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Amid the ever increasing range of European poker tours and festivals, one event has maintained its position as the most entertaining and prestigious tournament the continent has to offer. The Irish Open is Europe’s oldest tournament, only pipped to the post by the WSOP as the oldest in the world. Along with high quality poker, it’s also famous for its raucous table chatter and famous Irish banter. The Open returns in 2010 and, for the first time, players can win their way there via bwin Poker.

There are multiple ways to get yourself to Ireland. Whether you prefer Sit & Go’s, MTTs, or even want to flip a coin for a ticket, bwin has all the bases covered. The $8,000 Irish Open 2010 package contains a $5,300 buy-in to the Main Event, $2,000 spending and travel cash, and $700 to pay for accommodation. Win one of these prizes and you’ll find yourself in Dublin from April 2nd – 5th, competing in the €3,200 + €300 Irish Open Main Event. Last year’s winner was Christer Johansson from Sweden, who took home €600,000 ($832,062) for his efforts. His narrowly vanquished heads up opponent was Kara Scott, the UK/Canadian hostess who will soon hit American screens as the new face of High Stakes Poker.

The quickest and simplest route to the Irish Open is through bwin’s Irish Open Qualifier tournaments. Your first option is to start with the Daily Live Event Qualifiers, which have buy-ins as low as $2. Win one of these and you’ll pick up a ticket to the $300 + $20 Irish Open Online Final, held Sunday and Thursday at 20:00 CET from Jan. 17 – Feb. 18. There are at least 9 guaranteed packages in these Online Finals, which can be bought into directly, if you have the ready cash.

If actually playing poker for a ticket sounds like too much effort, bwin has prepared a qualifying route that should suit you down to the ground. Ten times a day, the Irish Open Lucky Steps Freeroll begins, offering the 1st placed player a ticket into the $10 + $1 Irish Open Lucky Steps tournament. 2nd to 10th place in the freeroll can either a $0.90 + $0.10 SNG Lucky Steps Qualifier or a $0.90 + $0.10 Scheduled Lucky Steps Qualifier. Win one of those and you’ll join the freeroll victor in the $10 event. Before you get any notions about outplaying your opponents, you should know that these Lucky Steps tournaments require you to go all-in every hand. Progressing to the $800 buy-in, $8,000 Irish Open Lucky Steps final is pure luck – but it’s the only way to win a package for absolutely nothing. The final is held every second Sunday at 20:00 CET, from Jan. 24 – Feb. 21. If you win a ticket in the Lucky Steps Freeroll, make sure you’re quick about using it. All of them expire after only one day.

The final way of getting to the Irish Open is one for the knock-out specialists. Progress through three Steps of a SNG Qualifier and you’ll pick up an entry to the scheduled Bounty Qualifier. These are held 19 times a day at all different buy-ins, from Jan. 11 to Feb.15. Win one of these and you’re on your way to the full fledged $25,000 Irish Open Bounty Hunter, held every Monday at 20:00 CET from Jan. 18 – Feb. 15. In Bounty Hunter tournaments, you pick up an extra $30 for every opponent you eliminate. If you’re the last man standing at the end of the event, you’ll be the proud recipient of an $8,000 Irish Open 2010 package. If you were particularly ruthless during the event, but failed to come out on top, there may still be hope. The 6 players with the most eliminations, move on to a second chance Irish Open Head Hunter. This event runs every Saturday at 20:00 CET and pays out one Irish Open package to its winner.

Log on to bwin today to begin your journey to Irish Open.