PokerStars Festival Dublin: Fake news

There's always a great deal of excitement at PokerStars live events about the tournament that usually has the smallest buy-in. The media tournament is when all those notebook-wielding "experts" get a chance to show off their own "skills"--and sometimes to cross swords with a few celebrity special guests.

The format is quite simple: a bunch of invited journos from across the media spectrum sit down for an invitation-only tournament, with the prizes provided as a sweetener from PokerStars.

Poker reporters, whose life basically involves standing around poker tables all day, putting people on hands, then not admitting that they were miles off, reckon they're the favourites. Meanwhile, journos who report on other things most of the time say "What are the blinds?" a lot, before calling all the way with pocket kings on an ace-high, paired and flushing board, and win.

But the latter group tend to understand the fundamentals a bit better than the former. This is an exercise primarily in broadening the game's exposure. It's why Team Pros and other professional players are usually persuaded into the fray to facilitate the schmoozing of the press pack.


All the fun of the media tournament

The only thing is that often the pros or the celebrities take it far more seriously than the well-refreshed journalists. So seriously, in fact, that they can sometimes end up forgetting the fundamentals themselves and end up busting the journos and battling among themselves for the trophy.

Such was the case last night in Dublin, where the final four players in the media tournament here were the Irish Open Champion, a World Series of Poker Main Event winner, a former Premier League footballer and the youngest player ever to win poker's triple crown. There wasn't a reporter in sight--at least not with chips--as Patrick Clarke (who also came fourth at EPT Dublin last year) beat Chris Moneymaker, Michael Duberry and Jake Cody into second, third and fourth place, respectively.


Chris Moneymaker and Michael Duberry

They did, it's fair to say, put on a show. Moneymaker in particular entered into the spirit of things, winning a massive heads-up pot against Clarke and celebrating the title. He bellowed his delight at finally winning a tournament on a PokerStars sponsored tour, only ceasing his jubilant exclamations when it was revealed that Clarke actually had Moneymaker covered and the tournament wasn't over.

Clarke then doubled up his short stack seven times in succession and knocked Moneymaker out in second. Never. Celebrate. Too. Soon.


Bad news for Chris Moneymaker

I'm sorry to say that I wasn't there to watch all this play out, so missed out on all the shenanigans. However, photographer Mickey May was, so here's a selection of images from what sounds like a very fun night.


Moneymaker, Niall Farrell and Duberry


Niall Farrell: Winner!


Snooker star Ken Doherty


Jake Cody: Would definitely not be somewhere else


Former England footballer Wayne Bridge


Maria Konnikova: Actually a journalist!


Farrell and Cody


Michael Duberry: Score!


Stephen Hendry: Defending media tournament champion


Patrick Clarke, right, anticipates success


The winning moment for Patrick Clarke


Clarke is champ

Media Invitational results

1st: Patrick Clarke (iPhone 6 plus)
2nd: Chris Moneymaker (iPad Air 2)
3rd: Michael Duberry (Apple watch)
4th: Jake Cody (Xbox)
5th: Ken Doherty (£170/€170 buy-in to UK/Ireland Megastack)
6th: Aaron Lincoln (€100 Amazon Voucher)
7th: Maria Konnikova (€50 Amazon Voucher)
8th: Andrea Greenman (€30 Amazon Voucher)
9th: William Elliot (10 X €2.20 PokerStars Festival Hamburg sat tickets)

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Live Poker