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[Interview] Dermot Blain on winning Irish Player of the Year, EPT PLO event, Part Two

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In his first year as a Full Tilt Poker UKIPT Tour Ambassador, Dermot Blain was a consistent force on the live grind. The young Irishman cashed all over, in Prague, London, Dublin, Las Vegas, and Montreal, placing him atop the GPI rankings for Irish players on the year.

Blain cashed in two UKIPT High Rollers in 2013, in Galway and in Nottingham, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively, both for five-figure scores. Those, part of ten total GPI-ranked cashes, earned him the runaway title for the second time in as many years. Blain made his mark on the awards ceremony by missing it — he was busy taking down a €1,100 Pot-Limit Omaha side event at EPT Deauville for €20,200.

The Full Tilt Poker Blog caught up with Blain in between tournament stops, at home, in Ireland. Check out Part One of the interview here.

Dermot Blain in action earlier today

Blain at the FTP Galway Festival

Can you give readers a brief rundown of the PLO tournament?

I was pretty quiet early on, just chipping up a little. I was playing a lot of small pots, nothing really interesting happened on the first day.

We came back on Day 2 with 25 of 70 players remaining. I started to run really good, just making a lot of hands.

The really crucial hand happened with around 16 left. A few players limped and I checked in the big blind with T-7-4-3. The flop came T-T-7.

So I flop the joint and bet 3,000. This crazy French guy potted and I tanked and just called. I am actually not loving the spot since I am afraid he is freerolling me often.

Basically, I am hoping a low card comes and I can just check-raise all-in. The turn came a lovely 2.

I check, he pots, and all the money goes in. He had T-9-8-A, with a flush draw, which was dead of course.

I held up. That gave me a stack four times the average, which is huge in a PLO event, because there are no antes.

So what if the same turn action happens on an offsuit jack?

Wow.

That would have been really tough. He seemed so confident! I was really worried.

I definitely stack off on an eight or a nine. I think since he can still have 77 for value and can be over-playing some A-K-T-X type hand that he limped under the gun.

But a jack!

Who knows, I could have ended up folding on a jack. I feel like my edge was a huge part of why I hated the spot.

How much live PLO do you play?

If I am not playing a live hold’em event, I am playing PLO live or online. I think my edge in PLO events is probably ten times what it is in any hold’em event.

I remember thinking with 25 left if I could get my hands on some chips I would really fancy myself to win this. I would never think that in a hold’em event.

Anything you would like to add on the PLO win or the POTY race this year?

I would encourage people to play more of the PLO side-events. They are a lot less intense than the hold’em events, you can see a lot more flops, and generally they are more fun to play.

The fields are definitely softer.

Going for my third GPI Irish player of the year this year, I am going into 2014 feeling determined. I really would like to add a major title to my CV this year. That would make repeating a little more special.