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Christmas Special Poker Q and A -- Marty Smyth

A Bad Year Poker-Wise for One of Ireland's Best

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As the new year approaches, Card Player caught up with some of the big names on the international poker circuit to find out how their 2010 went and what they hope for in 2011.

WSOP bracelet-holder Marty Smyth has more than $3.7 million in lifetime winnings, but 2010 was not a good year for the Irish pro. He spoke to Card Player about his difficulties during the year and his hopes for the new one.

Rebecca McAdam: How was your 2010?

Marty Smyth: Pretty good apart from poker. I had a great trip to Australia at the start of the year, then got married and had a great honeymoon in Asia/Australia/Cook Islands/Vegas. In terms of poker, it was terrible though. I had a losing year online, although not that much because I don’t play a lot now and I only play relatively small games. On the live poker front I played about 25-30 tournaments with only three small cashes.

RM: What was your best moment of the year?

MS: I don’t really have a lot of good poker moments from this year. I got a decent run in the London EPT, but ultimately it was a bit disappointing ⎯ as it always is when you get close to a big cash and end up with a relatively small one. My best poker moments of the year were probably railing friends who went deep in tournaments. It was a good buzz following John O’Shea online when he made the final in the Bellagio $25,000, and Padraig when he won Galway. Watching Julian Gardner when he made the final table in the $5,000 PLO in Vegas was great too, especially since I’d won a percent of him playing golf, but again that was ultimately disappointing too as he came so close to winning it.

RM: Your worst moment of the year?

MS: So many to choose from. Probably the 1K PLO in Amsterdam. I had swapped a piece with Dave Callaghan and we were both going well with 19 left. There were 16 prizes, so we both looked odds-on to make the money, and I was very hopeful one of us would go close ⎯ more so Dave who had a very good stack and was probably the best player left in the tournament. I then got knocked out in 19th, and Dave went in 17th, getting two-outered in a huge pot. It was only a small tournament, but it was pretty sickening on top of a lot of other disappointments this year.

RM: Was there anything major you learned about your game this year?

MS: That it needs to get a lot better!

RM: Have you planned any New Year’s Resolutions?

MS: Drink less, get fitter, be more disciplined with poker and gambling in general.

RM: Have you any goals in 2011?

MS: To make more money playing poker than I lose playing golf.

RM: What are you looking forward to the most in the New Year?

MS: The Rugby World Cup.

RM: Have you any predictions of any kind for 2011?

MS: I’ll go broke playing golf with Nicky Power and Paul Spillane.