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Paddy's Corner

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: May 01, 2007

Valentine's blues
Simon Nowab is a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. These days, when half the guys you play with look constipated, it's nice to see a guy play the game with a smile. The only time you don't see him smiling is when he gets some good cards, because he gets a little confused, as he's so used to playing garbage.

Simon played late on Feb. 13, which explains why he didn't crawl out of bed to face the world the next day until a little after noon. The day didn't start quite as well as he might have liked, because the long-suffering Mrs. Nowab was of the opinion that Valentine's Day should begin with such items as cards, flowers, chocolates, romantic dinner plans, or even one of the above. Simon might even have thought so, as well, if he could stop thinking about poker long enough to work out what day of the week or month it was. Maybe we'll never know. Anyway, brunch wasn't as happy an occasion as usual in the Nowab household, but Simon managed to improve things a little with a promise or two. Better late than never.

Mrs. Nowab decided that the first part of Simon's rehabilitation would begin with Simon taking her to the shopping centre and waiting while she went about her business there. As Simon waited in the car park, he realised that he could save a little bit of valuable gambling time later by going to the garage and filling his car with petrol. This, he did.

Half an hour later, Simon was happily playing away on the Internet at home when his daughter appeared and asked: "Where's mummy?"

"Oops!" said Simon (or something like that), and he broke the world record driving back to the shopping centre to look for his loved one. Poker players would fully understand how this one was going to work out. He couldn't find her anywhere.

He's still alive, but I'll bet if you ask him what day it is, he'll be able to tell you.

The best laid plans of mice and men
In February, I put in a cameo appearance in L.A., both in the city and the main event. While staying in the Wyndham Hotel, I visited the nearby Starbucks for breakfast. Dan Harrington was on a similar mission, and inasmuch as he couldn't find anyone else to talk to, he got stuck with me. I figured I was getting way the best of this deal, as Dan could mind a dozen white mice in the snow at the crossroads in the dark, so I thought I might learn something. I did. Whilst discussing trans-Atlantic commuting for the purposes of playing poker, Dan got to talking about jet lag. He told me that an experiment had been carried out on mice to see the effects of jet lag. Apparently, young mice showed no ill effects, but the older mice didn't fare quite as well. Lots of them got sick and died. I knew I'd learn something. It seems that if you're a mouse, you shouldn't really consider a career as a pilot, and if you're a mouse that likes to travel to play poker, you should get a big score and then stay at home!

God bless America
I was reminded in L.A. of my previous trip there. Pretty deep in a World Poker Tour event, I was at a table that was wild, to say the least. The fact that there was millions at stake seemed lost on most of us, and a kamikaze pilot would have been at home at this table. It was a great laugh. At one stage, I remarked that I had been in the so-called land of the free for a month and still hadn't gotten anything for nothing. Immediately, the guy beside me piped up, "At least at this table you can't say it's not the home of the brave!" spade

Padraig Parkinson is well-known on the European poker scene, both for his poker prowess and sense of humour. He was one bluff away from winning the 1999 World Series of Poker, but unfortunately got called.