Thursday, August 23, 2012

Irish Classic

The Irish Classic in Cork was the target last weekend. I always look forward to playing in the Macau sporting club, generally you can be assured of some banter on the tables and historically I do well there. The banter was great last weekend, unfortunately the poker didn't go so well.

My starting table included Paul Carr, Fintan Gavin and the WBO International Middleweight Champion Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan. It's unusual to see a total novice in a €500 buy in but Gary had never played poker before so I guess that could be considered a good table draw. Fintan ever the gentleman took Spike under his wing and gave him loads of advice. Well maybe not loads but he showed him a hand ranking chart on his phone and told him to fold every time Fintan raised him.

It was a pretty good table and I doubled my 20k starting stack over the first six levels without playing a sizable or memorable pot. The last two levels of the night went bad for me and I returned day two with 28k which was 28 bigblinds.

My starting table on day two was tough including Chris Dowling directly on my left and good young Cork players, Tadhg Ryan and Colin Hammond. I found Kings, Aces and AK early but had to fold the kings on a ace high 3 spade flop after my continuation bet was raised and just took a few bigs with the other two premiums.

My exit came at the hands of Dowling in the second level of the day with 36 of the 103 starters remaining. I shoved 19 bigs over a button open with AJ and Chris woke up with AQ in the big blind. A jack on the turn game me a glimmer of hope but the Queen to follow on the river meant that hope didn't last long.

I was chatting to fellow Waterford native Dave 'Kakak' McCarty before start of play on Saturday. Dave is a real enthusiast of the game but wasn't overly confidant of his prospects in the conversation we had so it was a nice surprise to see he finished second for €10,000. 

The Irish Classic used to be the major Irish poker event of the summer months. Unfortunately recent years have seen a sizable drop in buy in, numbers and consequently prize pool. The extent of this could be gleaned from the fact that cashing for 5th place in 2008 was equal to 1st place money this year.          

It's a harsh environment for tournament operators in Ireland at present. With a glut of events and patrons disposable income almost non existent, putting bums on seats has never been more difficult.
It's probably nostalgia  on my behalf but I do feel bad about the decline of the event in recent years.