Irish Poker Championship begins

Padraig Parkinson
Padraig Parkinson was one of many being dealt into the Irish Poker Championships today.

It's been a countdown to the first poker event of 2008 and the first to shuffle up and deal is the PartyPoker Irish Poker Championship which started play at 7 p.m. (GMT) today in Galway, Ireland.

The Irish Poker Championship is the first major sponsorship in Ireland by Joe Beevers in Late Night Poker.

"Snow has fallen in Galway in the last 24 hours, but it has melted under the stampede of players heading for Europe's first major tournament of 2008," said a spokesman. "The stampede was nearly as ferocious as that to the bar."

The tournament will be recorded for six, one-hour long broadcasts in Ireland as well as for international distribution.

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