My Top Poker Table Players Are

    Thursday, February 19, 2015, 1:57 AM [General]

    My Top Poker Table Players Are

    Ok finally got around to writing this. I have played poker live (and of course online) with many great players, some really dodgy characters and some just genuinely nice people. With that in mind and the fact I want a GOOD night of poker with plenty of craic (as we say in Ireland) here is my selected 9.

    There isn't much point picking a great poker table if you ain't gona share it with some of your friends so the first 2 people that make my list (2+3) are personal friends of mine, but I am pretty sure most forumers will know them.

    1)     Myself (Daryl McAleenan) – see bit under JACK for background to me and how I met Jack

    2)     888’s VERY OWN JACK HINCHEY !!! 

    I made my first deposit online (at 888) in May 2008 and began to play a few $5 SnG’s, then I came across the story of the 888 POKER CROWN winner (I had no idea of who he was at that time). His story and the fact he had only been playing about 18 months when he won that $1 million inspired me. I began working more on my game and as my profits (and more importantly my bankroll) grew I began moving up the stakes and eventually I turned my back on accountancy in Feb 2011 to play poker online as my main income.

    With my two sons aged 3 and 2 in 2011 and complete rejection of the idea from my mother and father, it wasn’t an easy decision to make. I believed in myself though! My “poker wages” and the greater time I had to spend with my sons, to this day are proof that my belief was justified and I had taken the correct decision. A €14,000 cash in a rare live game for me in Feb 2013 gained some respect from Mum and Dad for the career choice I had made.

    Jack unknowingly was a source of inspiration in my early days of online. I will always have a sentimental thought that it was that video and what Jack achieved that inspired me to achieve what I have. I have meet Jack a few times at birthday bashes with the forum and I hope to catch up with him at the Irish Open. He is the most genuine of guys, very modest and an absolute gentleman and he merits a place at my table.

    3)     888's very own DEIRDRE HAYDEN –
    D is a good friend of mine now having met a number of years ago through the forum. We regularly meet up at poker events together and its always a pleasure to see her and Vinnie, never mind the craic we have! D is the type of woman that would do anything for ya, but if she thought you were taking the piss you would soon feel the wrath of the handbag!!!

     3)     GUS HANSEN –

    I first met Gus at the WSOPE in London in SEPT 2010 back when I was an accountant with PwC. He had his leg in cast from a skiing accident. Unlike some pro’s he seemed very approachable and open to photos etc. I got chatting to him for a good while and he seems like a really down to earth guy. From watching him on TV he seems to interact a lot and is certainly not afraid to get involved in pots. One of the guys at our poker club actually calls me “Gus”, “that’s Gus, don’t mess with him”, he would say.  So for that reason too, I guess Gus has to be there!

    4)     TONY G –
    “The Mouth from Down Under”
    He was instantly the first person I thought of when I seen this blog thread created by Wkd. Every poker table needs a member of Parliament doesn’t it? Lol
    Tony G has the ability to make the most boring of poker tables into a night of serious fun (or pain if he is needling you). Sometimes he goes to far but at this particular table I won’t be planning on winning it – it will be one of them games of poker I play from time to time, purely for the fun and enjoyment of the game (something I think all players need to do from time to time). Any job is easier if you enjoy it!

    5)     DENZIL WASHINGTON –
    My all time favourite actor, has starred in a number that I would rank as favourites (like Man on Fire). I would imagine Denzil has plenty of stories to tell and could more than hold his own (in terms of craic, jokes etc). I get the feeling he would be a very genuine guy.

    6)     DANIEL NEGREANU –
    In my opinion Daniel is the best ambassador of poker there has been. Could not have my top table without the man. He has battled his demeans in the past, but has emerged with the happy go lucky attitude that I think gives some players a significant edge at the table. He talks a lot at the table for info, but he will often engage with less experienced players and make them feel more comfortable in higher stake games like Loose Cannon.

    7)     PHIL HELLMUTH – I regard Phil Ivey as the best poker player in the world but its the “other” highly successful Phil that I would want at my table. Ivey doesn’t engage enough with players for an evening’s banter. Hellmuth with his rants and steaming would be a key ingredient with the likes of Tony G and co at the table. I would also like to meet him in person to see if the “Poker Brat” really is a prick.

