Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine


Poker Training

Newsletter and Magazine

Sign Up

Find Your Local

Card Room


Paddy's Corner

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Jan 01, 2007


Changing of the guard
We were recently in one of our favourite venues, the Borgata in Atlantic City during its World Poker Tour event, when I finally witnessed what people, especially the young kids on the block, are talking about. I was playing a tournament and was involved after midnight, which was unusual for me. Due to a combination of jet lag and too much coffee, I had a splitting headache and asked a cocktail waitress if she had any headache tablets, a move I considered to be quite a reasonable request. She very politely informed me that she didn't have any tablets, but asked if I'd like a Diet Coke! I've had a lot of strange things said to me at the poker table over the years, but this one had me completely gobsmacked. Not so to Barry Greenstein, who was sitting beside me. As quick as a flash, he informed me that Diet Coke is the chicken soup cure-all remedy for the new millennium. I wasn't convinced, but I had one anyway.

The European Poker Tour meets Fawlty Towers
I'm glad I went to the EPT event in Dublin. Firstly, Pokerstars, Thomas, Charles, and his friendly staff laid on a very well-structured tournament, with tables becoming ninehanded as soon as possible, which was very soon. Secondly, it was the best laugh I've ever had at an EPT event. Poker players tend to like their comfort these days. It's strictly one player to a room, and everything has to be just right. It's a pity all players didn't sample the Binion's experience near the end, or have to fight their way through the carpet in the Plaza; they might appreciate the present a little more. This venue gave them an experience they'll remember for a while. It was day one, and the fun had started! It kicked off with no running water in the bathrooms, hot or cold. To be fair to the hotel, it had just finished some refurbishment, so stuff happens. People were treating it as though the whole roof had fallen in, but John Duthie, a man addicted to chaos, stood his ground magnificently. When one of his countrymen suggested that it might be a nice courtesy to the players if there was running water in the toilets, Duthie replied, "You think that's bad. I don't have any water in my room." That's what leadership is all about. Kevin O'Connell loved it. If there's anything Kevin likes more than a suite you could hold a football match in, it's a suite you couldn't swing a cat in. He tried to check in and check out almost simultaneously, and had a hilarious tug of war over his credit card with the receptionist.

People were complaining about the price of the rooms, but Scott Gray was of the opinion that they should have charged more, as this could have been their last chance to witness what Ireland was like 30 years ago. Every Fawlty Towers needs a Basil. Enter stage left, Liam Flood, muttering to anybody who'd listen that the whole thing had nothing to do with him, which was received with about the same credibility as a 7-year-old dog saying he never licked his testicles. It was an Oscar-winning performance. Well, anyway, nobody died and all of those with a sense of humour had a great time. Some days, there was hot water, some days, there wasn't. That would be considered luxury in some parts of the world. The hotel did lay on a free bar at least twice; unfortunately, it was while the players were in the middle of the tournament, operating on 10-minute breaks. Ah well, at least a few of the dealers got plastered. Good luck to them.

Put me down for next year.

Poker advice
Most TV poker interviews are pretty boring. It's usually the same old garbage. But every now and again, you can get an absolute beauty that makes it all worthwhile. Belfast's Darren Browne was playing in the UK Poker Open and was asked what the best poker advice he was ever given was. "That's easy," he said, "it came from my wife." She told me to turn off that damn computer and come to bed!" spade