Official Fergal O'Brien Website

V.C. Poker Irish Professional Championship

Once again it was great to have the chance to compete in our national championship.
Ireland is the only nation to have a professional championship, so credit must be given to the tournament director,
Richie McAuley, for organising the event and to Victor Chandler for sponsoring the tournament for the last three years.

I had an eventful start playing my boyhood hero, Alex Higgins, but focusing on playing the balls
and concentrating on my game, I was able to win easily 5-0.

My next match was a much tougher affair against Northern Ireland's great prospect, Mark Allen.
From 3-4 down I managed to win 5-4 making a 69 break in the decider.

Next up was my good friend, Joe Delaney.
I have been playing against Joe for twenty years and this match was one of our best matches ever.
Again it went to a decider and from my first chance I made a 107 break.
It is always nice to finish with a century especially in a semi-final.

In the final I faced Ken Doherty.
I struggled to get going in the match and found myself 2-6 down after the first session.
From there Ken played excellent snooker, missing nothing and playing great safety to win 9-2.
Whilst I was disappointed to lose I had a great tournament with some great wins
and learnt a lot, even in my defeat by Ken.

Following on from the final of the Lucan Racing Classic
and semi-finals of the German Open and the Kilkenny Masters in February
it is great to be getting to the business end of tournaments.
Long may it continue.

Finally may I say thanks for all the e-mails I have received.
Please keep them coming, whether requests for autographs, advise or instruction, or just expressing your support.
I appreciate them all and will reply to all as soon as I can when I'm back home from competing in tournaments.

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