The Irish Open, The Pubs are Closed

Joe Beevers 'The Elegance'

Well it’s Easter weekend and I was off to play in the Irish Open. Ram flew to Vegas two weeks ago with Jackie and baby Hollie. Barny and Ross were coming to the Irish Open but there was a last minute change of plan and they went off to join Ram. Reports indicate that the poker for the Mob triplet isn’t going so well so it’s a good thing that Ram found a fish on the golf course. Forget the $25000 buy in events the big money is won playing 18 holes with Phil Ivey.

So it’s off to Luton on my own. I approach the Ryanair check in an hour before take off and there are two queues. I’m not too good at even money shots and I pick the right one. After a minute or so I spot a guy on crutches in the left queue holding a Poker Player magazine with Devilfish on the front cover. He looks up and says ‘Joe Beevers, you’re in here you know?’ and shows me the Irish Open feature with some quotes from me. I don’t remember saying all that but it’s all good anyway. His name is Paddy and we chat poker until my queue hits the flop and my hand holds up.

When getting my bag off the conveyor belt at the other end I see Paddy again and we agree the sensible option of sharing a taxi to Jury’s Ballsbridge. Paddy goes off to the hole in the wall and I walk out to the airport concourse where I bump into Mick McCloskey who duly offers me a lift. He’s waiting for Angela from Birmingham so I go outside to get some air. Paddy walks up with his Euros from the service-till and I leave my bag and laptop with him whilst I go back inside to get Mick. I then realise, whilst talking to Mick, that I have left my Sony VA10, all my clothes, my camera and all my worldly possessions with someone called Paddy at Dublin airport that I don’t really know. I can just imagine the conversation as I report my loss to the Garda.

Alls well that ends well and the four of us arrive at Jury’s. As its Good Friday the pubs in Dublin are shut but luckily the main bar in the hotel is open. Unluckily it’s mobbed as it’s one of the only places for miles to get a drink. I bumped into Padraig who was handing out leaflets for his charity poker event here in June (should be a great event – I recommend it), Pete the Bandit and Mad Marty Wilson and finished up sharing a few pints of Guiness with my poker twin Neil ‘Bad Beat’ Channing and Matchroom’s biggest loss, Andy Pyrah. I can remember two Irish guys I don’t know coming up to me after just hearing Marty tell his tennis ball story loudly and enthusiastically. ‘Ah, that’s why they call him Crazy Marty’ they tell us.’

What a great idea to start the main event, the E3000 NLH Irish Open, at 4pm the next day. A usual start time of noon would have seen many late arrivals. The tournament sold out officially last Wednesday but a few didn’t show and tournament director Liam Flood announced that they would get refunds. One player who wasn’t aware of this showed up late Friday and paid E5000 for a ticket as he desperately wanted to play. Liam announced that if anybody wanted one of the spare seats they could buy in one hour after the start time. When the holder of the E5000 seat was told this he went a shade of white.

One of the first players to depart was reining champion John Falconer after he stubbornly refused to lay down pocket kings against a set. The announcement came over the loudspeaker, ‘Last years winner of the Irish Open, John Falconer is out, well played…last year.’ Someone commented that no one clapped and Padraig piped up, ‘No one clapped last year when he won it either.’

So here I am in room 311 trying to change my flight to get home and help my wife Claire with our 2 month old twin daughters Millie and Lola. I try to do it online but as I want to fly home today the software won’t let me. I look for a phone number but the reservations desk is closed on weekends. I pick up the hotel phone and dial reception. I had a conversation with a girl on the front desk that obviously wasn’t Irish and it went something like this:

‘Can you put me through to Ryanair please?’

‘Ryan Air, what room is he in?’

‘No Ryanair at the airport please.’

‘Mr Ryan Air, how do you spell it?’

‘I’d like to change my Ryanair flight if possible please.’

‘Sorry you are uncorrect we don’t have a Ryan Air staying here’

I thanked her for her help and went back to Google.