One Year as Champ - I'm a Survivor! Part I
by Niall Smyth | Published: Apr 20, '12
It’s been four months since my last blog and these are my sins.
I decided to come up to the Burlington Hotel for the Irish Open on the Thursday night so as not to break with tradition, well I suppose it was more a tradition in training as I was just trying to repeat everything I had done the year before. It’s also more relaxing to come to a tournament the night before instead of having to deal with the hassle of travelling on the day, if you have far to come it really doesn’t put you in the mood to play cards.
I drove to the World Poker Tour Dublin in January and managed to get lost on the way, ended up being nearly an hour late and going back on the cigs after being off them a week. It was also the Citywest Hotel, which is the simplest hotel to find in Dublin from my side of the country. You could have taken a monkey from the zoo, given him a tricycle and a map, and I’m sure he would have made better time then me. By the time I sat to play cards I was stressed out and as a result day 1 went really well actually which kind of ruins my point.
I did however have a really bad day 2 which now that I think about it was obviously post-traumatic stress from the previous day and nothing to do with me playing like a donkey and busting a 150 BB stack in under an hour.
Unfortunately the trade off for not having to travel to the tournament the day it begins is the few pints you have that night but a few pints is never just a few pints and while I had a great time down in the bar I only managed to wobble to bed at five in the morning. So I was quite hungover the next day but still at this stage keeping with my “tradition”.
Just before the tournament began Andy Black called me over very excitedly about a funny name he had seen on the list of players — I’m not really sure if Andy knows how to do anything without excitement. Then he stopped and looked at me for a couple of seconds and said, “Do you know who you look like with that haircut?” His answer was a little less than flattering mainly because the player is about twice my age. He took great delight in telling me this anytime he met me, even taking time out of another great run at the Irish Open to shout it across the room. Twice.
My starting table was a bit of a nightmare with Martins Adeniya, “Flush_Entity” and Matt Perrins all perched to my left; all-in-all there was only one spot at the table and with the three-, four-, and five-betting soon in full swing I decided to tighten up quite considerably. While I bemoaned my bad luck with my table draw at first, it seemed that there were loads of tough starting tables this year. I think it definitely adds to the prestige of the tournament that so many great players would travel to play it.
I was knocked out by level five when I got most of my stack in on the river with Q-Q on a board showing A-Q-3-3-7 with Matt Perrins holding 3-3 and was out soon after. So my defense of the title was short and sour and it was disappointing not to get a run in the tournament.