Irish Poker Open returns to Ireland as COVID restrictions ease

Jon Pill
Posted on: January 28, 2022 15:57 PST

Ireland has had COVID restrictions in place since March 2020. While these restrictions have varied in severity over that time, poker has been either unavailable or subject to restrictions in Ireland for that entire time.

However, on April 22, Eire began rolling back some of its COVID safety measures.

Micheál Martin, the Irish taoiseach, announced the rollback, saying, “Our journey through the pandemic has brought many twists and turns and I stood here and spoke to you on some very dark days. But today is a good day. Spring is coming, and I don’t know if I’ve ever looked forward to one as much as I’m looking to this one. Humans are social beings and we Irish are more social than most.”

One of the ways the Irish will be socialising this summer is over the baize. They will be able to do so for the first time without the venues being subject restrictions on attendence numbers, closing times, and social distancing. Masks are likely to depend on the venue, as bingo halls and bookies continue to have mask mandates.

If you're planning on travelling to Ireland be aware that those mask mandates are also still in place for shops and public transport. Additionally, proof of vaccination or a recovery certificate will be required to get past immigration at the border, airports, and harbours. These restrictions are in place until at least February 28, 2022 when they will be reviewed.

That said, COVID doesn't seem to be going anywhere, so you're probably better off getting vaccinated if you can masking up as much as you can tolerate.

You can see more details on Ireland's COVID measures on the government's website.

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Among the venues taking advantage of the new state of affairs is the Citywest Hotel on the edges of Dublin. The Citywest has loaned its convention center out to partypoker for the Irish Poker Open.

The Irish Poker Open was banished to the winding tubes of the internet for the last couple of years. There hasn't been a live Irish Poker Open event since 2019. That is about to change with the announcement of the 2022 Irish Poker Open schedule.

The schedule rams 42 events into the course of a week between April 11 and April 18, 2022. The highlights of this schedule will be the €1,150 Main Event, the €250 Hendon Mob Championship, and the €5,000 High Roller 8-max.

Ahead of this event, the Citywest will also be hosting the Norwegian Poker Championships from March 31 to April 10. Since the NPC could not find a legal home in Norway, Ireland has been host to the series for years.

Hopefully, these two series mark the beginning of a 2022 poker calendar in Dublin that will rival the pre-pandemic times.

Featured image source: Unibet Open via Flickr (photo credit: Tambet Kask), used under CC license