June 16, 2024

Irish businessman turned poker player wins $1.3m

Lots of poker players fancy themselves as entrepreneurial business-types and no doubt quite a few have left poker to successfully pursue business interests. Others have explored the business side of poker, be it training sites, card room ownership, staking companies, and even their own poker sites.

There are also quite a few players who got into poker after having already made careers for themselves in the business world. Some of these players are unskilled fun players for whom big buy-ins are insignificant, but others take their poker a lot more seriously, reading books, getting coaching, forming study groups, and very much bringing the temperament and skills that made them successful businesspeople to the felt.

he decided to take his commitment to the game up a notch

One such person is Irish businessman and entrepreneur turned poker player and author Michael Dwyer who always played a bit of poker for fun, but since selling his company Pigsback.com for a reported €25m ($27m) in 2019, he decided to take his commitment to the game up a notch. Some tidy results have made their way onto his resume in the last five years, including three WSOP Main event cashes, but nothing compares to what he did last night when he finished runner-up in the $10,000 buy-in, 1,202-runner GGPoker Super Millions for $1.3m.

Molon Labe

Dwyer, playing under the alias “Mickster,” took a few unconventional lines, deploying a loose-aggressive small-ball strategy versus a table of top-tier regulars. He came into the final table as chip leader and wielded his big stack impressively, never missing a light open, applying ICM pressure on his opponents, and generally making a nuisance of himself.

Last night he made some big calls, as he did in 2022 on his way to 237th and 49th place finishes in the WSOP Main Event live and online. One such call came at a crucial moment with six players left versus the dangerous Montenegrin high roller and ultimate champion Dejan Kaladjurdjevic.

Dwyer’s brash and bold style created a claustrophobic atmosphere, especially in the early and middle phases of the final table when the presence of some short stacks allowed him to chip up without too much resistance. That style is analogous to his approach to business. He is fearless, he times his moves well, he understands leverage, and he lives by the Laconic motto “Molon Labe,” which can be translated into a poker context as “if you want my chips, come and get them.“

Totally out of the blue

Dwyer’s third WSOP Main Event cash came in 2023, the same year he published his book From the Arena, an autobiographical account of his rollercoaster journey in the world of business. It is part memoir, part business book and a remarkably honest account of all the challenges and hurdles he faced with his company. In a recent interview on “The Chip Race” podcast, Dwyer expounded on his work-life peregrinations, segueing to its influence on his game.

VegasSlotsOnline News reached out to Dwyer after his incredible result, the third biggest for an Irish player. “It’s unreal – it came totally out of the blue!” said Dwyer, “I played a few $100-$200 satellites, accumulated a few grand, punted on the $1k satty to the $10k, won a seat, and was immediately thrown deep into Day 1!”

It was initially smooth sailing for the Irishman, who accumulated chips quickly. However, a card-dead period followed, and he ultimately crept into the money with what he called “a fighting stack.” There was then some laddering on Day 2 before he found heat.

“I got on a roll at the right time and ended up chip leader at the final table. The rest was public viewing.”

It certainly was and engrossing viewing at that as Dwyer surrendered and then retrieved the chip lead with six players remaining. With five left, Kaladjurdjevic pulled into the lead and by the time there were four left, Dwyer had slid back into last place. Undeterred, he battled on gamefully, laddering to heads-up courtesy of some coolers for his opponents.

Fail better

Keen to share the praise and cognizant of his good fortune, Dwyer paid tribute to his support network and the Poker Gods:

I’m blown away by the goodwill and genuineness of the poker community

“It helps to be lucky. It’s a huge thrill for me, my family, friends, several small stakeholders, and I’m blown away by the goodwill and genuineness of the poker community – obviously in Ireland – but I also got several lovely messages from some international players that I have met on my travels, too!”

Dwyer referred to one particular email from American pro Nathan Kogel, who sent him a picture of a Werther’s candy.

“I always have a bag with me playing in Vegas,” said Dwyer. “I feel very fortunate and I can’t let the occasion go by without thanking Jason Tompkins who coached me on this ‘new and improved’ path and my friend Dara O’Kearney whose books have been a tremendous help and with whom I share a favorite inspirational quote.”

That quote is from Samuel Beckett’s Worstward Ho and it goes: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Second place for $1.3 million. I can’t imagine failing much better than that.

The post Failing Better: Irishman Michael Dwyer Takes Second Place in the GGPoker Super Millions for $1.3m appeared first on Vegas Slots Online News.

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