I headed to the Burlington Thursday evening, full of the hope that the poker gods would shine on me and my name would be on the trophy come Monday evening. I'll be back next year with the same optimism.
Decided on playing the super satellite late. Mainly as a ploy to keep me out of trouble. It worked as I managed to pass the bar, which was hopping upon my exit at 2 am
I knew Jay Renehan and recognised a couple a couple of other Irish lads at my starting table. It looked a decent draw until top English pro's Andy Ward and Laurence Houghton filled the two empty seats after about 30 minutes
I had dropped to 7,500 after finding and in two hands where opponents chased draws and hit. I was happy I had lost the minimum.
After another level the table was broken. Andrew Grimason was running the show on my new table, which was far more aggro than the first.
The early and were the only two hands I had for the first six hours. All I really could do was to maintain my stack between 9k and 11k for this time
Towards the end of level six, the chip leader at the table limped in early position, the first limp in three hours. Another three followed and I made up the small blind with . The flop of was rather pleasing. However, I started to think it might not be my day when all five checked the flop behind and then folded to my small lead when a second suit Jack hit the turn.
My exit came on a new table shortly into level seven. Jason Tompkins opened the button to 1,100 and I re-popped to 3,400 holding off suit with the intention of calling a shove. Unfortunately he held .
Jason is a player I've played against over the years and has developed into one of the best in the country. My initial reaction was it was a cooler as Jason's range for opening here is any two cards.
Given time to digest the hand, I should probably fold when he pushes. Our stack sizes were practically identical. And as he knows I'd seldom raised/folded over 8 of my 23 blinds here, he almost always had me crushed when he shoved.
Another fantastic run from Pete Murphy. His record in reaching final tables in major Irish tournaments over the last two years is phenomenal. It really is just a matter of time until he gets his hands on a major title.
I was gutted for runner up Paul Carr. Paul's a top lad and regular at every festival in the country. He put up an epic showing and but for a cruel river would of been crowned champion. When the dust settles, I'm sure he'll take some solace from the €312k cheque and his place assured in Irish poker history.
Having exited the tournament, it was onto the back up plan of Marty's s
tag. Marty was a little surprised to find himself handcuffed to a dwarf for 24 hours. He was probably more surprised to find the dwarf spooning him in bed the next morning.
The following week was spent golfing at the fabulous Lough Erne Golf Resort. We did take a day off from the golf for Marty's wedding.
A fantastic week, in a smashing spot with the best of company, good times.