Posts Tagged ‘Dan Harrington’

Irish Open Aftermath

April 15, 2009

Well the dust has settled, I’m back in sunny Wales and we have our 2009 Irish Open champion.

Congratulations to Christer Johansson who bagged himself a bankroll boosting €600,000 for his four days of hard play. The 39-year old Swede is a well-known online cash game specialist who plays under the handle ‘sendmemore’. Johansson triumphed over a professional-heavy field of 700 players, including such stars as Dan Harrington, Jamie Gold, Phil Laak, Marty Smyth, Ciaran O’Leary and Neil Channing.

TV presenter and former model Kara Scott finished in second place, taking home €312,600, with Andrew Pantling receiving €205,200 for third – which just goes to show that a monster chip lead will get you far, but won’t guarantee you the win. Such is the fickle nature of tournament poker.

It was a great weekend’s poker and the atmosphere surrounding the final table and the tournament was great. The Irish are always ultra-friendly and certainly know how to have fun.

As Phil Laak also pointed out to me over the weekend, the creamy froth on the head of a pint of Guinness is a miraculous invention and it is in fact true that Guinness tastes better in Ireland.

While my own time spent at the tables over the weekend (after I’d done all my work obviously…) may not have won me €600,000 I did actually manage to finish up.

Granted it was only €50 up for the whole weekend but a win’s a win as they say.
It was all going so well but a disastrous session at the tables on the Friday night saw myself and GCBPT Liverpool champ Zach Ford get crunched by some crazy Asian woman who was hitting every flop in sight; call a re-re-raise with King Jack, flop the nuts, call a raise with Ace Jack make quads… and it went downhill from there. In fact, the highlight of the evening’s play was retiring to the bar. Still, I was getting paid to be there as well so life’s not all bad 🙂

And on a positive note, I think I managed to drink my body-weight in Guinness.

Back To The Grind

Work-wise I have features and interviews coming out of my ears, but as any freelancer will tell you – this is a good thing 😉

I’m currently working on the interview I did with Albert Iversen and it looks like I’ve got that one sold so will let you know when it’s coming out.

I’ve also sold the Phil Laak feature and that’ll be published around summer time, probably towards the middle of June.

My website goes live at some point tomorrow (fingers crossed) though this is obviously based on no technical issues which always have a nasty habit of arising just when you least expect it.
Check it out: www.RazorSharpProse.com
I’ll stick a link up to it in the side bar of my blog when it goes live.

Off to the big smoke (that’ll be London) on Friday for some more work and a meeting with the editor of a new poker title – I’ll let you know more closer to the launch date.

I may or may not be going to the GUKPT Manchester, it’s all work dependent so I will be grinding hard for the next couple of weeks.

On a poker playing related note, I might even find time to play in my local deep-stack event on Thursday – the £60+5.50 10,000 starting stack at the Grosvenor, Cardiff Bay.
Being as I won this when I played in it two weeks ago, I’ll certainly be looking to repeat chance – fingers crossed…

Keep it real folks, and if all else fails, try Wales 😉

Paddy Power Irish Open 2009 Updates

April 11, 2009

More action and adventure as the 2009 Paddy Power Irish Open continues.

Some big names have fallen by the wayside including Roland De Wolfe, Dan Harrington, Andy Black and Donnacha O’Dea.

There are 138 players out of the starting 701 entries and with €600,000 on offer for first place there is still fortune and glory to play for.

The UK’s Andy Bradshaw returned today as one of the chip leaders but has unfortunately gone out just before the dinner break. Actually correction there – Mr Bradshaw is still going strong and is in fact on the feature table as we speak (as of 14:39 Sunday 12th – well can’t be right all the time :()

The always-friendly Jon Kalmar has also gone along with around 100 others as we draw ever closer to crunch time.

Ciaran O’Leary has also hit the rail running into every tournament players worst nightmare; the dreaded Aces vs. Kings scenario with all the money in the middle pre-flop.

Read more about Ciaran’s exploits here at the Paddy Power Irish Open blog.

The €300 Omaha re-buy is in full swing with 115 players gambling with reckless abandon including Ireland’s Andy Black and the UK’s Dave Colclough.

Harrington on Hold ‘Em

Despite his exit from the tournament yesterday, I caught up with an extremely friendly Dan Harrington this morning, who gave me a great interview.

Harrington on Hold'Em

Harrington on Hold'Em

Without too many spoilers it was a really good interview where he revealed just what his fellow pro’s thought about him giving away valuable poker trade secrets to the general public, how he’s had to change his style since the release of his books, and why poker is just like business.

I’ll be transcribing the interview up just as soon as I return to the UK so watch this space for updates.

