Poker News: Alan Smurfit Passes Away, Caleb Hershey Wins Venetian DeepStack Showdown

One of Ireland’s most familiar faces in the poker world has sadly passed away. While there are more positive headlines to go through, we’ll start our weekly recap of the news with the sad note that Irish poker pro Alan Smurfit has passed. 

Irish Poker Pro Smurfit Passes Away At 77

The poker community has lost a great member as the Irish native Alan Smurfit has sadly passed away. He was 77 years old. Smurfit was a successful businessman before his retirement in 2003.

After retirement, he followed a passion for live poker. Alan Smurfit made several money finishes on the WPT Tour, where he won the Palm Beach CelebPoker Classic 2005 event. From 2006 on, he made appearances at the World Series of Poker, but was better known for his WPT career. 

Alan Smurfit won a WSOP bracelet back in 2007, which saw him win $464,867. By his retirement, he was able to gather $1.45 million in recorded tournament scores throughout his poker career.

Alan’s father, Jefferson Smurfit, was a prominent businessman, having founded Jefferson Smurfit & Sons in 1934 (later Smurfit Kappa Group and then Kappa Packaging). The large packaging firm now employs 42,000 people worldwide. Both Alan and his brother, Michael Smurfit, followed their father into the business. Michael Smurfit eventually owned the “K-Club”, a luxury resort and golf course west of Dublin, Ireland.

Zyrin Wins European Poker Tour Sochi National Event

The 2020 European Poker Tour Sochi kicked off back on October 2nd with the main event being the star jewel of the festivities. The poker tournament was a $1,026 buy-in EPT National no-limit hold’em event and out of 508 total entries, Anatolli Zyrin was able to come out on top. He ended up winning the top prize of $86,923 out of the $440,478 prize pool.

Zyrin was also awarded with 840 Card Player of the Year points from his first-place victory in the event. This event would count as his first POY-qualified score and had put him in a 14-way tie for 89th place in the 2020 POY race.

Zyrin had his biggest recorded score back in 2019 by winning the $1,500 mixed Omaha event at the WSOP, bringing home $199,838 from the event. Currently, he has picked up just over $1.5 million in live tournament earnings in his career.

Hershey Wins Venetian DeepStack Showdown Event

It was a good week for Caleb Hershey, who recently was able to walk away with the first-place prize in the $400 buy-in no-limit hold’em Monster Stack event. The event had a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool with the final pool ballooning to $512,154. There was a total of 1,538 entries in the event but none of them were able to overcome Hershey. He was able to bring home $74,123 for his victory along with 432 POY points. This was his first POY-qualified score of 2020.

Finishing in second place was Joseph Reddick, winning $70,596 and 360 POY points. Behind him was Travis Sargent in third place, taking home $49,655 and 288 POY points.

Bicycle Hotel Casino Reopens With Outdoor Gaming and Poker

After over six months of closure after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bicycle Hotel & Casino located in Bell Gardens has finally reopened. They resumed business by offering gaming action and a brand-new outdoor gaming area. The gaming area features over 50 tables with 17 of them being poker tables that are ready for cash game action.

They will still take the correct precautions in order to keep all of their guests safe. Some of the rules that they are planning to implement include hand sanitizer, maintaining social distancing, washing hands for at least 20 seconds and have all players use a Player’s Rewards Card in order to play any game on the property. That will be used for contact tracing in case the casino needs to contact.