A toast to Dave Cleary

Ross Boatman

by Ross on Saturday, 24 April 2004 at 4:20 am

Yesterday I was playing at the Bellagio in the biggest tournament in the history of poker with only eighteen players left I was just seventeen places short of two point seven eight million. It’s not everyday you get so close to that kind of money, and when you do it’s hard to stop yourself fantasizing a bit about how your going to spend it. New house, new car, new clothes, fabulous presents for all your family and friends. When I lost a 500,000 dollar pot with QQ against AQ it proved to be a fatal blow, I never recovered and half an hour later I was out; eighteenth. Suddenly it was over, my bubble was bust and all my dreams of glory and extreme wealth were crushed in a moment. For eighteenth spot they gave me $ 66,500.00. Sixty six thousand five hundred for spending four days doing something I love, an amount of money that many people have to work years to earn. How lucky is that? But I didn’t feel lucky I felt gutted. The adrenaline rush came to an end. I felt exhausted and went home to get the first proper nights sleep since I’ve been here .When I woke up this morning I still felt sick Why didn’t my queens stand up? Why was it I missed that straight flush draw? How could I be so unlucky? I couldn’t sleep anymore so I went downstairs. Barny was already up, he told me that he had just heard that Dave Cleary passed away last night. Dave was a prominent and well respected figure from the Irish poker scene. I didn’t know him that well but our paths crossed many times on the European circuit and we would always pass the time of day. Dave seemed to me to be a good fellow, always warm, friendly and genuinely interested in how things were going for you. I’m sure he will be missed. Tonight I’m going to take the boys out to celebrate my win and raise a glass to Dave.