Raw Power

Raw Power

Monday, 14 October 2013

The best from the Irish poker scene.

International Poker Open 2013

The Boylepoker.com International Poker Open (IPO) is back in Dublin! Taking place from October 16th to 21st at the Regency Hotel, the €200 + €30 buy in event, which attracted 1,148 players in October last year, now has three starting days, and BoylePoker.com is again increasing the prize pool with its Boylepoker Exclusive “20% Added Money” promotion.

A major change this year is that the tournament will for the first time be a “re-entry” event. For a lot of players each year the IPO is their first step onto a major live tournament stage and this new option may confuse some.

So what is a re-entry tournament? It’s simply a tournament you can re-enter once you have been “eliminated”. As the IPO will have three starting days this year, if you play one of the earlier starting days and are unfortunate enough to be knocked out, you can avail yourself of the re-entry option. You cannot re-enter on the same day you are eliminated, only on subsequent starting days.

Is this change good or bad for the tournament? Well, the issue of whether re-entry events are a good or bad thing has been a major topic of discussion over the last couple of years.

The benefits are that they give you a shot at a bigger prize pool for a smaller entry fee, which attracts more players. Also, for players who travel any distance to an event, the expenses are reduced in proportion to the entry fee with a re-entry option.

The downside is the some consider the re-entry to favour the better-rolled professional players. Imagine you knocked out a bigshot like John O’Shea on day one, only to find John sitting on your left stacked up on day two.

I can see both sides to the argument and must say that I’m not the biggest fan of re-entry tournaments in general. However, I think it’s a good option for the IPO, and for the majority of players the pros outweigh the cons.

The IPO is a fast structure with a high attrition rate. The majority of the field will be incurring travel and hotel expenses for the weekend, but the nature of the event means most players will take an early bath. Getting knocked out early will be very disappointing so I feel the option to re-enter is a welcome one for most players.

Remember, the re-entry option is just that, an option. There is no obligation to re-enter, so if your budget doesn’t stretch to a re-entry, don’t worry; it still plays as the same IPO we all know and love.
The IPO festival, or “the People’s Tournament” as I call it, is without doubt my favourite poker weekend of the whole year. The tournament is simply a celebration of the game of poker and a wonderful time is always assured. Win or lose at this one, everyone goes home with a smile on their face.


UKIPT Main Galway Main Event

How much the overlay would be was the main topic on poker players’ lips in the week leading up to the main event in Galway. After a measly turnout on day one, it looked bad for the organisers, but the numbers rallied for day two and reached a respectable 860 players with an overlay of “only” €140,000.

This was my second venture to the poker arena at the purpose-built village over the recent Galway Festival. I think by this stage the beer marquee/poker marquee ratio was 9:1 and I wouldn’t change a thing.

The most memorable occurrence on my starting table was seeing eventual final-tablist Christy Morkan fold kings to John Magill. I remember thinking at the time that Christy must not know John very well. However, having spoken to John later in the bar, it turned out to be the right fold and it was good to see Christy reap the benefit and make the final table.

I suppose the most memorable thing about the main event for me was getting to play against Islidur1, although “playing against” him would be stretching it. Quite simply, the great man was totally nitting it up.

I can remember raising a pot and Islidur calling the button just after I had arrived at the table. My thought process at this point is: “Oh shit, I’m going to get soul-owned by Islidur”. He folded to a c-bet. After a while it became clear he was just another tight Scandi and most of the table was fighting over who stole his big blind. It was all a bit surreal.

My exit wasn’t my finest moment. I min opened the button with K?5?, playing about 40k at 500/1000/100 level. An opponent I know 3-bet to 6.5k from the BB. I should fold now as I feel he’s not getting out of line often here, but inexplicably shoved for 35 BB’s effectively. I’m putting it down to fatigue, as shortly before my exit I had called a raise in the big blind. As I added my chips for the call I folded my hand at the same time to the amusement of the rest of the table.

When the final table was set it contained three Irishmen, three English, a Pole and a Scot. Christy Morkan, a local player who has been a regular on the Irish scene for years, would have been a very popular winner. His run was to be cut short, finishing in seventh for €22,000.

This left Irish hopes on the shoulders of two guys I have noted in this column in the past as excellent players, Daragh Davey and Dimitri Pembroke. The title was to elude the Irish duo, but both players would achieve their biggest scores to date with Dimitri finishing fourth for €62k and Daragh awarded €80k for his third. Scot Paul Febers took second and €150k, which meant another major Irish title was exported to English soil, with Alan Gold the recipient of the trophy and €187,000.

Christy Morkan
Tourney Pick

Apart from the wonderful IPO, October sees the return of one of Ireland’s longest-standing tournaments, the Paddy Power Winter Festival.

The schedule kicks off on Friday, 25th with a super satellite. The main event has a €1,000+125 buy-in and starts at noon on Saturday, 25th. With a full schedule of support events over the weekend, the festival offers something for all bankrolls.

While the Winter Festival may not boast as big a prize pool as it did in the boom years, it’s still an excellent tournament and a title every Irish poker player holds in high esteem.

Tags: Nicky Power, International Poker Open, IPO 2013, Irish Winter Festival