Ireland traditionally kicks off the year with a major event. In the past Christmas was spent in anticipation of the Pokerevents Irish Poker Championships. Currently the WPT have taken over the mantle of producing a top event on week one in January. While this year offering was reduced from a full WPT title to a National title it was still a big tournament with a special location on the calendar.
What’s so special about the date? Well I can guarantee you it’s probably the only tournament of the year that every entry enters with a newfound confidence. No matter how bad you’ve been running of how bad your results the previous year the slate is clean entering this one. It’s a new start a rebirth and everyone is thinking maybe just maybe this is my year.
Thus it was with a new found optimism I headed to the City West complex on the Thursday evening before day one-B. The confidence didn’t last long. I decided to play the super satellite. About half way through a gent decided to limp/shove 25 BB’s with K7os into my Jacks and got there.
Upon exit I met Fintan Gavin, Tom Hanlon and Kirsty from pokerstars. Fintan suggests one drink. I have never been a big fan of the noon start for poker tournaments and certainly wasn’t that Friday because I was now nursing a brute of a hangover.
Sandwiched between Dermot Blain and the Impressive Marc Wright and Ronan Gilligan in attendance, I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy ride so just kept my head down and avoided tough spots.
Over the day I wasn’t playing a lot of pots but was wining the one’s I played. I then got a full double after dinner with AA, shoving 1.5x the pot on the river having pretty much nailed my opponents AQ on the Q high board. This put me on 55k and I finished what was all in all an uneventful enough days poker with 74k ahead of the average.
An early night was in order and I arrived the next day full of bounce with 89 of the 236 field remaining. The table looked tough enough, there was two young Scandis on the table one particularly aggro, whom I’d tangled a bit with the day before, the other two to my left whom I was to find out was just as aggro.
The first hand I played was against a middle-aged lady who opened early, I flatted AK expecting some action behind which didn’t occur. I checked back The K10x flop and called turn and river losing 9 bigs in the hand to a set. It felt like id dodged a bullet after the hand and I won two small pots shortly after.
About an hour in a big hand developed on the table, the Scandi I’d play with the previous day 5-bet shove QKos into Sunny Chattha’s JJ. When the QK got there, I commented to Andy Black on my left that it really is an injustice for QK to win that hand.
The exact next hand I’m dealt JJ on the button and the northern European gent in the big blind ended up 5-bet shoving A7os on me. I couldn’t get the chips into the pot fast enough but alas to no avail as an Ace flopped. I had 66k (55bigs) starting the hand so it was a huge pot for that stage of the tournament with 70 players remaining and 27 paid.
Generally I’m pretty good to take an exit but I was absolutely gutted here. Rather then being my usual gracious self I made a sarcastic “well played “ comment and let out a few expletives leaving the tournament area. It’s very unlike me; I’m blaming all that bloody New Year optimism. At least the guy put the chips to good use going onto to finish 2nd in the event.