How to combine karma, trampolines and Steve O'Dwyer in one article

This was another of those weeks where you look back and wonder where the time went. Often in our case we spend so much energy looking forward to a festival that it's hard to envisage it ever being over with. But time passes, events finish, but then new ones appear on the horizon.

That's something of a theme this week. Last weekend we saw the end of two great festivals, one live and the other online.

Death, Taxes and O'Dwyer

Down under in Australia one of those festivals was coming to an end in the usual style. The standard pattern is simple: lots of players take part, lots of money is won, and at the end Steve O'Dwyer wins big. The Aussie Millions was no exception.

steve_odwyer_7_5feb16.jpgLooks familiar? Steve O'Dwyer

If you haven't read the story of Steve O'Dwyer's win in the LK Boutique $250,000 Challenge, it's worth catching up on. It was a typically tough field in Melbourne, which makes O'Dwyer's achievement even more compelling. For the record it was his seventh seven-figure cash of the past 12 months. It was also the 99th of his career. More on where he might reach 100 in a moment.

Before O'Dwyer, American journeyman Ari Engel won the Aussie Millions Main Event. Engel is a regular on the European Poker Tour, and one of that small band of players who prefers a suitcase and the road, to mortgage payments and a front lawn to mow.

ari_engel_aussiemillions_5feb16.jpgAussie Millions Main Event champion Ari Engel

Last weekend he demonstrated why, defeating the likes of Kitty Kuo and Samantha Abernathy on his way to a heads-up contest against Tony Dunst. That lead to the Main Event title and a first prize of $1.6 million. The option of a mortgage is now available if he wants it. Something tells me he'll pass.

The COOP de Grâce

While all that was taking place at the Crown Casino TCOOP was coming to a close, notably event 49 of 50, the $700 buy-in Main Event. That's where Dinesh "NastyMinder" Alt was putting the finishing touches to his TCOOP series, winning the first prize of $396,691 ahead of a field of more than 4,000.

dinesh_alt_5feb16.jpgDinesh Alt

Alt joked in an interview with the Blog that it was all about Karma and cows (read the full interview with Dinesh Alt to see what we mean), but it was more a case of the usual hard work and practice. At least that's what we like to think. Martin Harris had the final table report to shows why.

Ready to sign up for PokerStars? Click here to get an account.

Two is company, 100 million is a crowd

Elsewhere on PokerStars Nacho Barbero won the Super Tuesday this week. This midweek contest is always one of the toughest events to play, having such a serious buy-in and serious field. So it's only right that the payoff is usually significant, in this case $92,720 for Barbero.

Still online I hope you noticed something we mentioned last week that will take up much of this month, the PS100 Celebrations.

That's the short way of saying that we're celebrating our 100 millionth player on PokerStars in February, and given that it is our players who have made PokerStars what it is the month is given over to them.

You can find all the details of that on the PS100 Celebration homepage, which describes all the challenges, contests and tournaments we're running. In terms of our contribution on the PokerStars Blog we'll be running a series of articles celebrating certain player milestones over the past 15 years. Having been privy to discussions about what they are I can say that all of them will make for interested reading, but one or two surprised even us. Look forward to those later this month.


That leads on to what is coming up over the next few days, and by that we mean EPT Dublin.

Back to Dublin

As we reported this week it's been eight years since the EPT last hosted a festival in Ireland (the UKIPT meanwhile has been doing just fine), with Reuben Peters and Annette Obrestad playing the last hand that year (Peters on the winning end of it). Back then it was a relatively small festival, but this time there will be 67 events at the Royal Dublin Society, starting on February 9, and running through to February 20. The EPT homepage has all the details.

We mentioned Steve O'Dwyer earlier. He's now one short of his 100th career live cash, which could easily come in his adopted home of Dublin next week (should he make the trip from Australia to the Emerald Isle). It's a story we'll be keeping a close eye on when our coverage begins next week. He's also about $66,000 short of $15 million in career earnings. Surely he can reach that figure in Ireland?

Still in Dublin, it's not all fun and games at the poker table, it's fun and games off it also. As we outlined this week on the Blog, EPT Dublin will suit Dodgeball enthusiasts. I thought it was a made up "sport", then I saw this picture...


So however ridiculous (it's played on trampolines), it's definitely real.

Players heading to Dublin have something else to bear in mind - the new registration process we're using for the festival. Essentially it allows you to register for an event online until the usual late registration deadline using your PokerStars account (.com and .eu only for now). There are a couple of important exceptions to note, but we hope it'll make the process easier and queues at the registration desk a lot shorter.


Lastly that sound you heard earlier this week, a kind of boom sound, was Tom Middleton, the former EPT Barcelona champion, for whom this happened in the Super Tuesday. When you see the flop you understand why you can still hear the echo.

That's everything for now. Good luck to everyone at the tables this weekend. Let us know how you get on, or send thoughts and comments to @PokerStarsBlog.

Come join us on PokerStars. Click here to get an account.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Stephen Bartley
@StephenBartley in PokerStars news