For someone playing in their first-ever European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event – who has only played five live tournaments and has just one live cash for €2,430 on his Hendon Mob – Brian Delaney Jr seems incredibly confident. And with good reason.
The 28-year-old, originally from London but now living in Playa del Carmen Mexico, is down to the final two tables in the EPT Paris Main Event, playing under the bright lights and in front of the PokerStars TV cameras. So how is he so relaxed?
“I’m actually surprised,” he admits. “I don’t play many tournaments anymore but I did play them online for many years, so I guess I still know a lot.”
Delaney is proof that just because a player doesn’t have an extensive list of cashes on their résumé, doesn’t mean they’re not a beast.
Known as “bdel123” on PokerStars, Delaney has been a professional poker player for as long as he’s legally been an adult in the UK.
“I’ve played poker for 10 years, with a few months off from time to time,” he says. “I’ve never really had another job other than poker.”
He first caught the poker bug by watching poker on TV in his teens. He then started playing low-stakes tournaments at just 18 (posting a thread about his humble beginnings on twoplustwo) and ground his way up the stakes for six years.
But a few years ago he fancied a change, and he hasn’t looked back since.
“Now I play PLO cash online, that’s my main game,” he says.
So how did an online PLO cash player end up running deep at EPT Paris?
THE CHALLENGE THAT LED TO PARIS
Brian Delaney lives with his friend in Mexico, and that friend’s brother came to stay with them from Europe. He was flying home on February 1st, so Delaney, his friend, and his friend’s brother decided to pool their poker bankrolls and set themselves a challenge:
“If we win $20K between us, we’ll go back with him to Europe”.
At this point, we should mention that Delaney’s housemate–who’s here in Paris cheering him on from the rail–is none other than the high-stakes online MTT crusher known only as “FishOnHeater”.
“We talk about hands a lot,” Delaney Jr says of “FishOnHeater”. “And on Sundays, I’ll sometimes play MTTs with him.”
The three of them won the $20K and booked the trip.
“Both our girlfriends from Mexico came with us,” Delaney Jr says. “We went to Austria first for some snowboarding, which hurt a lot. Then came to Paris for the EPT. And after this, we’re going to London to see my family.”
Whatever happens today and tomorrow, it’s been an incredible debut on the EPT for Delaney.