While the Irish Open is a wonderful event and I wouldn't swap it for all the EPTea's in China; but it does bleed the Irish poker economy.
With Easter falling so late this year, we poker players had just eight days to dust off our Open hangovers and head to the Ballsbridge Inn for the fourth instalment of the JP Masters. Unfortunately many never made it!
I guess with a congested calendar something had to give, it's such a pity it was the turnout for this fantastic event.
Quite simply JP McCann runs the best show in the country and his tournaments need and deserve to be supported better then this.
The tournament itself was a classic with many of the country's top players fighting out the latter stages.
I cruised through Day 1 with a lovely stack but came a cropper early in Day 2, losing a massive pot to eventual winner, Tony 'The Pirate' Rafter.
Mark McDonell had amassed a huge stack and looked to be unstoppable until the poker Gods decided he was, well, stoppable.
A series of beats saw Mark eventually finish just short of the final table but it really is just a matter of time for this guy.The class of the final eight was testament to the fantastic structure and Tony can take great satisfaction for seeing off that lot.