I don't like playing any live event, even a hundred quid crapshoot, unless I feel I can give it my best. In particular, I don't like playing side events when you are more interested in how someone else is getting on in the main. Lappin's continued involvement into day 4 of EPT Deauville therefore gave me the perfect excuse to take it easy for a few days. The company was good too, with a good crew of Irish players, some foreign heroes like Laurynas Levinskas, and some non poker degens like Mrs Doke (and her assorted family in France who visited us during the week) and David's girlfriend Saron (who as well as amazingly being able put up with David is tremendous craic).
David eventually got unlucky with kings against sevens with 40 left. While railing David on day 4 and over tweeting to keep myself from dying of boredom (I'm a terrible railer: watching poker without hole cards just seems like the most boring thing you can do, with the possible exception of watching cricket), I got chatting to Howard Swains, one of the Poker Stars bloggers, who then wrote this very nice well written piece on David just after he bust.
It's fair to say David was a bit tilted in the immediate aftermath of his exit so we went for a consolation ice cream. It was a great run and a brilliant performance in his maiden EPT, but we come to these things hoping to win and as he said to me a few days later even the 16k brick in the safe in his room was no real consolation. In fact it merely served as a visual reminder of what might have been.
David's unlucky demise freed us up to play a couple of side events. In one of these myself Jason and David registered just before kickoff and were "rewarded" by me and Jason being put at the same table, with David at the next table from where he took this snap.
"Why you bet so big on the river? If I don't have a set I don't pay"
The kid justified himself saying he felt the Frenchman was either calling or folding irrespective if bet sizing so he might as well bet big. The Frenchman was having none of this.
"It's because I am French, you think I am a fish"
The kid said diplomatically that the guy didn't really know what he was thinking but after steaming on for a little while the Frenchman said to his French neighbour (in French) "fuck these foreigners who look down on us just because we are French, we should kill them all".
At which point the kid piped up (in flawless French) "You realise that I'm Canadian so I understand French". That cracked the table up and instantly defused the situation. One of the many charming quirks a lot of French people have is to assume that you (as a foreigner) must understand French when they talk TO you but not when they talk ABOUT you.
We drove back from Deauville to Beauvais on Sunday with Mrs Doke as driver, me in the front as navigator, and Jason and Lappin as the two kids going "are we there yet?" and playing (open faced Chinese) in the back until they were all tuckered out.
I was interviewed by Evening Herald journalist Michael Lavery last week about the live scene in Ireland. These are recessionary times with buyins dropping across the board and it could be said that with a 2k buyin even the Irish Open is no longer a major international event. But on the plus side we have some good new tournaments from Stephen Mclean like the Super Poker event which allows players to play a Vegas sized tournament with a big prize pool for a relatively modest buyin. I'm also looking forward to the Legends Cup which offers players the chance to build a day 2 stack by playing up to 4 different day ones (and combining stacks).
Before that, next up for me is UKIPT Cork. I am heading down there Wednesday and hoping to reverse my recent live fortunes. Most of the Firm are travelling down for that and occupying the rooms we collectively won in packages so hopefully one of us will do the business. Live players be warned: the baby faced assassin of the Firm, online beast Jaymo, is coming for you. He waltzed in to the Deepstack for the 300 side event and got headsup.
One problem with all these live poker trips is they cut into the online grind. I say grind but it's not a particularly apt description for something I love as much as poker. A few years ago, I found myself in a cab with Liam Flood and after he had asked me how it was going and I had said "well live, not so good online", he asked me if I preferred that to the opposite. I said I would prefer to be going well online as I saw that as the core of what I did. I managed to get in three profitable sessions in France (playing on Irish Eyes where I booked a tourney win, Stars Fr and Winamax) and straight off the plane launched myself into the Sunday grind. On my first attempt at the Sunday Million a couple of weeks ago I ran deep into the last 100, busting in 70thish. I went 30 better this time. I was up among the chipleaders with 100 left so wasn't exactly thrilled to bust in 40th. I ran bad at the death but very well to get there so I can't complain. A sizable rail formed online: that kind of support is always great. It's also heartening to know I still have the game to claw myself through these massive runner fields and be in a position to go all the way. One of these days...