Blog by Jesse_May

Give me the Irish Open

April 3, 2012

The Irish Open. Just the mere mention of that phrase sends memories flooding down my spine. In many ways, my experience in European poker has been defined by the constancy of the Irish Open. Held in Dublin each year, whether the ramshackle nostalgia of the Merrion Club on Merrion Square, the Jury's Hotel in Ballsbridge, the sprawl of the City West, or late nights and rock and roll of the Burlington, it always feels the same. A joyous celebration of poker camaraderie and competition, with all welcome to share the dream of becoming champion of one of the oldest poker ...

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Backing Up the Truck

Feb. 2, 2012

My cousin Bobby may never forgive me.  He was the one who gave me a Giants’ season ticket in 1986 and took me to watch every game of that Superbowl season up close.  He was the one who ignited my passion in American football and made me a lifelong dyed in blue New York Giants fan.  And he was the one who said you don’t have to bet on them, but don’t ever bet against them.  Which is why my cousin Bobby might never forgive me.  Because for the first time in my entire ...

Three Fish From Macau

Nov. 25, 2011


Word came through the other day that Phil Ivey is in Macau.  There’s a picture of him, in fact, sitting down and playing in the Main Event in town. If a picture can say a thousand words, this one says two, as clear and unmistakable as bellowed from the stage.  Fuck off.  That’s what the picture of Phil Ivey says.  Fuck off, people.  Fuck off, world.  It’s safe to say that Phil Ivey won’t be giving any interviews soon.

How broken is the poker world right now?  It’s broken like the three ...

Live Blogging The WSOP Final Table

Nov. 6, 2011

12pm CET: I wish my connection was better.  I wish my screen was bigger.  I wish I was in Las Vegas.  Other than that, it’s impossible for me to be any more pumped up for what is flat out one of my favourite days of the year.  When one day the final table of the main event of the World Series of Poker stops being for me like the minute that all the food arrives on the Thanksgiving table with the anticipation of the final fireworks barrage in the park on the evening of the Fourth of July, when one ...

Live Blogging The WSOPE Final Table

Oct. 20, 2011

14:02 Welcome to the final table of the WSOPE Main Event.  So much to talk about at the conclusion of a wonderful week in Cannes, and I’ll get to that at some point, along with plenty of other topics.  Love to hear from you as well, please type any comments or questions down below in the comments section and I’ll try and get to them throughout the day.  But suffice it to say that it’s a beautiful day here in Cannes, France, I had foie gras for breakfast, and if yesterday’s play was anything to go by we are in ...

Live Blogging The Caesars Cup

Oct. 19, 2011

No money, but all the pride you can muster.  The Caesar’s Cup is nearly ready to roll.  From my perch over two eight euro espressos in the bar of the Majestic Hotel  the excitement is palpable.  Everybody knows that it’s a good idea and a cool format.  And nobody wants to lose.  Team North America may or may not have added Canada because they’re not strong enough on their own. I’ll be live blogging the event from here and ringside so stay tuned for the next few hours.

11:45 am in the Majestic hotel in Cannes and there’s a palapable ...

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Feel The Shame

Sept. 26, 2011

It didnt't really bother me when Poker Spot folded, because that guy had history. And I laughed about the money Aces Poker stole, because anyone who trusted them couldn’t ever spot a cheat. The Ultimate Bet scandal wasn’t really that surprising, as we’d heard stories about him for years. And it never shocked me when they cheated me in Atlantic City, or went partners against me in Vegas, or at Foxwoods tried to do a runner with my funds. The nips, the moves, the cheats, the angle shooters, and those that were just plain thieves. For the past ten years ...

Pardon Me - Is That My Head?

July 12, 2011

There's a blue haze that runs through Vegas. Sometimes, you make do by living in the blue haze.  You don’t struggle nor raise your eyebrows nor take massive applications of pharmaceuticals and medicinals and recuperatives to keep the peace.  Your senses are already dumbed down, they are permanently half lidded and half-mast.  Sometimes, you make do by living in the world so fast that the slot machines spin at one-quarter speed.  You drink doubles in the morning and walk purposefully down long halls.  If it fits in your mouth, you chew or swallow.  You ask what it is later, only ...

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Postcards From the Dregs

July 7, 2011

It's a lazy Saturday one week before the World Series Of Poker main event. Beautiful weather, beautiful women, and a swimming pool on an absolutely picture perfect 100 degree Saturday afternoon. The remains of lunch are being busily swept away by the gourmet chef.  It was steak from the grill, a pasta with sauce, and a salad with chargrilled peaches.  The pool is full, everyone bobbing in the hot sun in the cool water.  Aspiration has given way to hope, hope to optimism, and optimism to resignation.  I’ll get them next time. 

Some people this summer have just bolted town.  ...

