The Celtic Poker tour has been running since 2004 and every year has a grand final.
Initially you had to win one of the many tour games to get into this, but they opened it up to all comers since 2008. Every year more regulars of the wider Irish scene find their way to Carlow for the finals and one inevitably wins- this year was no different.
The CPT is predominantly a rural tour and the demographic of the tour regulars would be mainly over forty. The events are a social night out for them and an enjoyable atmosphere to play poker is always in place. However over the three day excellently structured Grand Final the regular's style of play just isn't up to it.
The Final table was littered with recognisable 'names'. Colette Murphy and Mick McCloskey both had good runs but fell short on the final table. Alan McIntyre followed up his 5th place finish at the JP Masters by filling the same spot here.
With four remaining, Tom Kitt took total command in a massive pot with AQ v KK, the ace on the river added to Tom's already impressive stack and sending Noel 'twang' O'Brien to the rail in cruel fashion.
After a few hours sparring and the stacks levelling up measurably the three remaining players, Kitt, Tommy Walsh and Dimitri Pembroke decided to deal with Tom taking 19k and the trophy, Tommy and Dimitri getting a healthy 15k each.
I managed to increase my side event specialist reputation (which I hate) over the weekend taking down the €220 game for 4k and was very close to getting the best deal of my career in the process.
Three-handed, with me holding a huge chip advantage, the two lads discussed chopping second and third place money and giving me first. A ticket for a future event included in the second prize eventually killed the deal but it would have been fun to get full first place money in a deal with three players remaining.