Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club Visit in Dublin, Ireland

Reports & Blogs by AustinBluffs Posted

We planned a week-long bus tour of Ireland a few months ago. As an avid poker player, I immediately set about researching playing opportunities while in Dublin. With a little online research I found the website for Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club. I found that it is a club that you need to apply for membership but membership is free. I completed the application online before arriving and understood that they wouldn't actually process it until I arrived. After arriving in Dublin, I found that our hotel was only a mile and a half from the card room so I made plans to come on Friday night, the day before our departure back to the USA. On the planned evening, I grabbed the #4 bus from OConnell St by the Liffey River for 1.95 Euro to a bus stop just past Merrion Square Park ((where the Oscar Wilde statue is). From the bus stop it was just a 5-minute walk to the door of Fitzwilliam. Upon entering, I found a reception area where I advised the receptionist that I was a new member. She pulled up and completed my application, took a picture of me and my passport, then gave me a card and a 10 Euro free play chip (for new members). I went into the club, which is a large room with roulette and blackjack tables filling up about the first half of the room. Poker desk and tables were in the back. There was an upstairs loft that I think may have had the tournament area. I checked in at the poker desk just in time to get a new 1/2 game started. I bought in for 200 Euro. Others bought in for amounts ranging from the minimum (50) to about 200. Another player joined the game later and bought in for about 900, but that was unusual. There was a variety of playing styles with a few loose players. Getting stacks in with second pair with flush and straight possibilities was pretty common. My strategy was to stay tight and wait for my opportunities. I called a short stack (60 E) with AK to see him show AA. I got lucky when the board ran out with two kings and I stacked him. He muttered something and walked straight to the front door and left. In another hand, I called a preflop raise with QQ. The flop came queen high with two small cards and two diamonds. A loose aggressive player bet $40, I raised to $100, he reraised to put me all-in for about 150 and I called with my top set. He showed a flush draw. The board ran out with me improving to a full house to take the pot. I had only been there for 2 1/2 hours but had an early flight to catch so I cashed out for 300 Euro - a 100 Euro profit. From the website, I thought there'd be a time rake, but it ended up being a pot rake. I am not sure how much the rake was as I didn't pay close enough attention and there was no placard on the table. Also, I noticed Andy Black, a famous Irish player at another table in the room. I had the blackjack free play chip so I played and won two hands, which I won for 20 Euros profit. I gave the dealer and the cashier a generous tip of 5 Euro each. In the club, I saw club logo apparel for sale and was interested in a zip up soft shell jacket to buy with my winnings. I asked the receptionist about it and she sent an assistant to get one for me to look at. He came back with a pullover hoodie. I mentioned I was actually looking for a zip up one. They said they were locked up in another office that he couldn't get to but said I could have the hoodie for free, so I took it. I later noticed the shirt was XXL instead of XL as I requested. All in all it was a great experience and I'd go back there on a future visit.