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The magazine most often perused in casinos around the continent, Bluff Europe, has today announced the winner of it’s ‘European Poker Capital 2008’ award. Last year the prize went to London, propelled to the top of the list by hosting the inaugural WSOPE, with Dublin finishing in the runners up spot. This year however the roles were reversed, as the capital of Ireland was also crowned the capital of European poker.

Receiving honorable mention were a trio of other poker hot-spots located on mainland Europe. Vienna, Amsterdam and Barcelona were listed as some of the most promising up and coming poker-cities in the world. Already well traveled by the tourist crowd, poker players may now have an even better excuse to visit some of the continents finest cultural hot-spots.

Dublin itself was hailed for the “lively and friendly” atmosphere which pervades it’s card rooms and poker clubs. A swathe of poker establishments, both large and small, can be found all around the city – with societies and pub leagues catering to even the most casual player.

Those on the prowl for some bigger stakes always eagerly await the arrival of the Irish Poker Open – Europe’s most prestigious tournament – held in Dublin since it’s inception in 1981. This years event attracted big names such as Todd and Doyle Brunson and was won by English pro Neil Channing, who took home €801,400.

One of Irish poker’s most revered ambassadors is Liam ‘The Gentleman’ Flood, renowned for his part in bringing Texas Hold ’em to Europe. Flood was asked for his thoughts on the award. The winner of the Party Poker European Open 2007 was delighted to hear of Bluff magazine’s verdict, and echoed the sentiments of the judging panel:

“There’s a sense of community. We find that a few drinks after the game helps you relax, too.”

All in all in, if you’re looking for a poker break, away from the bright lights of Las Vegas, it seems that Dublin should be top of your list.