When I play poker in Cork I'm generally more enthusiastic about the game. I've often wondered why this is the case. I usually get some kind of a result there, but I'm not so fickle about the game to be that result orientated.
I think the realisation of the reason struck me when I was going through Dungarvan last Monday on my way to the Macau. As I was passing the accounting practice where I jacked in my job nearly five years ago to play poker full time, I was filled with very warm and positive feelings towards the game; god I hated that job!
Ken is making a real effort to produce a different kind of festival than we are used to here in Ireland and he came up with a super week's poker, with something for everyone.
Monday and Tuesday saw a shoot-out and short-handed tournament. I played both with no real depth, but both were very enjoyable and deserved more support.
On Thursday, Marty and myself headed to the pub early in preparation for the PLO event. We all arrived a bit late, and we were lucky enough that local socialite, Flipper, was able to fit us in on his tight schedule for a sweet dinner that Mark Spellman kindly paid for.
I'm not even decent at PLO but it's a game you can run well in. Buoyed by the dozen or so Guinness in the system, I got away with a few retarded bluffs early and got a nice stack together. The pivotal hand of the tournament for me was against Marty with about twelve players left and us both being chip leaders.
Now, I'd never question Marty's play at PLO, but his move of calling all those chips with a pair of threes and a ten high flush draw on the flop went way over my head.
The final table went okay, but by six in the morning, with five remaining and a hangover kicking in, I was delighted to take second place money of €2,500. The other four (obviously bedazzled by my PLO skills), got €1,500 and included Paul Spillane and Noel Magner, who went on to take the trophy- so well done Noel.
Friday was Day 1B of the main event and the starting table was difficult enough. I lost the two biggest pots I played over the day, a 28k pot with v the of James Hawkeye McManus, and a 24k pot last hand of the night, with Kings against a flush draw that went in on the turn.
With 14k going back for day two, I was hopeful rather then confident. Second hand in, I lose half of these when I call a short's shove with AJ and lose, he had 67. Queue the heater, I win two races with 77 and then hit a set over set and end level one with 50k.
Over the next three levels I get this to 100k, but fall back a bit just before dinner and get moved to a new table with about 75k. The first hand I play here costs me about 20k. Kings on a Jack high flop, against an elderly gent who wouldn't put down AQ, no draw, and hit the Ace.
Having recouped to about 80k, my exit came at the hands of the same gent. I raise the button with and we see a two club flop. He check raises me to 20k and I shove to be called with a set of three's.
I may seem spewy to be putting in that amount of chips with a bad over pair, but at the time I was confident I was value shoving.
It was a really enjoyable week overall. We managed to get in three rounds of golf with Marty winning the first two. His comment to his mate Ronan near the end of the second round, about me being easy money, deserved retribution and retribution was what he got Sunday, with me taking by far the biggest pot of the week.
We're heading to Donegal for four days golf this week and I'm sure he'll have his revenge as he'll know the courses fairly well.I'm looking forward to September's poker. The first weekend, I'll be at the Cue Club in Killarney for a €300 game. This should be another cracking weekend. I don't think I'll bother going to London at any stage but will take in the UKIPT Dublin and I've booked flights to Barcelona on the 22nd to take in the EMOP, an €1,100 buy in event that I played last year.