Dublin, Cody and a huge £1m guarantee
It took me less than 3 hours to be 'Dublin-ed'. This is process is also known as a 'good craic'. It is also referred to as being full of the party vibe aka whammed. I felt a little guilty as this was during the pre-event bash for the Irish media, but it's rude not to. I'm not making this up - in Dublin it's literally rude to refuse a drink. People have been kicked out for worse.
Without a doubt my personal highlight of an amazing week - and bear in mind this was a week that included a personal cash in the main event, a huge turnout for all our events and a star-studded final table - was seeing Jake Cody bust the media event.
Now before you jump on my back, this is not me being unpleasant, Jake is one of my favourite people in poker. Let me explain. The media event was a tournament for about 20 journalists from the mainstream Irish press. A chance to show off poker to people who normally don't get to see it or cover it and a really great thing to do. The point of Jake and me being there was to entertain them, show them a good time and explain a bit about the world of poker and the UKIPT to them. We're not there to win the tournament.... I can't emphasize that enough. And yet, when Jake bust in 5th he showed almost exactly the same emotions as if he'd bust an EPT main event.
He agonized over his decision in the final hand, was desperately unlucky to run into a cooler and then looked mortified when he had to leave. And here's the kicker... he wasn't eligible for a prize.
Of course, he quickly recovered and was his usual friendly self but he really really wanted to win! It was something to see. If you ever have questions about what it takes to get to the top, there's the attitude you need right there. And that is my excuse for throwing a temper tantrum like a child when I was badbeated out of the win in the heads up. True story.
Big, round and bounced out
The event proper was a ludicrously successful and fun one. The venue was a triumph in the shape of Dublin's Mansion House, in the historic round room which was built for King George IV in 1821. I know this because PokerStars made me memorise it to tell some journalists. Literally forced me to. It was like school.
A field of 682 entrants generated a prize pool of nearly half a million euros and a €90k first prize for the biggest UKIPT of season 4 so far.
Halfway through Day 2 I was in with a shout of a first UKIPT title only to wither and die like an untended shamrock on a wind swept cliff.
I played well and managed to get into a well above average chip position on day 2 without ever playing a really big pot. After a rocky start in these events I'm certain I've got the feel for them and hope to turn one of my many day 2 appearances (and now 2 cashes) into a big score. Watch this space!
If ever anyone outside poker wants proof our game is dominated by skill despite the presence of luck they need only stop by the UKIPT. Max Silver made his 5th UKIPT final table and Joeri Zandvliet joined him and went for his 3rd title. The ability of these pros who got their start on tour to regularly carve through the field is something to see. Shout out as well to Kevin Killeen who won the title; it was great to have an Irish winner on home soil and no surprise to anyone who follows Irish poker that this top player was the one to do it.
Right I need to wrap this out and go and recommit to healthy living. I'll see you all in Nottingham in May - this one is going to be HUGE. With a capital HUGE! £1 million guarantee is enough to get anyone excited, you can qualify now on PokerStars and I can't wait to see you there.
There are five full £1,600 packages guaranteed in this Sunday 20:02 GMT £215 qualifier. Satellites into that tournament are also available. Search for tournament #88205196 or click through 'Events' > 'More' > 'UKIPT' in the PokerStars lobby.
Nick Wealthall is the UKIPT host and a regular commentator at PokerStars.tv.