cash games and tournaments, suited for all levels of play. Plus we’ve got this bet365 bonus code that can really amp up your welcome offer…

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