Needed: One Irish Star

Needed: One Irish Star

Monday, 23 June 2014

Where are they?

Irish players are shockingly underrepresented on major poker sites and things need to change, says True Irish Baller.

When it comes to poker, Ireland is one of Europe’s strongholds. There are an incredible amount of people within the country interested in the game. These people are not only interested in playing, but also watching, discussing and analysing. I would imagine that, per capita, Ireland has some of the highest numbers of poker players worldwide proportional to the size of the country. There is a huge market over here, and it is a potential goldmine for a company like PokerStars.

It’s strange, then, that there are no remaining PokerStars Pros from Ireland. Jude “j.thaddeus” Ainsworth was dropped and never replaced, which to me is absolutely bizarre. Thaddeus is an absolute monster online – for me, consistently the best MTT pro in Ireland. As a result, dropping him just seems absurd. Okay, maybe I could understand wanting to mix it up a little and add some fresh new blood to the team. But to not even bother with a replacement? It seems pointless dropping him in the first place.

When you look at the roster of PokerStars Pros, players such as Jake Cody and Liv Boeree are listed under “UK and Ireland”. That’s fair enough, considering that they represent the UKIPT. However, I feel the Irish market deserves an Irish Pro! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against any of the British Pros; they just don’t offer the same attraction to the Irish players that an Irish Pro would.

I suppose it can be difficult to get the right blend in what is required for a PokerStars Pro. These days, to be on the team, you need a lot of different skills – and a lot of these aren’t even pertaining to what you do on the felt. I decided that the best thing I could do was construct the perfect ’Stars Pro from within Ireland.

Firstly, for straight up skill, I’d have to choose Gavin O’Rourke – the man has been absolutely destroying it recently. He is also a first class gent every time I have had any contact with him, so I guess he could kill two birds with one stone. For self-promotion, my choice will have to be my fellow Bluff Europe columnist, Dara “Doke” O’Kearney. I have in the past referred to Dara as the “Pessagno of Irish Poker” with all his fanboys. Being able to handle these guys and answer their ridiculously idiotic questions takes great patience. The next desirable requirement would surely be entertainment value, and who could be better than John O’Shea? Robusto to busto and back again, and an interesting character both on and off the felt.

Overall, I think the lack of an Irish ’Stars Pro is doing Ireland a disservice. There are numerous potential candidates out there at the moment that would offer a lot to the roster. I’d like to hear who some of you guys think should be the next Irish PokerStars Pro. Hit me up on twitter @trueirishballer or in the comments section on the Bluff Europe website.

Tags: True Irish Baller, Ireland