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EPT Dublin

Day 3:

I thought I would go along to see if a miracle had happened and to see if they had decided to expand the number of tournament entrants. Plus Arsenal versus Manchester United was live on their big TV. I signed up for a hold em only game and sat down to watch  the build up to the match. Howard Plant was playing Backgammon with an Arabic guy in front of the TV in his bright yellow palm tree chequered shirt. By the sound of it he was losing money. There were only about ten people or so ('Bombus' from Late Night Poker with his wife and a few people who had come to watch the football) in the room at the time, and he suddenly spurts out, " I lost 12 grand yesterday. Can'ya believe it, 12 grand." As a matter of fact I could as he lost a couple of hundred in the ring game I played with him. On one of the rare occasions I engaged in conversation, he had hit quad 3's in Omaha with the flop KK3, after being checked around after the 3 on the turn. He bets the pot, it was pretty obvious he had the best hand as he is one of those guys who only bets when he knows he has the best hand. Both me and the bald guy at the table say we folded kings, he was smiling when he said it, I kept a straight face. Howard Plant gets all worked up and says, "Ahh nobody ever calls me, what do I hav to do."

Anyway the football started and I went over to play hold em. It was the weirdest table composition of players I had ever seen. Notably the old West Indian lady, she sat down at the table with her hand bag (similar to the avatar on PokerRoom) containing wool and knitting needles and then tried sitting in with 20 euros in chips (blinds are 2-5) so obviously she has to get some more as it is a 100 euro game. I believe she was well known by the casino staff and in the end they let her sit in with 40 euros. Next to her there was an old chap who was either drunk or stoned, then a couple of locals who looked like bums. The old lady goes broke quickly so she pulls out 100 euros, unfortunate for the guy on her right she puts a horrendous beat on him, he had pocket kings and she had KT, flop had a T in it and she called all in on it and the river showed another T. There were a few gasps, she just shrugs her shoulders and says "What could I do, I had a ten." The guy she beat had tears in his eyes and he quickly left.

A guy I had played against in the 300 euro tournament on day 1 started to talk to me, "Horrendous beat with ta flush." I didn't know what he was talking about. "Omaha yesterday." Still I didn't realise what he was talking about. They say you are a good player when you forget your bad beats, I put this down to short term memory loss. I told him I didn't play the Omaha yesterday as I thought he was referring to the tournament. "I'm pretty sure it was you, do you have a twin brother?" I asked him if he meant the tournament or the ring game. He replied the cash game. Then I suddenly remembered 'the flush' against stinky. I had totally forgotten about until then. After an hour or so the old lady and the drunk/drugged man had lost a few top ups. They were playing A7os like it was gold. Then there was a monster hand. A few people fold including myself. The guy two seats on my left, who was trying to make me laugh all the time even though it was quite clear I couldn't understand him (similar accent to Brad Pitt in Snatch), he raised, called by both the old timers and a young Irish guy who had I had played both previous days. Flop 78K (78 being diamonds), initial raiser bets the pot, called by the old lady all in, called all in by the old man and then raised all in for about 500 euros by the young Irish guy. Back on the initial raiser he says he has to call and does. T on the turn, the joker picks up his cards and shows me and the Chinese guy next to me 9Td. River produces 3d, the guy starts giggling and everyone turns over their cards. 9Td, K2os for the old lady, 88 for the old guy who had a set and Ace King for the Irish guy. With three people leaving, the table decides to have a break.

After watching the second half of the football match, I returned to the same table as I played at earlier, the game had changed to a round of each. Completely different people as the room had filled up, this was maybe an hour before the main tournament. There were a couple of big Omaha games going on, minimum buy-in 500 euros but most of the players had over 3000. An Asian guy throws a hissy fit because a player who had just beaten him took 1600 euros of the table to pay the registration fee. It seemed like everything in the room stopped to watch the unfolding soap opera. The guy in question was American and sporting a poker site jacket (either UltimateBet or PokerStars). He calmly tells the Asian guy with the headphones in one ear that he has the money covered. The Asian guy continued mumbling in a high pitch tone for about 5 minutes and eventually shut up.

There were quite a few unexpected famous people in the room at this time. Stephen Hendry the snooker player and Phil 'The Power' Taylor the darts world champion were the most surprising. Ram Vaswani was talking to Barny Boatman right behind the dealer at my table. There is no such thing as a great poker player, only a complete poker player and Ram Vaswani certainly is that. I watched an interesting documentary a few months ago on the mafia boss Frank Costello, it quoted him as saying, "Everything I have I stole. If I liked the way a guy smoked his cigarette, I stole it." This is very true of a lot of poker players, stealing plays from one another. The first time I really noticed myself doing this was after I returned to PokerRoom from PokerStars, I correctly deduced a weak player was on either an open ended or gut shot straight draw and called a big river bet with Ace high after I had bet the flop and the turn and checked the blank river. Prior to playing at PokerStars I would have never been able to make that call, I had seen a regular cash game player makes dozens of calls with Ace high and take down bluffs. If I could steal any poker pro's play book, it would be Ram Vaswani's.

Back to the poker table, me and the old guys. I'm up just about 330 euros at this point, all from one hand of hold'em. Folded around to me on the button, K9d, I raise to 15 euros, called by both the blinds. Flop was KT8 rainbow, checked around I bet the pot and both players call. 7 of hearts, matching either the 8 or Ten of hearts already on the board. Checked, all in, I knew it was draw automatically and raised all-in. The guy who was first to act blows a huge sigh and is nodding his head from side to side, after a few minutes he folds, turning over Ace King suited. Thanks for the respect, blank on the river and I pick up the pot. The losing player mucked his hand and left.

The tournament started around this time and the action died, I couldn't be bothered to wait around so I took my small recoup in losses and cashed out, preparing for the $150 re-buy the next day. (Continued: EPT Dublin Day 4)

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