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The Luck Laak Luck

July 1, 2011

Last level of the night. Especially tiring in a 6-max event when you've already played eleven long hours with young internet symposiums who are doing the raising, the re-raising, the constant pressure and the three barrel bluffs. It's enough to make you want to fall out of your chair. Which to be fair, is what at least half of the people in this tournament look ready to do. Forget about your superstars, your screen names, and the bracelets on the arms. Come this time of night, there's only two kinds of players left. Those who want it, and those who ...

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Don't Make Me Mad

June 28, 2011

About ten seconds after I asked the question was when I realized that Daniel Cates was nobody's fool. The question, of course, was one that I shouldn't have asked in the first place. It wasn't polite and it wasn't funny and it wasn't even my business one little bit. And Daniel Cates didn't get mad and he didn't get rude and he definitely didn't get defensive. He just stared at me for ten seconds, unblinking eyes, mild mannered as could be, and then he said, "What about it?" And that was pretty much it. What about it, indeed.

He was ...

Durrrr Day - Part 2

June 26, 2011

It's twenty after midnight and the 5k Omaha is on a break. i find Tom Dwan in the room down the hall playing the 10k Horse, trying to get more than twenty minutes out of his chips.  By my estimate, today he’s played eight hours of Omaha, one hand of the 2.5k NL (all-in and a call), and about a dinner break’s worth of the 10k Horse.   Durrrr’s in a pot as I arrive, but that’s kind of like putting your hand in a jar of jellybeans and grabbing a jellybean.   A steady pro named Abe Mosseri is giving Tom ...

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Durrrr Day - Part 1

June 26, 2011

Waiting for Durrr. I've staked out a position by a dorr near the back entrance to the Rio, where of course Tom Dwan will pass on the way inside from his private RV. It’s 11:45 am.  Normally Durrrr would come in late, but as he’s into the second day of a $5,000 buy-in Omaha event that restarts at 2:30pm and he wants to give the $2,500 NLH a shot that starts at noon, and there’s a must play $10,000 Horse event beginning at five, he will want to make the most of this morning at the WSOP.  At least that’s ...

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Graveyard Cash

June 18, 2011

Even the parking garage elevators are nicer at the Aria.  Panelled wood and polished buttons, welcoming at 4am.  An immediate uplift from the hour I’ve just spent traipsing the Bellagio, old and worn, where fingers stick to the video poker at the sports book bar, and a grey haired barman in a black vest and a dull striped tie complains to his younger supervisor about a leak in the sink that’s still not fixed.  The poker room is depressed as well, garishly going through the motions, a mixed game in the center of the room featuring Russian Lenny with the ...

The Curious Case of Luke Schwartz

June 11, 2011

There's five tables left in the $1500 triple chance Hold'em, and I've perched myself on media row. Still plenty of big names here, like JC Tran, who's rocking his stack beneath a Yankee hat. Carlos Mortensen is impassive as a Spanish bullfighter at a table near the door, and Sam Trickett is head bent and focused, shuffling his chips while his eyes make a steely stare at every feint. But I'm placed to watch the table on the raised stage, where a 26 year old scrappy lump in dirty sweats who's never had so much as a WSOP cash is ...

Brandon Adams Blog

June 8, 2011

Brandon Adams has written a thoughtful piece on why he has taken the decision to wear a Full Tilt Patch at the series. Read it here

My response follows....

Dear Brandon... Thanks for your kind words, and I appreciate many of your points. I can imagine the decision on whether or not to wear a patch is not one you've taken lightly. The fact that Full Tilt Pros seem to be split on what to do shows that the answer has darkness on both sides.

I think the biggest thing, and I'd be surprised if you're not a little ...

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Brits In Flow

June 8, 2011

It's a good day out for the Barmy Army. Just like in the West Indies for a five day test, the Brits on tour know how to enjoy. And the final table arena in the Rio's Amazon Ballroom is made for the craic. The fact that you can't really see what's going on only makes it more fun. While Americans were raised on constant action, flowing statistics and instant replays to watch the game, for the Brits the only modern convenience required is the cardboard frame with which you can carry six beers in only one hand. Who needs more? ...

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You Sanctimonious Little

June 3, 2011

Of all the surprising things that have happened in the poker world over the last six weeks, nothing has been more shocking than the use of the word sanctimonious in print.  I mean let’s face it, sanctimonious is not a word you see used every day.  With the possible exceptions of bibles, sermons, and beat poets hopped up on cheap red wine, the word sanctimonious is fairly rarely ever seen.  In fact, in the whole history of the world the word sanctimonious has never been used before in a press release, much less a one paragraph statement that is meant ...

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Poker is going back to the Wolves

June 1, 2011

Come all ye sinners and may the righteous disperse. Poker is being thrown back to the wolves. And it’s about damn time.

The World Series of Poker 2011 has started with a full moon fever and if I have it my way, the sun won’t come up for seven more weeks. Then we can all look around and just see who’s left. Typically at the WSOP, over the course of seven or eight weeks people slowly get stretched and then pushed over the point, and by the fourth or fifth they are dropping like flies, cracked up like a tin ...

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