Beware the (sl)ides of March?
If you've ever been told to beware the ides of March - and admittedly this usually only applies if you're a Roman general - those ides refer to this very day.
The expression comes from Shakespeare, who in turn took it from the Roman calendar which didn't count days, just three stages in the month - the "ides" being sometime around the middle. Perhaps these ides meant more to Julius Caesar, the Roman General, who was murdered on March 15, 44 BC by Senators, among them his friend Brutus.
I'm not sure there is a poker equivalent to those same ides. But it being a quiet day, and only paperwork an alternative, I went looking, trying to find an equivalent - some moment that struck a player for good or bad.
Well, it seems three years ago almost to the day the EPT9 London final table was nearing its end. As we described at the time, it was arguably one of the most talent-heavy final tables in EPT history at that time.
In those days Steve O'Dwyer was yet to reach the heights of number one ranking in the game, he was instead a man looking for that result which would set him on that path. He'd finished second to Benny Spindler in London the year before, but now wanted one better, and given he held the lead with eight left most thought he would do it.
It wasn't so much an "Ide" that ruined things, but a slide, one that would send O'Dwyer's stack into a steady decline until it collided with the rail in fifth place. But like I said, the opposition that day was hardly the stuff of which walkovers are made.
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As well as Dutchman Ruben Visser (who would go on to claim his first title) that opposition rounding on O'Dwyer consisted of Chris Moorman, Tamer Kamel, the then 18-year-old Christopher Frank, Theo Jorgensen (recently back in the game after recovering from gunshot wounds), Olaf Haglund and Mantas Visockis. Great players in their own right, at least five of whom now count themselves legitimate high rollers.
O'Dwyer spoke pragmatism in his post-game interview, but his face betrayed his real feelings. And yet, for all the disappointment it would all prove temporary.
The result was arguably a turning point for O'Dwyer. Followers of the EPT will know that less than two months later the Irishman put his London experience behind him, winning the Grand Final in Monaco for a first prize of $1.6 million (incidentally defeating an even tougher line up). From that point on he hasn't stopped.
To put it into numbers: before the Grand Final win O'Dwyer had earned $3,180,000 in 54 cashes around the world. Since that win he's cashed in 46 more events, but to the tune of $11.8 million.
So maybe there were Ides of March back then, just not for O'Dwyer. Turns out they were for everyone else.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.