Irish Win At The £125,000 CelebPoker Classic

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Alan Smurfit, celebrity Irish businessman, won the Palm Beach CelebPoker Classic No Limit Hold'em Tournament last night (Sunday) at the Palm Beach Casino in London's Mayfair.

Alan Smurfit, who sold his Dublin-based packaging company for €3.9-billion two years ago, has renounced retirement in favour of playing the international poker circuit - with spectacular success. He beat roofing contractor David Clark in an exciting heads-up climax.

The pair had outplayed a strong field of 125 experts and online qualifiers, including snooker celebrities Jimmy White, Mark Williams and Ken Doherty, actor Michael Greco, actor Terrence Maynard, PGA golf pro Sam Torrance, and a host of poker professionals.

Smurfit's first prize was £51,700, presented by Clark's second prize was £25,800 and the third prize of £14,000 went to Charalambos Xanthos, better known in the poker world as Bambos.

The key hand occurred when Smurfit was low on chips when the table was four-handed. He went all-in with 6-5 off-suit, and when the board gave him 7-9-8 for a straight, he was back in contention.

"It was a thrill to win," he said afterwards. "Not so much for the money, but for the excitement of winning!"


Alan Smurfit, 63, lives in Dublin, and is best-known as an Omaha player, winning the recent £50,000 Omaha tournament at the Victoria Sporting Club. He is just back from Las Vegas, where he played in the World Series of Poker.

David Clark, 45, from Little Maplestead, near Halsted, Essex, runs a roofing and scaffolding company, but manages to play poker three or four times a week. He attempted to qualify for the Palm Beach Classic online at, but when he did not manage to win a place, bought in for £1000.

Charalambos Xanthos, 61, better known as Bambos, comes from Cyprus and ran a successful hotel business in Paddington. He is now a full-time poker professional, playing every day, mostly at the Victoria Sporting Club.

The prestigious event was sold out, and a queue of poker loving players remained very disappointed because of its enormous popularity! recommends that players qualify or register earlier for their forthcoming event on September 7th and 8th at Star City casino in Birmingham, UK. This event guarantees a first prize of £100,000.

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David Donvan
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