I also had the pleasure of interviewing a young up-and-coming Danish player by the name of Albert Kirk Iversen who has been destroying the high-stakes heads-up online cash games.

What’s that you say? Another ridiculously aggressive Scandie… but seriously this kid seems really focused and with three WSOP cashes (including a 3rd in the $1000 NLHE event) and a 4th place finish in the Budapest leg of the EPT it is only a matter of time before this guy takes down a major tournament and wins himself some silverware.

As well as discussing how to deal with 400k down swings and talking metagame, Albert revealed just how much work you have to put into the game to be successful at the top level. He’s currently in the midst of going deep in this years Irish Open so stay tuned for updates or check out the action on the Paddy Power blog.

On The Prowl For The Big Bad Wolf

With some great interviews bagged already, I’m obviously still eager for more so am in the middle of attempting to collar the infamous Roland De Wolfe for an interview – maybe even a ‘Pro on Pro’ interview with Interpoker sponsored Finnish poker pro Juha Helppi.

I spotted Roland playing Chinese poker in the Citywest’s lobby earlier so will see what I can do.

Phil ‘Unabomber’ Laak is still in the main event with around 40k in chips, so I’ll have to lurk on the sidelines to get an interview with him, but will be trying my hardest.

Jamie Gold is around as well so I’ll see if I can work my Welsh wizardry and pin him down for interview.

WSOPE 2007 runner-up John Tabatabai (a fellow Cardiff boy no less :)) has escaped my interview clutches this time around… next time gadget, next time… by escaping back to London to terrorise the internet once again, but as I’m in London next week for business it looks like I’ll be able to get an interview sorted with him as well – he seemed very amiable about the whole thing.

I’m off to grab me some of the Citywest’s fine cuisine so have to keep this blog entry like a pair of pants – brief.

Tune in tomorrow for more blogage.

Irish Open Action

April 10, 2009

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.

Getting down with the sickness…

April 7, 2009

So… Welcome to my blog; let’s get right into it and start getting down with the sickness…

As a qualified professional and self-confessed poker degenerate, it’s been a busy few weeks for me both on and off the poker tables.

While I’ll be mentioning certain poker websites and providing links through to all topics I tend to talk about, please be aware that this is not just shameless plugging – I receive nothing for getting you guys to check out any of the links I provide, it’s just me being thorough.
(Obviously I’m not responsible for any content I myself don’t post, and if you sign up to one of these online poker rooms on the ol’intermawebthingy and lose a shed load, that’s not my fault either. ;))

RazorSharpProse and WPT

I’m currently in the midst of revamping and launching my freelance website – www.RazorSharpProse.com (be aware that it doesn’t go live until next week) – here you can check out some of the articles and interviews I’ve written for WPT magazine, Poker News and see some of the articles I have awaiting publication for the new and redesigned Players Publishing World Poker Tour magazine.

I’ll be keeping my blog updated with what forthcoming features I have pending and for whom, for any and all interested fans of the beautiful game of poker.

I have an upcoming Pro on Pro interview with Welsh poker wizard and mean Omaha player Dave ‘El Blondie’ Colclough and James ‘Flushey’ Dempsey that’ll be in the next issue of WPT (issue 42, on sale in the next two weeks I believe)– it’s quite an interesting one where Dave and James discuss the changing face of the game and how to adapt and be successful in the modern game. Link through to the feature online at the WPT website here.

You can check out WPT’s shiny new magazine website here: www.wptmag.com
Feel free to chip in with some feedback (though I would prefer constructive criticism rather than being flamed…)

GUKPT Updates

Poker-wise, I have just returned from a lucrative working trip to the GUKPT London leg at the Victoria Casino.

Congratulations to Richard Kellett on taking down the £200 re-buy and winning himself the an extremely tasty £26,350 – I had the pleasure of interviewing Rich at the GCBPT Grand Final at the Harborside Casino in Bristol at Christmas and figured it was just a matter of time before he took down a decent live tournament (of course 15th place at the EPT Dortmund is nothing to be sniffed at either…).

I even found time to call in at The Empire Casino in Leicester Square, home of the WSOPE for a hit and run on the cash tables with partner in crime, PLO degenerate and fellow Tafia member Neil ‘6-card’ Shellard.
This coincided nicely with a chance to catch up with their new card room supervisor Alistair Watt – he has been running the Gala’s Harbourside Casino cardroom with aplomb for quite some time so I’m sure his new role at the Empire can only be a good thing for London based poker players.

It’s all about the APAT

The Amateur Poker Association Tour (APAT) hit Cardiff this weekend (3rd April), bringing some great deep-stack play to my local cardroom.
The APAT has gone from strength to strength and, now in its third year is doing great things for the UK’s amateur poker scene.

