The Irish Poker Awards were held yesterday at the Regency Hotel in Dublin, with a star studded ceremony including some of the biggest and best Irish poker players on the circuit. The biggest award of the night went to the 2011 WSOP Main Event finalist Eoghan O’Dea who picked up the Player Of The year.
These awards are to recognise the outstanding players and contributors to the game of poker in Ireland that have helped to make the country one of the best locations in the world to play the game.
O’Dea is easily one of the most naturally gifted and consistent players in the world, let only just Ireland. When you consider his age too, 64, he still has what it takes to be recognized as the best in Ireland. His career claim to fame has to be beating the one and only Johnny Chan heads up in the 1998 WSOP Pot Limit Omaha event to claim his one and only WSOP bracelet to date.
Additionally, when the European Poker Players Hall Of Fame was conceived, who was the first player to be inducted? That’s right, O’Dea, if that doesn’t represent the contributions this guy has made to poker over the years, nothing will.
Of the other notable winners there was the European Poker Tour San Remo finalist Jason Tompkins who was voted in as the best tournament player, whilst the Best Online Player was voted in as Jude Ainsworth. The best Cash Player Award went to Chris Dowling and the best Cardroom was the Fitzwilliam Club. Pedraig Harrington made it three awards in two years as he took the Irish Poker Legend award.
The award for the up and coming player of the year, which is called the Breakout Player went to Niall Smyth after impressing throughout the past year. Time will tell in the next few years if he can take down one of the major awards, though there are plenty of other good players around that will be providing him with good competition.
JP McCann won the Best Tournament Director award whilst Dara O’Kearney was voted in as the best poker blogger of 2012.
The Full Winners List:
Cash player – Chris Dowling
Tournament Player – Jason Tomkins
Online Player – Jude Ainsworth
Breakout player – Niall Smyth
Poker Personality – Phil Baker
Forum – IrishPokerBoards.com
Blogger – Dara O’Kearney
Tournament director – JP McCann
Soc Media – Dara O’Kearney
Player of the Year – Eoghan O’Dea
Cardroom – Fitzwilliam Club
Legend – Padraig Parkinson
The awards were decided by a formula of a panel of former players and poker experts drawing up a shortlist, leaving the general public to vote on the winners.