EPT Dublin: More than just the Guinness...

You have to admire a place that claims an alcoholic beverage as its unofficial city mascot. Dublin is proud to have created Guinness, the celebrated pint with it's black body and creamy head. The city hosts a museum dedicated to this famous stout, a museum that is Ireland's number one visitor attraction. There you can learn about Arthur Guinness who began brewing Guinness in 1759 when he came into an inheritance. Of course I'm interested in this eighteenth century brewer and his museum, yet almost every Dublin street-corner hosts a 'living museum' dedicated to this drink. Everywhere there are friendly pubs where it's possible to enjoy good Guinness. The living museums are so good I'll probably be up too late to make it to the official museum...

Of course there is more to Dublin than just the Guinness. It's a city with history (so I hear) sights to see (if you get out of bed) and EPT poker - and that's the best bit! (Especially as you can blog about it with a pint of Guinness in your hand.)

Dublin is a city noted for its history, culture and beauty.

My first ever EPT experience was in Dublin, 2005. I was helping the EPT team, and had to show players around, hand out player bags, and give out free drinks. PokerStars, typically generous, provided a free bar to everyone who visited the RDS to watch the final table. As spectators arrived I was to hand each some poker chips which they could exchange for drinks. Lots of locals turned up to see Mats Gavison's victory, so I gave out lots of chips, especially to gap-toothed Dubliners in green checked shirts. As I stood by the front door handing out 'drinking chips' I saw lots of gap-toothed Dubliners in green checked shirts... Are green checked shirts a Dublin fashion? Do Dubliners have poor dental health? I now realise it was the same green-checked bloke going out the back door and returning to get more chips.

No such underhand methods of obtaining chips will be possible in this EPT tournament. With 450 players expected to pay the €5000 buy-in if you have a big stack of the chips at the end of this tournament, you'll exchange them for a lot of drinks. (Make mine a Guinness!)

The Guinness Storehouse.

Nearly 100 PokerStars players will play in EPT Dublin this year. Last night they enjoyed a Welcome Party at the Gravity Bar. This 360 degree panoramic bar is on the top floor of the Guinness Storehouse museum. The former Guinness Fermentation plant has been modeled into the shape of a giant pint of Guinness - with the Gravity bar the 7th floor head of the pint. I hear rumours that chips for the Dublin EPT will be in a new colour scheme, players requested to stack black 500s in piles, with their white 1000 chips on top.

PokerStars players enjoying the Welcome Party.

I used to be a regular Guinness drinker, but I was too impatient to persevere with this. If you've seen a Guinness poured you'll know that for every pint of Guinness pulled, the glass must be full to three quarters, then there's a wait while the bubbles settle. Only then can the rest of the pint be pulled. It's a slow drink to order, and I used to get fed up of waiting for my pint while friends were already heading to bar stools for a drink and a chat. It's not like EPT poker, where last man standing is a good thing, and where heading early to a bar stool with a drink, is not the aim for any player.

In the poker room of the Regency hotel where EPT Dublin begins at 2pm today, no drinks are allowed (nope, not even Guinness.) I'll soon bring you news of who's playing, who's in the bar, and chip counts too. If you want me to count Guinness drunk by this blogger, it might be harder to keep track...

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in