Congratulations to Dean Saunders (no, not the ex-Welsh footballer) and Jon O’Neill, the only Cardiff players to make it deep in the main event – with 6th and 7th place respectively to fly the flag for the Welsh boys, but it was Simon Auckland who took down his first big live tournament win and £3,200 for first place.
Follow the action and the updates here: www.apat.com

It was also a great excuse to catch up with the Leicester boys, GCBPT champs Rupinder ‘George’ Bedi and Neil Blatchly who were down to compete for a share of the £12,150 prize pool.
I took the opportunity to take the boys out on the town for a few beers where I discovered:

1.) That despite winning the GCBPT Nottingham and taking down 7th place in the Pokerstars Sunday Million guaranteed for $28k, George can’t drink for shit 🙂

2.) Neil thinks gin and tonic is a girl’s drink… but it’s ok to drink Bacardi…

Coral Announce Poker Tour

Fans of the GCBPT will be pleased to note that Coral have picked up the reins where Gala left off; the announcement of the British Masters Poker Tour has nicely filled the gap left after Gala’s departure from the £500 tournament buy-in market.

With six dates announced, the tour kicks off next month in Edinburgh, and in addition to the £500 two-day main event also has a £200 and £100 one-day freeze-out on the Friday and Sunday respectively.

Check out the website for updates and information – with the Gala Tour selling out most legs I’m sure the Coral Tour will be just as well received.

The boys at thenutz.tv and A World of Poker (AWOP – www.aworldofpoker.com) will be covering the event with a full live stream, and if it works half as well as it did at the GCBPT Grand Final in Bristol then it’ll be some great viewing.

You can qualify online via the Coral Poker website for as little as nothing, as they will be running freerolls online at www.coralpoker.co.uk at 6pm every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday along with a number of $5 and $10 qualifiers – though you could always buy into the online final directly for $75+5.

Visit www.britishmasterspokertour.co.uk for more details.

Neil Blatchly tells me he will definitely be playing the Bristol Harbourside leg in October to defend his title and I’m sure the tour will be every bit as successful and popular as the Gala tour.
Hell, I might even stretch to playing in one or two myself – that is if I’m not covering them for work… It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it 😉

Irish Open beckons

I’m heading over to Ireland on Thursday for the Irish Open, and after covering PaddyPower’s Irish Winter Festival last October, am really looking forward to returning to Dublin for the craic (no, not the kind you smoke).

With big name players of the calibre of Tony G (“Bring me more Russians…”), Brian ‘Sbrugby’ Townsend and the squeezeplay pioneer himself, Mr Dan Harrington it should be a great weekend.

I’ll be doing my utmost to interview those three so will keep you posted with updates over the weekend – expect interviews… coming soon to a magazine near you.

Feel free to leave comments and questions you want me to ask them, after all – how often do you get a chance to ask the author of one of the greatest tournament books of all time questions about everything and anything…

I’m sure Ireland’s finest (yes that’ll be Marty Smyth, Big C O’Leary and Padraig Parkinson to name but a few) will be out in force to defend their honour and make sure that Europe’s largest and oldest poker tournament title remains in Irish hands.

As far as I’m aware there’s still time to qualify – check out the PaddyPower website for more details: www.irishpokeropen.com

I’m pretty sure that they’re still running online qualifiers – the Irish Open Last Chance Saloon, a series of $300 + $20 ticket-only satellites.

The four Last Chance Saloon grand final tournaments are scheduled April 5th – 8th at 8.30pm, with feeder satellites running from April 3rd. One Irish Open main event ticket will be awarded for every $4,650 in the prizepool.

Winners of the Last Chance Saloon will also qualify for the poker room’s €100,000 Sole Survivor promotion, which will award a €100,000 package to the longest-lasting paddypowerpoker.com online qualifier at the Irish Open.

Irish Open Last Chance Saloon satellite tournaments can be accessed via the poker software lobby; select ‘Scheduled MTT’s’, ‘Specials’ and then the ‘Irish Open’ tab.

I get to play in a media freeroll for a seat in the main event myself so fingers crossed… How good are poker journalists at actually playing cards anyway…

I’m sure I’ll also receive some friendly banter about the men in green’s recent Grand Slam glory at the expense of the mighty Wales – but power to them, 60+ years is a long time to wait between Slams, and the atmosphere in Cardiff was electric all day.

Well, that’s it for today’s instalment poker fans; stay tuned over the weekend for on the spot updates from Dublin’s CityWest Hotel where the Guinness should be flowing and the chips flying.