COVID-19’s end-of-year resurgence has claimed another live poker event in Europe. Faced with increased travel restrictions in Ireland, PartyPoker LIVE has postponed its Grand Prix Dublin festival. The series was slated to run in early January at the Maldron Hotel Tallaght and was to offer €100,000 in guaranteed prize money.
Partypoker LIVE advised the Irish poker community of the postponement via direct communications but has not, to date, announced the festival’s postponement via its social-media accounts. Instead, a message from partypoker LIVE execs Paul O’Reilly and JP McCann was sent to multiple Irish poker groups and forums. In it, blame for the postponement is laid upon the recently tightened pandemic rules.
Those emergency rules were designed to combat a surge that has crippled the country’s emergency-care system in recent weeks. The situation is heightened in Ireland because the country, with a population of five million, has only 300 ICU (intensive care unit) beds. The increased Irish measures include the following, per Politico:
- Workers only recently encouraged to return to their pre-pandemic offices should resume working from home.
- Entire households with an infected family member must restrict their movements until, individually, they can confirm they are infection-free via three negative tests in a five-day period.
- All restaurants, pubs and nightclubs must close by midnight each evening.
- Cinemas and theaters will be legally required to restrict admissions to those holding vaccination certificates.
Party poker LIVE communication focuses on midnight curfew
“Last week the Irish Government introduced new restrictions surrounding Covid in Ireland,” partypoker LIVE’s message began. “The 12 am curfew for the hospitality industry means that all hotels (including residents bars and all function rooms), pubs and restaurants must have all people clear of all rooms by midnight. Residents must be in their bedrooms by midnight and all others must leave the premises. The Irish Government has suggested that more restrictions may be introduced in the coming weeks and we just do not know where we stand at this juncture.
“Unfortunately, it has left us with no choice but to postpone this event until further notice. There is just too much uncertainity in an already difficult situation.” The message continued with instructions on how players would be able to cancel their existing hotel reservations if they had already registered for the stop.
The Grand Prix Dublin event has been a regularly occurring component of the partypoker LIVE tour since being introduced in 2017. The last time it ran as planned, however, was in January of 2020. A likely January 2021 event never got off the ground during the height of the initial global COVID-19 lockdown.
No new dates have been scheduled for the Grand Prix Dublin stop. O’Reilly and McCann concluded their notification by writing, “It is very disheartening that we have had to make this decision again at a time where we believed the Irish Poker Industry was just getting back on its feet but staff and player health and safety is most important to us and we are sure you will appreciate where we stand on this.”
Featured image source: Facebook / partypoker LIVE