Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Following on from my unplanned visit the previous week, it was back to Galway on Thursday for the UKIPT-IPC.

The weather had become a lot worse in Waterford but I was sure once I got about 20 miles west, the rest of the trip would be ok. As I suspected it was, and it took me the standard three hours to get there.

I found it quite amusing when Neil Kelly told me that he had decided his best option was to get to Galway by motorway, so he went Waterford-Dublin-Galway, taking a wonderful eight and a half hours, WP!

When the event finally kicked off after a day's delay, my starting table looked horrific with Rory Rees Brennan, Dermot Blaine, the eventual winner and benefactor of my chips was Nick Risk, who I'd played at the IWF and Nick Silver who won the UKIPT Dublin last year, basically ten pros.

The first real hand I played, I spewed about chip_icon.jpg4k of my starting twenty in a bad spot. The second hand I played, I went out in an odd one.

Nick one raised and was called by Nick two. I decided to just call from the small blind with Unkown suit QUnkown suit Q, disguising the strength of my hand. Rory also came along from the BB. The JXX dry flop was checked to Risk who bet chip_icon.jpg650, I called and the other two got out of the way.

The turn was an innocuous three and I checked again. This is where the hand got a bit strange. Risk bet chip_icon.jpg6100, which stunned me a little and took me a few seconds to assimilate.

He'd either mistaken a chip_icon.jpg5k chip for a 500 one, was making a rather strange bet or was pulling an angle for me to believe he'd mistaken his chips. I was leaning towards the first and this was confirmed, when Silver pointed to his bet size and his face dropped.

I decided to just push, as I felt he wasn't putting another chip in the pot if he was bluffing and I was getting called by many worse hands because of the odd dynamic. He vocally made a crying call which made me think I was good, but was in fact drawing to two outs against a turned set of threes.

It was disappointing; I'd probably have lost a third of my chips in the hand anyway but would never have burst. When I found out that there was a table re-draw for the tournament after the second level, this tilted me a lot more as the starting table should never have been.

It was a simple error, whereby the shuffle button on the software on the list of entries was never pressed. This meant that the players were seated in the order as they were received. Basically all Stars' qualifiers were seated together, same for live qualifiers, direct buy-ins etc.

I think someone should have copped what happened earlier when the four Pokerstars pros were seated in a line on the same table.

For the rest of the weekend I played two side events, lasting until the last three tables in the first and murdering my chips in the second.

I said before the event that I wasn't a fan of reducing the buy-in, as I felt it reduced the prestige of the Irish Championship. The event was hugely changed from previous years and for me just hadn't the same buzz.

It's a pie in the sky dream but I'd love to see two top tournaments in Galway, a UKIPT leg and bring back the old IPC.

I did hear a funny story from the cash tables late on the Saturday night. One of the players wasn't happy with a ruling given by the floor staff. The irate punter somehow thought the matter merited the attention of the guards, who duly arrived and arrested him!