Monday, March 21, 2022

EPT Prague

Bless me Father for I have shingles

It’s been a while since my last blog. There’s a couple of reasons for that: first I had shingles, a disease I knew nothing about until I caught it. I started to feel poorly after a night out celebrating my oldest son’s birthday. Initially I shrugged it off as the after effects of too much alcohol. Then the following day I felt some pain in my back and shoulder so I did what I used to do as a runner when I felt twinges: I iced. After I finished my session I noticed my back where I’d iced was bright red. Thinking I must have iced for too long I shrugged it off as an ice burn until a couple of days later I noticed it had spread to parts I hadn’t iced. 

Well let me tell you shingles is no fun at all. For the next two weeks I was pretty much good for nothing with zero energy, and the best way to describe the pain is it feels like ground up glass pushed into your skin. Pain doesn’t bother me much but with shingles there can be long term nerve pain which doesn’t sound fun at all, but thankfully mine cleared up completely. 

Vegas Slots Online

The second reason I haven’t blogged much in a while is I’ve started writing for Vegas Slots Online, following in Lappin’s footsteps. However, my focus is a bit different, as I’m happy to leave the new stories and opinion pieces to him. My initial vision for VSO articles is tales from the road and a general portrayal of what it’s actually like to be a poker pro these days.

That said I’m not giving up on this blog completely, so I’ll be updating it with more personal catch-up pieces like this one. 

It’s coming back, it’s coming back, live is coming back 

I opened my live campaign with a cash in the Irish Poker Tour Dublin stop. I followed that with a fun trip to Limerick for the Irish Poker Tour grand final. Next up was the trip to Prague for the EPT. The one sentence summary of my trip is 2 cashes, one mystery bounty, a Lock In, and the chance to catch up with a lot of great people I hadn’t seen in two years. 

The Lock In we did in Prague was our third live one. So far they’ve been very well received so we are definitely doing another at the Irish Open, and maybe one in Tallinn.

To be or not to be: that is the question

I wrote a largely positive review of the event for VegasSlotsOnline with a few minor constructive criticisms about things that could be done better next time. Or so I thought: until a Stars employee unexpectedly went to the trouble of setting up a new Twitter account to have an incognito pop. The drama didn’t last long: an official response from Stars made it clear the feedback was gratefully received and the “anonymous” account disappeared back when it came from.

Next up for me is another Stars event, the Mammoth, here in Dublin next weekend. After that I’ll be commentating on the final day of the French Poker Championships in Rozvadov, before the Norwegians and Irish Open in Citywest. As I mentioned above David and I may be making a short trip to Tallinn for the Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge. Then it’s straight into APAT and the Dublin Poker Festival, maybe a rumoured UKIPT Dublin, and then it’s time to head to the WSOP, so the next few months are mostly going to be about live poker. 

It definitely felt good to be back in the groove in Prague. But not as good as it felt to be back in peak physical shape after my illness. During that I felt every day of my age and wondered if I’d be able to handle the travel, long days and stress of live trips, but in Prague I was the one suggesting to David and Daragh that we go for long walks, and laughing as David almost respired up a lung  on the climb up to Prague castle. When I reminded him I’m 15 years older he snapped 

“You need to stop comparing us to you on this stuff: we are always going to be a disappointment to you”.



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