Raw Power

Raw Power

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Nicky Power on the Irish rankings, 100 Monkeys and a busy February.

Dowling tops 2013 Irish Poker Rankings

It was an exciting finish to the 2013 Live Irish Poker Rankings. A late surge of results saw Chris Dowling lead into December with a number of top pros chomping at his heels. Chris would hold off all comers, including a strong challenge from eventual runner-up “Mad” Mick McCloskey, to be crowned champion for 2013. The photo inset shows Dowling and 16th-place rankings finisher Sean Prendeville in action last August at UKIPT Galway.

The man behind Irish Poker Rankings is Ciaran Cooney. Cooney felt the country needed a rankings table and took it upon himself to produce the current system. Updating all results and soliciting prizes himself, Ciaran deserves a lot of kudos for the work he has put in over the last year. All qualifying tournaments were covered comprehensively, with an updated leader board produced promptly after each event.

I recently asked Ciaran for his vision of the rankings in 2014. He told me: “As we move into 2014 and into the second year of the rankings, we once again expect to have in the region of 70 to 80 qualifying games throughout the year. We have slightly adjusted the scoring mechanism and feel this tweaking will improve the system giving a robust and fair reflection of the top performers over 2014.

“All qualifying tournaments will fall into one of five categories, which are determined on buy-in and field size. This will benefit the consistent performers, while also rewarding the top finishers in tournaments throughout the year, and hopefully lead to a good battle for top spot over the closing months of 2014.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the operators of Ireland for their generous prize donations for the winner at the end of the year, including Boylepoker, D4 Events, Northern Poker, Celtic Poker, JP Poker, Poker Ireland, the Fitzwilliam and Macau casinos and Paddy Power, as well as our hosting site, irishpokerboards.com, where all information regarding current rankings, upcoming games and discussion can be found.”

100 Monkeys

RP Gultekin

Yes, you’ve guessed it: a tournament with 100 players and a monkey buy-in, aka €500. The “100 Monkeys” game took place recently in Tramore, County Waterford, and is the kind of event I like to term a “boutique tournament”. In the past year, we’ve seen this new genre of live tournament pop up around the country – capped field events with all seats pre-sold.

Expect to see more of these making up the calendar. If they can fill them, boutique tournaments are ideal for operators as they make planning issues and overhead accounting much easier. Also, from a marketing perspective, there’s a strong selling point in the exclusivity factor – basically an “I better get my seat before they’re all gone” mentality.

I skipped the first two levels of this event on Day 1. With 25k stacks and blinds starting at 25/50, it felt like the correct strategy given I was nursing the aftermath of a Friday night celebration. My plan for Day 1, given my weakened vitality, was to make Day 2 with anything around 30 big blinds, then all-out attack. This plan was going fine until late in the day when I won a flip with A-K versus J-J, which meant I hit day two with 55 bigs, a little ahead of plan and average stack.

Thirty-two of the 100 starters returned for Day 2. With lots of familiar players rocking stacks, ten places would be paid with €13,000 up top. I had a big double in the third level of the day, hitting 180k in chips after I river-shoved a flush blind on blind to beat trips. When we broke to two tables, my seat draw wasn’t great, with a row of good players lined up to my left.

A few niggling reversals, where I had lost three annoying if relatively small pots holding A-K, put me on the back foot a little. My exit was imminent: playing around 130k at 15k/3k, I picked up Q-Q. Unfortunately the impressive IPO finalist Mustafa Gultekin held kings and covered.

I was out in a disappointing 16th. It’s always annoying to hit the rail after seeing off 85% of a field, but what can you do except dust yourself off and move onto the next game? At least Mustafa put the chips to good use, pocketing €10,000 in a three-way chop involving “Mad” Mick McCloskey and James “bim” Burke, who would take home the trophy.

Tourney Picks

February offers plenty of choice on the home front for the live tournament aficionado. First up, it’s the eagerly-awaited leg one of the new Boylepoker.com IPO Tour. IPO Galway will run from the 6th to 10th February at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway. The tournament will mirror the structure of the hugely successful IPO Dublin 2013. So, again, we will see a €230 entry fee with 30,000 starting chips.

Boylepoker are also extending the popular 20% added money promotion, whereby you can add 20% to any money you win at the IPO Galway by simply playing a little on the site. A full schedule of satellites are in place on the Boylepoker client.

Next up is D4 events European Deepstack Poker Championship, which takes place in The Regency Hotel, Dublin, from 19th to 23rd February. The tournament boasts a whopping 100,000 starting stack for the €550 buy-in. This firmly-established festival is now in its seventh year and a huge field is guaranteed.

Finally, the last weekend of the month sees the return of the UKIPT Dublin. The event will have a €770 buy-in and has a guaranteed prize fund of €350,000, running February 27th to March 3rd. The event this year sees a shift away from a traditional hotel venue, instead being held in the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. The tournament will take place in the historically famous “Round Room” at the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin.

RP Mansion House

Tags: Nicky Power, Chris Dowling, Sean Prendeville, Ciaran Cooney, Mustafa Gultekin