    8)     PHIL LAKK –
    The “Unabomber” is well known in poker for his crazy speeches and I think this would add an interesting concept. On the various poker episodes I have watched over the years he interact’s well with Tony, Gus and Daniel. I imagine he will jump on the bandwagon with Tony in abusing Hellmuth too!
    Interesting facts about Phil:
    - he holds the record for longest stint at a cash game . . . 112 hours!
    - he was actually born in Dublin!
    - he coined the terms “felted”, “POW” (payoff wizard) and “Cherry Bomb”

    9)     JEESE MAY/PADRAIG PARKINSON -
    These 2 can are legends IMO. I met Jeese down at an IPO back around 2011, his wife actually said Jeese get a photo their with that young man (she is a photgrapher), so she took the snap and we started chatting away. He had a bet on, so I pulled up American football scores for him and we had the craic for a while. I was driving that day so had to decline his offer for a few pints that night but would loved to have had a few with him.

    Padraig has a seemingly endless amount of stories to tell, and no table he is ever at would be boring! Have met Padraig a number of times and he always gets the banter going. Defo a good man to go pinting with. Him and Jeese are an ideal combo.

    I couldn't exclude either so if they both could attend I would let them share a seat, playing alternate hands and openly allow them to criticise each others play because that would make for good entertainment.


    I did not need to include any actual comedian's as such because that table defo would not need a comedian for jokes, I would imagine my sides would probably be sore from laughing at the end of the night, and I would probably have a rather bad hangover the next morning! 

    [Edited By Moderator]

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    Daniel Colman (winner of the One Drop) and players/winners obligations

    Thursday, July 24, 2014, 2:11 AM [General]

    Writing this for a poker thread/blog so thought I would post it here too.

    Daniel Colman (winner of the One Drop)

    Lot of mixed views on this topic and consequently this person but I think Daniel Colman (winner of the One Drop) has an obligation to take interviews and enhance media coverage of this particular event. 

    This obligation is not based on the fact that he owes poker as he has made a living from it etc etc but it is based on the fact that the Big One for One Drop (£1 million buyin game) is principally organised and designed to benefit a great charity and providing such interviews and media coverage will further benefit the charity.

    Now if it was a non-charity benefiting tourny, its much more complex, there is still a hell of a lot of people depending on poker for their income and I don't mean players, I mean dealers, waiting staff, etc. that should be considered also.
    The conscience argument that he uses stating he doesn't want to influence players and potential players into a false dream world is fair has some plausibility.

    He accurately states there is a very dark side to poker, variance and the losing periods (even for seasoned pro's) can affect family life, mental well being, physical health, etc and most obviously financial health etc, but I ain't convinced that merits declining interviews after winning a poker tourny of such magnitude as the One Drop (even if there had been no charity assocation).

    Many people form a bad opinion of poker and choosing it as a career is often seen to be misinformed, delussional, stupid and would never last (or so my Dad told me)! But coverage of the larger wins and the postivity poker can bring (which can actually be a much better family life at times) goes a long way to convincing people and ultimately changing minds - trust me I should know!

    I agree with a lot of this Chad Holloway's article:
    http://blogs.pokernews.com/Chad_Holloway/colman-may-not-but-i-owe-poker-everything.htm
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    888 Birthday Bash October 2013 Part 1/2 Bowling, Saturday's Omaha and a side splitting night

    Monday, November 11, 2013, 8:37 PM [General]

    Ok long overdue but finally got an evening where I ain't grinding or otherwise busy.

    So for me the bash started with a wee drive down to Dublin (from Castlewellan Co Down) to meet my old friend Deirdre at her house, then onto the airport to meet up with another good friend Vinnie.

    So we landed in Birmingham, my wee second mummy sorted the train tickets etc and shortly we were walking to the hotel. Can't just remember who all was in hotel but pretty sure Ken, Rick and Chris were the 1st guys I greeted. Was good to meet some new faces too (I was never the best with names but have a paragraph dedicated to one particular new face).

