Ireland Victorious In 2008 European Team Championship

The APAT Poker Association & Tour concluded it’s highly successful second season with the European Team Championship, held at the Grosvenor Casino, Brighton on 1st-2nd November.

The event featured eight national teams of four players from England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Netherlands, France, Germany and Hungary with players paying £100 each to compete.

The teams were selected by non-playing captains and contained many leading players from the APAT national rankings. APAT sponsor Blue Square added £2,000 to the prize pool meaning the teams were playing for over £5,000 in prize money in addition to medals to the top three teams and the Championship Cup and title to the winning country.

The format of the event itself was for single table and heads-up tournaments to be played on day one, with a thirty two player multi-table tournament concluding the event on day two. In each single table tournament points were awarded for first to fifth place finishers with one participant from each team on each table. Points were also awarded for the victors of each heads-up match. On day two, the top sixteen finishers were awarded points in the multi-table tournament.

In the single table tournaments, the most successful teams were France and Hungary, and this continued through the heads-up phase, although Ireland had begun to make up ground such that the leaderboard at the end of day one looked like this:

France   27
Hungary 26
Ireland   25
Germany 19

In the day two multi table tournament, with players each receiving 5,000 chips on a thirty minute clock, the Hungarian team’s chance of victory disappeared when all four players were eliminated before the points scoring positions were reached. Meanwhile the French team had lost two players in early play, leaving the Irish team well placed as the tournament progressed.

Pat O’Callaghan of Ireland was chip leader from some way out, and indeed three Irish players remained as the final table was reached. Helped by a strong showing from Phil Starrs and Gordon McArthur, Scotland soared up the leaderboard on the final day and the multi-table tournament was eventually won by Pat O’Callaghan, beating Gordon McArthur heads-up.

The final result of the APAT European Team Championships was as follows:

1st Ireland    67 points : £2,600, Championship Cup and Gold Medals
2nd Scotland 51 points : £1,600 and Silver medals
3rd Germany  44 points: £1,000 and Bronze medals

The winning Ireland team comprised Pat O’Callaghan (Galway), John Murray (Portsmouth), Colin O’Prey (Belfast), Brendan Byrne (Dublin) and was led by non playing captain Len Collin (Westport).