Raw Power

Raw Power

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Nicky on the WSOP, SCOOP and Galway Festival.

WSOP Nostalgia

The internet is currently awash with WSOP-related nostalgia. Nolan Dalla covered the landmark 2003 WSOP in a wonderful sequence of blogs for its tenth anniversary and the ever-entertaining Jessy May is on top form in his blog, Ya Luckbox, providing us with daily anecdotes and video clips of WSOP gone by.

All this reminiscing reminded me of a funny little incident that occurred during my first visit to the WSOP, in 2007. I was playing my first ever bracelet event, a $1,500 NLH, and we had reached the dinner break. Anyone who has played at the WSOP will be familiar with the dinner break dilemma of where to eat. Remember, this was 2007, a year where major bracelet events were decided in a freezing giant tent in the spot currently used as the outside smoking area. Let’s just say the Rio wasn’t as tuned in to player needs as it is today, and the “Poker Kitchen” which you now get close to the playing area wasn’t in play back then.

Finding sustenance meant a rushed two-mile trek to the main casino and inevitably a long line at one of the dining options the Rio had on offer. My companion on this endeavour was Gavin Kelly, a young Internet phenom, with whom I was sharing a house for the Series. We decided on “Gaylord”, the Rio’s Indian restaurant.

Upon entering the restaurant the maitre d’ approached us and asked were we playing the poker tournament.

When we replied yes, he ushered us straight to a seat and immediately produced menus. We ordered quickly.

At this stage I noticed Devilfish, Marcel Luske and Mel Judah sitting at the table next to us. Back then, TV “name” poker players were the stars of the show and I felt like a right baller to be dining in such close quarters to these esteemed players.

When our starters arrived I noticed some rumblings discontent from the stars’ table that I thought were directed at us. Almost immediately once the appetisers were finished the plates were cleared and our main courses arrived. This caused rather more commotion on the opposite table and now I was sure it was directed at us.

When the maitre d’ arrived with our coffee and bill, he was accosted by Mel Judah. Mel, in rather colourful language, pointed out that our table, which had entered the restaurant 15 minutes after his table, had now finished its full meal, yet his table had yet to be served starters. His reply was priceless: “But sir, they are poker players!”

RP Judah

SCOOP round up

There were some outstanding Irish performances in the recent Spring Championships of Online Poker (SCOOP). It was certainly a case of the cream rising to the top with some of the most recognisable and talented Irish players making their presence felt in the flagship series of online poker tournaments.
Boylepoker pro John ‘dagunman’ O’Shea had a rather frustrating run of tournaments, finishing on the second-last table in no fewer than six events. His best result was in event SCOOP-22-H, where he ran jacks into aces on the final table bubble, finishing tenth for $22,000. John was pragmatic about his run of final table bubbles stating, “At least I’m cashing which is encouraging heading into a long summer grind at the WSOP.”
Jason “blaaaaaah666” Tompkins was looking to top a fantastic 12 months when he final-tabled SCOOP-42-H. Unfortunately for Jason, things didn’t go his way when they mattered most and he finished eighth for $27,000.
The best Irish performances came in SCOOP-42-H, a $1050 buy-in event. Jude ‘j.thaddeus’ Ainsworth is no stranger to SCOOP success, having won the main event in 2009 for a million dollars. In this event he would just fall short, finishing fourth for $104,000.

Upon Jude’s exit the three remaining players negotiated a deal. Sean ‘MonkeyBudg’ Prendiville continued his good form of 2013, securing $198,000 in the rearranged prize pool. Sean would ultimately finish third but received only $1,000 less than the eventual winner.

RP Prendeville

New Galway Festival

Irish poker received a major boost with the announcement of a new major festival for Galway. 2013 hasn’t been a bed of roses on home soil with dwindling field sizes and I feel a general air of doom surrounding the poker fraternity. This massive new festival could be just the shot in the arm that poker needs here.

The festival will take place from July 29th to August 12th, with the highlight being the five-day, €1,000,000-guaranteed, €1,100 buy-in UKIPT Main Event, running from August 8th to 12th. All the action on and off the felt will take place at the custom-built Full Tilt Poker Village right in the heart of Galway.

The festival will host a wide range of events throughout the two-weeklong festival, which will add even more excitement to a city already buzzing with the Galway Raceweek, which runs from July 29th to August 4th.

The Main Event is just one of over 55 tournaments and events taking place, including the €2,5000-entry Irish Poker Championship, the €1,100-entry UK v Ireland Heads Up Challenge and, for the first time ever, the Irish Bridge Masters.
RP Galway

Tags: Nicky Power, Ireland, Devilfish, Mel Judah, Sean Prendiville