    So few drinks later and with me starving, me Vinnie, D, Gabba, Danny+Kayla headed Nando's, half the gang were already there and with all the chicken available Sean (McGlashan) was most definitely the happiest man in the place! Onto the bowling then . . .

    Me and Gabba eventually got there, guess we both come from more "remote" country areas and big cities like Birmingham are overwhelming for us! lol. So few games of pool and more drinks then we hit a problem - the bar ran out of pint glasses - now personally I think this would be a master stroke if they were short staffed and wanted to encourage customer to bring up their glasses and/or use the same ones. Anyway the drink consumption slowed a wee bit but the bowling was good craic.

    There was a few guys playing the casino's local £30 or £50 game - Denis and Michael, maybe Simon and Sammie too? Didn't fancy the cash - was too tired and knew I would get plenty of action on Sat night if I wanted. So I just kind of floated about chatting for a few hours having the craic with Chris and the gang then headed back to the hotel and a reasonably early night (2am) by my standards.

    So me and my good friend Gabba (John) are heading over to the casino on the Saturday afternoon (we ain't morning people!) and we meet this comical looking wee character with an 888 hat on, so at this point of the blog I introduce wee Shane Sullivan (or Sully as some of ya's may know him). I asked was he over for the 888 bash and he said he was, so we said we would take him over to hotel and we started chatting way. Seemed like a chatty fella but that was only him sober! lol Shane had travelled over from Co Tipperary and later on Saturday night he would remind of us this with the famous song "Its a long way to Tipperary!"

    The Irish are well known to be able to hold their drink and Vinnie is living proof of this but on Saturday night I started to doubt was Shane really Irish at all because he couldn't drink for s**t! Once he had talked himself and the whole bar out and fell asleep it was me and Simon (Hoopman) that had to carry him up to his room. Thanks god he is only 4 foot and brave and light because I wasn't it the best nick to carry myself never mind someone else.

    Anyway back to Saturday. Few more guys arrived on Saturday and the Omaha (level of each) commenced. Guess I was doing ok in it and eventually got down to last 3. I busted Judith 3rd I think (with a cooler - I turned broadway and she had Top Top as I remember). So then me and the Grumpy fella were heads up and I think he deserves a wee paragraph too!

    I had a 2:1 chip lead heads up and it was on the Texas round, Stewart (Grumpy) played very well HU, pretty sure he got a big hands to 3bet me pre as often as he did and I made some big folds which he later told me where correct folds as he had overpairs or me domnated. Knew Stewart comes from a SnG background so I guess I expected his HU game to be descent enough. So after a good battle we had taken the chip lead, think I had now 130k and he had about 210k. I wouldn't ask anyone for an even chop when I was significantly shorter stacked but I did know it was likely to come down to a big flip. We changed to Omaha (about 10 mins late) and I guess I felt I had an edge here. Ended up getting in allin on turn with my trips and straight draw backup to Grumpy's nut flush draw, he got there and I immediately congratulated him.

    I could see how much it meant to Grumpy and was very happy for him and he was literally in shock the rest of the evening. I know that he has now booked flights to Spain to see the parents which is nice. He whispered to me that it was great to play with me and it was the most he had ever won in a tourny and that second (£360) would have been the most too. That just made me think we all attend the bash and its great craic and everything but it creates memories for some people that eclipse any previous poker experience and wins.

    Memory a bit hazy after that think we had some more drink then headed back over to the hotel late enough and the 2-3 hours we spent there was probably one of the highlights of the bash for me. It started with me, Gabba, Grumpy (Stewart) and Slim (Neil), we were having great craic and was plenty of deserved chat+praise about Stewart winning the tourny and beating me in the heads up. Chris then came in and very kindly ordered pizza's, was the only thing that kept Slim quiet all night!!!

    Danny, Kayla, Vinnie and Deirdre all joined the crew followed by Judith and WKD and Labone. Then things got messy with the entrance of DJ Hooley and the sound of his trademark laugh!!! The craic was that good my sides were literally sore that night going to bed. Was great (as it always is) listening to Ken's (Lambone's) stories, the stories that night consisted of vineyards and poker experiences.

    Onto Sunday . . (see next blog) 
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