Thursday, 18th April 2024 01:30
Home / Poker / Team England vs Team Ireland: Spraggy, Fintan and co battle at Irish Open

If there’s one thing that sets the Irish Open apart from other poker festivals, it’s the craic — and there’s going to be even more than usual this year.

PokerStars Team Pros Benjamin Spragg and Fintan Hand – alongside teammates and two freeroll winners – will compete across a series of challenges throughout the festival, as part of Team England vs Team Ireland.

From flip-cup, darts and beer pong tournaments to scavenger hunts and jockey races, the teams will battle it out for our amusement in the Irish Open Entertainment Lounge, available to all players.

But what other poker players will be joining them in Team England vs Team Ireland? 

But which members of their communities are also heading to Dublin?


Fintan Hand’s Team Ireland has certainly strengthened its ranks by adding the following poker pros and ambassadors.

Karen Muir, one of Ireland’s most successful female poker players and an Irish Open Ambassador, will contend alongside Hand. Muir recently enjoyed her biggest career score at the Irish Poker Tour final in Dublin (€18,000) and will now bring that confidence to the Irish Open.

Chris Dowling joins Team Ireland

Joining Muir and Hand is Muir’s fellow Irish Open Ambassador, Chris Dowling. Another Dublin resident, Dowling’s impressive poker resume and experience under pressure will no doubt make him an asset to Team Ireland’s chances. We recently caught up with Dowling at EPT Paris to find out why the Irish Open is the perfect event for new players.

Also joining the team is Irish Open regular Mark Buckley, a top poker pro with north of $650,000 in live earnings. Buckley reached the final table of EPT Barcelona back in 2018 (good for €220,000) and took down a Barcelona side event in 2023. But we’re sure those accomplishments will pale in comparison to winning the flip-cup tournament for Team Ireland.

Finally, rounding things off is online qualifier “johnnydev11”. The player won their Irish Open package through freerolls on Spraggy’s channel, but as he’s Irish, they agreed to swap teams!

Here’s johnnydev11’s winning moment from Spraggy’s stream.


Over on Team England, Spraggy has rallied some of his fellow PokerStars Ambassadors to join the skirmish.

Proud Canadian Parker “Tonkaaaa” Talbot will become an honorary Englishman while at the Irish Open, having passed through some rigorous tests.

Joining them will be “hosernutz”, another Canadian who lives and plays from the UK. Hosernutz won their Irish Open package by taking down Fintan’s freeroll. Here’s his winning moment.

Spraggy will also have two more members joining – stay tuned this week to find out who.


The Irish Open 2024 – sponsored by PokerStars and Paddy Power – runs from March 25 – April 1 and takes place at the prestigious Royal Dublin Society in (you guessed it) Dublin, Ireland.

There’s a whopping €1 million guaranteed in the prize pool of the €1,150 buy-in Irish Open Main Event, plus High Roller events with both €3,000 and €5,000 buy-ins.


See below for key tournament dates. The full schedule is available here.

  • Irish Open Main Event: March 25 – April 1 – €1,150
  • Irish Open €5,000 High Roller: March 26-27
  • Irish Open €3,000 High Roller: March 30-31


Satellites for the Irish Open are running right now on PokerStars.

There are two different types of direct satellite available: “seat only” packages, awarding the buy-in to the Main Event, or “seat plus expenses” packages valued at €1,500, which also give you €350 to help take care of your travel and accommodation.

You can also win your way there through Power Path!

A Silver Pass worth $2,500 can be used at the Irish Open.

But what exactly does a Silver Pass get you? Here’s a breakdown:

  • €1,150 Irish Open main event entry
  • €550 Irish Open side event entry
  • Limited edition merchandise
  • Live event liaison support
  • Exclusive Irish Open activities
  • Plus, the remaining value of the Silver Pass credited as expenses
  • ADDED VALUE: Courtesy of the Irish Open, Silver Pass winners will also receive a bonus entry to the €200 ‘Mini Irish Open – €500k GTD’

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