The first coursing NLH festival was in 2006. Two English gents sat into a cash game and threw a party, it was their first time playing, I bought in for €300 and cashed out €12,000.
I had only been playing a year at the time and it was a huge score for me. One of these gents was at my table Sunday and it was amusing to hear him telling me he has progressed to playing the biggest cash game in London, with some of the best players in the world.
I only played the main tournament where a decent 158 started. My starting table had Eoghan Lyons and Silky at it. I shared a house with Eoghan in Vegas in '07 and he's a top player but has been off the scene since moving to Australia in early '08, it was good to see him playing again.
I played reasonably well through the tournament and had an average stack, 18 big blinds, when I ran into with 26 players left and 20 paid. I raised under the gun and the button, who had been steady, pushed just covering me.
If I'm honest, I maybe could have folded, but in general I'm not folding very often with 18 blinds.
I'm looking forward to the next two weeks. The 'European Deep Stack' should be interesting if a bit strange, as its mainly populated with French players. I think the field is expected to reach 460 starters with roughly only 60 Irish.
The following week sees leg two of the UKIPT in Manchester. I've never cashed in about six attempts across the water, so hopefully I can right that.
It's only been about six weeks since the IPC and I think I've played four tournaments in total since, but it feels like ages since I hit the money in a tournament.