Irish Open Action

We have ignition -– the 2009 Irish Open has kicked off with 701 players competing for a slice of the €2.2 million prize pool.

The 2009 Irish Open gets going

The 2009 Irish Open gets going

The Irish old guard are out in force with players like Liam ‘the gentleman’ Flood and Padraig Parkinson rubbing shoulders with WSOP Omaha champion and Irish Open 2007 winner Marty Smyth, WSOP bracelet winner Ciaran ‘Big C’ O’Leary and Andy ‘The Mad Monk’ Black and his ultra-fuzzy beard which he probably could have registered separately.

'Networking' with Ciaran 'Big C' O'Leary at the 2009 Paddy Power Poker Irish Open

'Networking' with Ciaran 'Big C' O'Leary at the 2009 Paddy Power Poker Irish Open

Also in attendance is ‘Action’ Dan Harrington complete with trademark green Boston Red Sox hat, Phil ‘Unabomber’ Laak with his trusty hoodie and 2006 WSOP main event champion Jamie Gold.

Internet high-stakes whiz kid Brian Townsend flew all the way over from his new UK home only to take the dubious honours of being the tournament’s first casualty; running his set of Fives into a set of Aces on the feature table and busting out on level one… ouch!

Some of the UK’s top players are also in attendance including: Full Tilt Red Pro Richard ‘Chufty’ Ashby, Marc Goodwin, Ryan Fronda, Hit Squad members Karl Marenholtz and James Akenhead, Gala Nottingham champion Rupinder ‘George’ Bedi, Gala Liverpool champion Zach Ford, serial GUKPT casher Nik Persaud, WPT winner Surinder Sunar and Hendon Mobster Barny Boatman.

Flying the flag for Wales is Dave ‘El Blondie’ Colclough and 2007 WSOPE runner-up and serial raiser John Tabatabai, let’s see if we have more luck here than we did in the Six Nations…

Check out the action via Paddy Power’s live feed here or follow the highs and lows of Europe’s largest poker tournament at the Irish Open blog.

Craic Dealing…

The atmosphere at the Open is always friendly, which may or may not have something to do with the craic that is seemingly in abundance. I couldn’t find any… although I did manage to continue my stunning run of tournament form, managing to get knocked out of the media event after about two hours; getting all the money in the middle pre-flop and running my Ace King in to Pocket Jacks, which quickly became quad Jacks… not good. 😦

Fortunately the kind Paddy Power PR guy Paul Burke took pity on me and fed me pints of Guinness until I couldn’t walk or talk properly (called networking in the trade I believe ;)) and then I proceeded to hit the cash tables… possibly not the best idea I’ve ever had, but a lucrative one nevertheless as I sucked my way out to glory and a nice €300 profit. Tidy!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ladbrokes sponsored player Jon Kalmar today discovering that:

Interviewing Jon Kalmar

Interviewing Jon Kalmar

He is one of poker’s genuine nice guys but will call you a moron if you upset him at the tables (no, it wasn’t me).

He actually used to be a singer in a punk band.

Check out his blog – and I’ll also be posting a link to it in the side bar alongside Ciaran O’Leary’s blog so feel free to peruse at your leisure.

I’ll be pimping out the article next week or so, along with all the other interviews I have lined up so stay tuned and I’ll keep you guys posted.

If things go according to plan (which they usually don’t) I should be interviewing Dan Harrington tomorrow and hopefully Phil Laak, Jamie Gold and Brian Townsend, unless of course he’s already left due to his early exit.
Unfortunately Tony G was unable to attend so I won’t be interviewing him this weekend – but rest assured he will be tracked down and brought to a magazine article near you… soon.

More updates to follow over the weekend as I continue my assault on the cash tables and conduct more player interviews (though not at the same time, obviously).

Stay tuned for more exciting adventures.

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