The first major poker tournament of 2009, the €2,000 buy-in (9% withheld) PartyPoker.com Irish Poker Championship,  takes place from January 2 to 5, 2009 at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Galway, Ireland. Coverage of the main Galway event will be televised on RTÉ and then distributed internationally. The event is organized by Pokerevents.ie, with the coverage produced by Winmedia Ireland Ltd.
 
The PartyPoker.com Irish Poker Championship has attracted a lot of interest and the list of those taking part reads like a who’s who of Irish poker. Look out for Noel Furlong, Donnacha O’Dea, Marty Smyth, Padraig Parkinson, Scott Gray, Ciaran O’Leary, Premier League II winner Andy Black, Dave Callaghan, Tony Cascarino, Liam Flood, Rory Liffey and last year’s champion Jude Ainsworth. PartyPoker

There will also be a big international contingent heading to Galway in search of victory including ‘Ambassador of Poker’ Mike Sexton, Kenna James, Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott, Benjamin Kang, Surinder Sunar, Mad ‘Marty’ Wilson, Mickey Wernick, Alan Vinson and 2008 Irish Open champion Neil Channing. France will be represented by Claude Cohen and Veronique Gourdon, while Spain’s challenge is led by Leo Margets and PartyPoker.com Women’s World Open II star May Maceiras.
 
Last year’s champion was Galway’s Jude Ainsworth, with the runner-up Mick McCool from Nottingham in the UK. In addition to the main event there are a number of good value side events and satellites taking place. The craic and hospitality of the event is well known and a player party is being thrown on New Years Day at 6pm, where a full bar, food and entertainment is the order of the day. On Sunday 4th January at 9pm there will be a special charity event ‘Poker for the Homeless,’ where a percentage from each buy-in goes to worthy charities in Dublin and Galway.
 
Winmedia Ireland Ltd is an industry leader in producing this kind of tournament coverage and this year they have created a specially designed Irish pub set that will host the televised table and two feeder tables.
 
Ian Langstaff of Winmedia Ireland Ltd said: “We are delighted to be producing and transmitting coverage of the PartyPoker.com Irish Poker Championship on RTÉ again this year. The fact that RTÉ are transmitting eight episodes of coverage rather than the six they did last year shows the popularity of the IPC.”
 
Online qualifiers for the main event have been running on PartyPoker.com since December 1st. The package is worth $5,000, including the $2,800 buy-in, $1,000 spending money and accommodation in a luxury hotel. The main $250 +$25 online satellite takes place at 14.15 ET every Sunday where for every 20 players a package will be rewarded. Last weekend six packages were given away.
 
There is also one date left on the successful PartyPoker.com Irish Poker Championship Tour, with a stop at Red Cow Hotel, Dublin on Saturday 13th December. Among those who have committed to take part include Scott Gray, Don Fagan, Mick McCloskey, Len Collin and recent EPT Barcelona runner-up Fintan Gavin. The race for the PartyPoker.com Irish Poker Championship Tour leaderboard bonuses goes on with first receiving €5,000, second €2,000 and third €1,000.

Meath’s Jay Renehan looks favourite to take first place in a battle with online professional Michael Graydon and Galway based cash game specialist Christy Morkan but everything could change on the last stop of the Tour! Also in the running is Cork-based Martin Noonan, popular blogger Len Collin and Letterkenny casino owner Joe McAvoy. Another casino owner, EPT Barcelona runner-up Fintan Gavin, is also in with a shout. 100 players have already registered for this event and the top five are guaranteed seats to the PartyPoker.com IPC Main Event. 
 
PartyPoker.com Irish Poker Championship, Radisson SAS, Galway, Ireland – Main Event –  4th-6th January 2008. The 298 runners built a prize pool of €542,500.

Jude Ainsworth (Galway) €180,000
Michael McCool (Nottingham, UK) €100,000
Tommy Watson (Athlone) €60,000
Trevor Dineen (Cork) €35,000
Michael Moran (London) €25,000
Keith McFadden (Donegal) €18,000
Glen McCabe (Lurgan) €15,000
Bernard Brady (Galway) €12,000
Final table chip stacks:
Keith McFadden (Donegal) — 698,000
Jude Ainsworth (Galway) — 527,000
Trevor Dineen (Cork) — 385,000
Tommy Watson (Athlone) — 300,000
Bernard Brady (Galway) — 300,000
Michael Moran (London) — 296,000
Michael McCool (Enniskillen) — 249,500
Glen McCabe (Lurgan) — 150,000