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FTP Galway Village Changes the Face of Poker Events
While things are just getting serious with the start of the €1m gtd UKIPT Main Event tomorrow, the Full Tilt Poker village built in Galway for the festival has already changed the perception of many about what a poker event can be.
“This is pure fun," British poker icon Martyn Wilson says. "Did you see how much fun people are having at the pool table?”
Clocks are about to say it’s 3 am but with a pint in one hand and a cue stick in the other, Wilson just finished entertaining a bunch of young German, Dutch and Irish players with a brilliant pool game.
“This is better than a casino. Here everyone is having great fun,” he keeps saying with a smile that you might not see elsewhere while traveling the circuit.
Pool, Foosball, Pac Man, Backgammon … and Some Poker
The concept for the "Village" built by Full Tilt Poker for the FTP Galway Festival is simple: Everything should be fun.
With one big tent for all the poker events, an open air space for socializing and a second big tent filled with comfy couches, a good bar and any sort of game you can imagine, the Village always has something going on.
And always something that convinces people to stick around instead of jetting back to a hotel.
It could be the chance to play a €35 NLHE tournament with Gus Hansen or to join a random crowd of players playing poker bingo … but everything is as fun as it can get after busting a poker tournament. Especially after a few pints of Guinness.
Poker is in the Other Room
“Poker? Sure, there are some guys playing in the other room,” a curious Galway-born wannabe player tells us while taking a break from his pool game.
“I'm here for the fun. I am having a great time with people here – I might even try the cash games for a hand or two,” he says, showing FTP’s choice of bringing some fun to the tourney atmosphere is already helping bring poker some fresh blood.
While we wait for tomorrow’s UKIPT Main Event shuffle up and deal, the poker tent at the Village has already seen some great action at the tables.
The Irish Poker Championship final table is underway as of press time with chip leader Steve O’Dwyer and Max Silver battling for the title and almost €40K first prize.
Later today it's time for the UKIPT High Roller 8-Handed championship with Full Tilt Poker ambassadors Dermot Blain and Gus Hansen among the players confirmed.
Also on the schedule is the €100+€20+€10 NLHE charity tournament promoted by local star Fintan Gavin to raise money for Galway's homeless.
As if that wasn't enough, a last-chance qualifier for tomorrow’s UKIPT Main Event with a €50+€5 buy-in will start at 22.00 for those still milling around the tents.
Author: Giovanni Angioni