Norwegian Masters

€œI saw more beer spilled at the Norwegian Masters festival then I’ve seen drunk at the WSOP €. This was a Tweet brought to my attention by JP McCann, written by an American visitor about the monumental festival which finished last weekend. There can be no doubt that our Nordic visitors come to play and boy can they put the liquor away.

The festival is absolutely huge and has to be seen to be believed. It €™s definitely the biggest poker gathering I €™ve personally witnessed outside of the WSOP. I headed up early Thursday for the 350 event. My most memorable part of the tournament was a drunken visitor who kept speaking to me in Norwegian for at least an hour.

My strategically timed nodding seemed to work a treat. He was well pissed but harmless and it was amusing rather than annoying. Unfortunately the poor chap miss-clicked his way out of the tournament.

It was a fast enough structure and I exited the game in a 60 BB pot at 300/600, 4-bet shoving 99 into AQ. There was a decent crew gathered in the bar at this stage and a good night ensued.

The JP Masters was the main attraction for the weekend. The game was reduced to a two day event this year to attract more of the Norwegians, most of whom would be leaving on Sunday. It certainly worked, I think the final figure was 370 players and the structure didn €™t seem to suffer at all.

Having never really gotten going on day one I managed to make day two with 18 BB €™s going back to 1200/2400/300. With ninety returning and 48 paid, some run good was needed but unfortunately didn’t arrive. After a round of the table I shoved 5d6d from the button over a Nick Newport C/O open and his AK held. I probably should have waited if I €™m honest and the shove was probably a tad panicky. I thoroughly the few days in the Citywest and can only hope this historically roving festival of poker has found a permanent home in Ireland.

This coming week is one of my favourite of the year. First up is the traditional pre Irish Open visit to the Kclub where Marty Smyth usually donates a few grand to John, Tom Hanlon and myself. I must admit to being a bit fearful this could be Marty €™s year, my own game is in pieces, shout out to the handicapper.

Once the coffers are filled after a couple of days R&R, it €™s on to the Double Tree (what €™s that all about?!) aka the Burlo for Ireland €™s most sought after poker title. Hopefully the trend of increased field sizes this year carries through for the big one. It would be a real shame to see the prize pool dip below last year €™s ‚¬1 million.