During the Dublin Poker Festival this year, VSO writer Dara O’Kearney remenisced about the Irish poker scene and bumped into some old faces. [Image: Shutterstock.com] The first win
The very first European Deepstack took place in Drogheda back in 2008. At the time, I was a relative newb who’d only learned the rules nine months earlier. Notwithstanding that, my obsessive and ultra-competitive nature meant I’d already played more hands online than most will play live in a lifetime. Still, €1,500 ($1,561) was a lot to plank down on one tournament, so I decided I’d only play if I satellited in.
I played a number of satellites online and got very close. On the Sunday before the Main Event, I played a live satellite in Drogheda and got close again (tenth, with seven tickets), but then played another satellite on Tuesday and got nowhere near. It seemed to confirm a recent worst-ever run of five or six tournaments without cashing (I honestly thought that was a horrendous downswing at the time).
So after the second satellite in Drogheda, I decided not to enter. I rang my wife Mireille to tell her to come get her despairing husband, and that the chicken-livered wimp had decided not to play. She was having none of it. you need to get in and mix it with the best.” “You’re playing. This is the tournament that suits your game best, you need to get in and mix it with the best. I put a blank cheque in your inside pocket, use it to enter before I get there or you’ll have me to answer to.” If only all poker wives could be so supportive and sensible.
Five days later I’m on the final table with a bunch of then Irish unknowns (myself included), and Hendon Mobster Joe Beevers. The “ unknowns” featured a very young Marc McDonnell and Tony Baitson. The entire final table had less than $2.2m in live cashes at that point, $2m of which was Joe Beevers, with me, Marc McDonnell, and Gary Clarke contributing a cumulative total of zero! As such, Joe must have […]
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