The fourth installment of the European Deepstack Poker Championship took place in Dublin at the weekend.
I've always felt the structure for this one a bit gimmicky, you get a mass of big-blinds on day one to mess around with, but the subsequent days play out like any other tournament.
However, you can't argue with a turnout of 740 players, of which amazingly only about 15% were Irish.
The majority of overseas visitors to the event were French, with a healthy sprinkling of Danish, Belgium and Germans. I really don't understand the bad press French players get, I always enjoy playing with them as there generally funny, cordial and make for a very active table dynamic.
I played Day 1A, which as it turned out was good idea. The day ones were a gruelling fourteen hours, so a day's rest in-between was a benefit.
The day went well over-all. I started fast, dropped a bit, got lucky to cooler Dennis O'Kane and played a good last level to finish on 110k, which was average.
There was one rather odd occurrence on my first table.
I was chatting away and a chap standing behind me, whom had been talking to the player sitting beside me, asks me am I from Waterford? I reply, 'I am', thinking he's picked up on my accent.
He then proceeds to ask me do I know Nicky Power and was he playing today. Now I'm a little taken aback by this but I tell him "He is and I think he's on table two", (I'm sitting at table two). The gent proceeds to tell me that he knows Nicky well and must go over and have a chat with him. It was all rather confusing.
The first two levels of day two were quiet. I then lost 66% of my chips in an v flip leaving me rather short. Luckily I was able to double shortly after with v in a short corner and never looked back for the rest of the day.
In about a four-hour period I managed to get 90k to over 700k without ever having more then a small portion of my chips in at showdown.
Again, with about two levels left my table broke. The new table was a different proposition, with many big stacks held by very good players including the unstoppable Sean Prendiville.
We were approaching the bubble but it was a funny dynamic as the table was stacked and mostly by "players", so no-one was able to take control and abuse the bubble.
I finished the day on a healthy 640k, with the average 500k and 72 players remaining.
Going back for day three I felt I had a right shout at the title. Instead, I had one of those days where it just went against me.
It started brightly when I called a 150k shove with Jacks and got to over 800k but that was to be my peak.
I was bet off a few pots and lost two 40/60 for smallish showdowns. With the blinds rising, I was left with a shoving stack.
I hung in for two levels but just never found a hand to double and inevitably I eventually ran into a hand, when I shoved 10BBs with into .
So, out in 27th on a split pay bubble for €1425. It didn't feel like a lot for over two days hard work, but its good to play well and get a cash on my first outing of the year.
In general I think the Irish put in a good showing over the tournament, we had 33% of the field with thirty players left. It went a bit wrong for us from there on in, last men standing were Sean with another great performance to bubble the final table and Fergal Cawley who came sixth.The Irishpokerboards forum live updates are getting better every event they cover. The lads are doing super work and certainly adding an enjoyable dimension to these events. They're covering these voluntary and deserve big thanks from us all for the fantastic service they provide.