Poker Pro, Podcaster, and Now VegasSlotsOnline News Writer: An Introduction to Dara O’Kearney

  • O’Kearney has played professional poker for 14 years after learning at the age of 42
  • He has earned multiple poker wins since then, including his first-ever live tournament
  • The poker pro has created content for years, including popular podcast ‘The Chip Race’
  • He has also written three books on poker strategy and is currently working on his fourth
Dara O'Kearney
Poker pro podcaster Dara O’Kearney has just joined the VegasSlotsOnline News team, and he has provided a few words of introduction for those who aren’t already acquainted with his background.

Poker player

For those who have no idea who I am, I’ve been a professional poker player for 14 years. That probably makes it sound like I’m in my early to mid-thirties rather than my late 50s. The reason for the disconnect is I didn’t even learn poker until I was 42. That probably has you thinking I’m a live player who started frequenting casinos during a mid-life crisis, but the reality is I’ve always primarily been an online player who plays live as a break.

the Irish Poker Open caught my eye on TV one night

I’ve always been a competitive person. After playing chess, bridge, and backgammon at a high level, I turned to running in my thirties. I won a few long-distance races and represented Ireland at the World 24 Hour Championships (not a typo and yes, it’s as mad as it sounds). As my ultra running career wound down, I was looking around for my next obsession when the Irish Poker Open caught my eye on TV one night. This looked like something I could try where my age wouldn’t be an issue.

I have some decent live results, including a 300k score for coming second at a World Series of Poker event, a second in the European Masters of Poker, a second in the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT), and a couple of seconds in European Poker Tour side events – are you starting to see a pattern yet? I’ve also managed some live wins, including the first-ever major live tournament I played (European Deepstack), a UKIPT side event, and a European Nations Cup.

Content creator

Since the start of my career, I’ve maintained a blog of my experiences. What started as just a Dear Diary for my own purposes soon turned into something that was read by others who want to get an idea into the life of a poker pro. I’ve always enjoyed writing (I maintained a similar blog in my days as a runner), and I was a content creator before the term existed.

it was a case of third time’s a charm when I started ‘The Chip Race’

After trying my hand at two short-lived poker podcasts in the early days of my career, it was a case of third time’s a charm when I started ‘The Chip Race’ back in 2015 with my close friend and collaborator David Lappin who most of you will know already. Seven years on we are still going strong – up for our second Global Poker Index award this year (we won at the first awards back in 2019).

David and I are both ambassadors for Unibet, and I’m also an ambassador for ShareMyPair (a hand sharing app: if you want my opinion on a hand, set it up in ShareMyPair and send me a link), and the world’s friendliest poker forum Cardschat where I maintain an Ask Me Anything thread.

Writer

In recent years I’ve been doing more writing. Most of this is strategy. A few years ago I published my first book with Barry Carter: Poker Satellite Strategy. Reaction and sales were sufficiently encouraging for us to keep going and write two more books: PKO Poker Strategy and Endgame Poker Strategy: The ICM Book. We are currently working on our fourth book on game theory and its relevance to poker.

I also churn out a lot of strategy articles for various sites and my free monthly newsletter. I used to write a monthly column for the now sadly defunct Bluff Europe which was less strategy focused and more stories from the road.

My initial vision for VSO News articles is tales from the road

This all brought me here to VegasSlotsOnline News. My initial vision for VSO News articles is tales from the road and a general portrayal of what it’s actually like to be a poker pro these days. However, this is where you guys and girls come in. If you have anything you’d specifically like me to write about, hit me up with your suggestions. I’m all ears!

Now that the introductions are out of the way, I’m looking forward to writing some articles for you all at VSO News.