“Where is everybody?” was the question most asked in Cannes last week. It was a fair question as I’ve seen more sober people at an Irish funeral than poker players chasing bracelets at this venue. The Irish stayed in Ireland to play a 1000 dollar event rather than risk further bankrupting the country paying silly prices and buyins in the playground of the rich. The cat’s out of the bag now. They’re not as dumb as they pretend to be. (I wish I’d listened!) The French were in Ireland too. Historically, the French used to send a few hundred lads over for the craic every now and again to help the Irish out when they were fighting the English. Now they go there for poker and the craic. If there’s any English hanging around that they can piss off that’s considered a bonus. The English weren’t there in numbers either. They usually only travel en masse to France when they and the Germans agree to knock lumps out of each other at a convenient neutral venue. A study of the English soccer teams home record would lead one to believe this is an excellent strategy from the Brits. Well played lads! I did suggest Ireland (and reasonable buyins) as a perfect venue for WSOPE. At least we can guarantee the craic will be had by all.
At the least the Americans showed up in force. Most of them are internet millionaire refugees, victims of a misinterpretation of the description Land Of The Free by the US authorities, who were in Europe already. These are in general real fun guys who, without any practise or prompting, can hold a conversation around you on topics as exciting as where the best value is to be on offer in upcoming highroller events. Invaluable information for the man in the street which I will share with you if I ever lose my mind completely.
Hellmuth turned up for the main event just after the dinner break on Day 1. This led to a discussion on my table on the pros and cons of this tactic. The cons won because if anyone could think of any pros they weren’t in sharing mood. Dumb and ridiculously arrogant were some of the nicer opinions voiced. I kept my mouth shut (I like to keep my opinions to myself and I like Phil) though if I had said anything I would have pointed out that historically, Americans turned up at European battles late, after everyone else was knackered, and cleaned up the mess. Half an hour later, Phil flopped 666 V 333 Three and a half days later, Phil had won his eight bracelet. I wish I’d spoken up!
It looked as though Phil’s dramatic late entry to EVERY event had also won him the much coveted Hide and Seek trophy but after a stewards enquiry this was later awarded to internet star Jungleman. While dozens were spending zillions in the Majestic hotel, he’d decided it’d be way more fun to stay in a youth hostel in Nice. He was so right that he didn’t show for any tournaments at all. After knocking myself out on day 2, I went bar hopping with Nolan Dalla and a few others. We ran into Jungleman in the wee small hours in some bar. He obviously knows how big a deal the Hide and Seek award is and had the biggest smile in the place as he busied himself buying drink for anyone with a pulse and a few marginal cases. You gotta like this guy!