I travelled to Dusk Till Dawn to play the Devilfish Cup. It’s an annual event that is held every couple of years. It’s great because it honours the memory of The Fish whilst at the same raising money for a trust fund that’s been set up for Dave’s little girl and also for MacMillan Cancer Support, who do fantastic work for people in trouble. Fair play to the DTD lot. They donate ALL the reg ($300 per entry) to the cause. A little help is better than great pity.
Dave would have been delighted at the turnout. The $1,000,000 gtee which many thought unlikely to be reached was made and a lot of his old friends and foes from a few decades ago showed up.
My pal Kevin O’Connell, who supported the Irish Open with great gusto and humour before it became “sexy” and was involved in all the early UK TV events, made one of his rare appearances at the event. An old WSOP buddy and comrade of Dave’s, Marcel Luske, was there representing himself, partypoker and Holland. In that order! I’d like to say he didn’t sing but that would be a lie!
Bruno Fitoussi represented France (interesting news coming from there shortly). It brought back memories of the magical World Cup summer of 98 in Paris when The Fish, Jeff Duval and I had the craic every day in the Aviation Club. Bruno and I had a laugh at how little of what The Fish said was understood by the French players and agreed that that was probably a good thing.
Barny Boatman, Joe Beevers and Ram Vaswani brought more humour to the party. They (along with Ross Boatman who was absent as he was working. No excuse!) cleverly spotted and exploited the commercial opportunities brought about by TV poker. The Hendon Mob brand was a smart move. Over the years, I’ve had fun with the lads from Dublin to LA, so it was good to see them.
John Duthie was also there representing us all as usual. I didn’t know until last week that he had won LNP IX. Full Tilt had gone belly up and the TV show got cancelled, robbing us all as we missed seeing Duthie take out Ivey heads-up in the final! DTD were represented by another LNP winner Simon Trumper and Rob Yonge, who was a good friend to The Fish when he most needed a good friend. He still is! Also there was Peter “The Bandit” Evans who was second to The Devilfish in that very first LNP. Peter was playing a TV event some years ago.
Unfortunately, when Jesse May introduced him to the viewers I said he’d been playing poker for years and finally had enough money to last him for the rest of his life. As long as he died before Friday! How was I supposed to know he was going to flop a flush in the third hand against darts legend Phil “The Power” Taylor who flopped a higher one?
When he brought this unfortunate incident up again last week, I told him I’d done him a huge favour as nobody ever remembers who came second but everybody remembers the guy who has to be dead by Friday! That should sort that one out for a while. I certainly had fun at the tables as the atmosphere was electric. Met some very nice people and definitely had a better time than Mr Beevers, whose AA got taken out by AK. And he flopped an ace! With fifty players remaining, a nostalgic final looked a possibility with three LNP winners in the field. And Rob.
I put a swift end to that by trying to bluff Firaldo. Bad client selection. Went back to my hotel to watch the end of Tottenham’s Champions League hammering by Bayern. I knew how they felt. About 7a.m. the next morning, I went into a shop to buy the paper. The newsagent was a poker fan and asked me how I did in DTD. I was about to tell him the truth until I figured he’d prefer to hear a bad beat story. So I borrowed Beevers’s exit hand and told him that was what happened to me. He said he felt very sorry for me and so did I till I remembered Id told this nice guy an absolute whopper. Sometimes, I really don’t like myself.
I was pretty tired thanks to strong beta-blockers. But tired is better than dead. As far as I know. So I took a timeout. Marcel told me Duthie and Trumper had made final 23 and were in the money but in not great shape. Johnny went out early but Simon moved through the field and was in great shape with 6 or 7 players left. I know how much he wanted to win the cup named after his mate, so I was disappointed when Marcel told me he got unlucky a couple of times. That’s all it takes. Congrats to the eventual winner Rick Trigg. Nice payday and great one to win.
Next day, Neil Barrett and Surrinder Sunar arrived on the scene. Neil (and Warren Lush) and I go way back to partypoker televised Galway event ages ago so it was good to catch up. I’ve been friends with Surrinder since the eighties as he became part of the history of The Irish Open. He is quite a character and is constantly, almost manically, looking for an edge. When he went off to play, the Surrinder stories started. And there were lots of them. My all-time favourite goes back to 2011.
Jesse May, Dan Harrington and I looked on from the commentary box as Surrinder finished second to Niall Smyth, winning a couple of hundred thousand in the process. The next morning, Surrinder asked Jesse if he wanted to share a taxi to the airport with him. After Surrinder’s big win, Jesse dared to dream that he might have struck lucky and be on a freebie. No chance!! It was a new day. As soon as they were in the cab, Surrinder told Jesse that he would have to take care of the fare as he (Surrinder) only had €500 notes. OMG.
99% of the time, Jesse would have swallowed but not this time. Jesse said there wasn’t a problem as he had change of 500. He rooted around in every pocket and eventually handed Surrinder €500 in smaller notes. Surrinder reluctantly handed him a €500 note. He was in a state of shock. You’d think it couldn’t get worse for him, but it did. When they got to the airport, he asked Jesse for €25 to cover his half of the fare and was speechless when Jesse told him he’d have to look after it as he only had a €500 note! You couldn’t make it up.
Over a decade ago Jesse May talked me into writing a magazine article by just telling a story or giving my thoughts on the poker world as though I was talking to a guy in a bar. I didn’t need to practice. This is the result…