Thursday, October 9, 2008

Killarney Festival

I've been traveling down to Killarney now for a few years to play poker and always have a great time. On one of my first visits there my friend Pat Storen who has been going for 20 years for snooker tournaments told me " give it two to three years and Connie will have the whole country down here playing poker". Well as the picture above shows his predictions certainly came through the past weekend.

I got down to the kingdom on Thursday and on arrival Connie gave me a bit of a tour of the set up. I was mightily impressed. The conference center at the Gleneagles is without doubt the most impressive venue that I have played poker at in Europe. It was a magnificent venue and the lads ran the event with a military precision, It was obvious from the off that a huge amount of planning went into it.

If I had any problem with the weekend it was the standard of dealer. Some were very bad, this could be just a result of variance and is something i have encountered with smaller fields and bigger buy-ins but some of the guys who dealt my tables were atrocious. Having said that I think its logistically impossible to ensure a high standard of dealer at this size of event.

I played the three tournaments over the weekend and never got going in any of them. In the main event I played two 10k pots early in level two, winning one when I made a good call with top pair and losing one with flopped top set against a flopped straight. I never got anything going after this and my chips dwindled away eventually going out in unspectacular fashion.

I lost a 35k three way pot in the €300 event at level 6 with QQ v JJ v AK and feel a possible deep run was on if I could of won the pot as there was a few very big stacks on my table who had no idea what they were doing. Finally in the €170 game on Sunday I went out with flush over flush in the third level. It was a disappointing weekend poker wise but when you play as many tournaments as I do you become pretty pragmatic about them and understand that 75% of the time you wont cash. On weekends like this where you cant get anything going, its like putting in the numbers of non cash events. With a fairly hectic schedule over the coming months I'm confident enough of getting another good result in before Christmas.

Probably more disappointing then my poker results was my losses at pitch & putt. My old sparing partner Sideshowbob was the opponent for foursome matches on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Bob is a cunning one and employed the ginger run good factor teaming up with lucky Jimmy ( winner of the main event ) on Saturday and Marty Smyth ( winner of everything ) on Sunday. Dis-spite playing some stunning stuff myself I couldn't out run these ginger luckboxes and lost a very painful €13.

All in all a brilliant weekend and this festival will run and run. Its like the Irish Open at a working mans buy in. I was thinking of what the whole setup reminded me of and its like a big Irish themed Vegas casino without the gaming floor. Well done to both my bosses at Thomas and Paul who battled through the largest field for a European ranking event ever to cash. Also, my mates Sideshow and Pat who made the money and especially lucky Jimmy who took down first prize and in the process un-bankrupted the Cork poker scene. A big thank you to Connie/Matt/Bigslick for a great weekend