SharkRankings.com, a new poker rankings website that has just launched today, will dish out €1m to any individual who can claim five victories at 10 poker tournaments taking place in Ireland this year.
So who is behind the new venture? Leitrim native Breifne Earley is co-founder of SharkRankings.com, along with Chris Griffin. Early already has start-up experience. Back in 2010 he set up Challengeten.com, a website on which he has set himself many challenges. As well as in Ireland, the site now has subsequently had take-up from participants undertaking their own challenges in Australia, New Zealand and the US.
Griffin and Earley say they set up SharkRankings.com to rank players’ abilities regardless of whether they compete on a casual or professional basis.
The website is aiming to become Ireland’s foremost poker-ranking websites. It includes listings of all poker tournaments available in Ireland across each of the clubs and festivals in the country, as well as selected ranking events online.
"It all started with a discussion about who was the best poker player in Ireland," explained Earley. "We decided to establish a mechanism by which that argument could be settled once and for all!"
He said SharkRankings.com takes every tournament across the country into consideration so the individual on top of the rankings at the end of the year will "genuinely be the best form player" of the year.
As regards the €1m cash prize, this will go to any individual who wins five out of 10 of Ireland’s "most prestigious" poker titles in 2012, according to the co-founders.
"We recognise the talent that is required to capture a title at any single event and so we are prepared to award a cash prize of €1,000,000 to any individual who can secure five victories at the top 10 Irish tournaments this year," added Earley.
SharkRankings.com co-founders Breifne Earley and Chris Griffin
To give a playful twist to the launch, SharkRankings.com carried out what its called a ‘poker face’ survey, asking people in Ireland about whether they ever pull a poker face. It also looked at prominent Irish people who apparently pull poker faces.
Interestingly, in the political arena, Gerry Adams was voted the party leader with the best poker face, according to two out of three respondents (65pc), followed by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny at 13pc, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin at 12pc and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore at 11pc.
In business, 45pc of respondents voted, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary as having the best followed by Bill Cullen (28pc) and Denis O’Brien (27pc).
*To win the €1m cash prize, Earley and Griffin said an individual must win five out of the 10 titles below:
- UKIPT Galway
- Super Europe Event
- Irish Open
- UKIPT Dublin
- International Poker Open
- Irish Winter Festival
- European Masters of Poker
- SharkRankings.com Club Champion
- SharkRankings.com Online Champion
- SharkRankings.com National Club Champion.