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Paddy’s Corner

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Oct 01, 2009

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Bono Feeds the World?
About 20 years ago, The Pink Elephant night club was a regular haunt of many Irish poker players. It was open late and for some reason or other, we used to get in for free. I was in there one night having a quiet gallon with Micky McGuinness (an apt surname) when a few lads on steroids asked us to move to make room for some special customers. We were about to tell them to fuck off but then we remembered that as we hadn’t paid in, we didn’t have too strong a case, so we complied with their not very polite request. It turned out that the special guests were Bono and the Edge so I assumed they hadn’t paid in either. We made a beeline for the bar, just in case Bono decided to lecture us. Sometimes playing tight is the play.

Bono U2

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from the Fortune Room’s Barney Gribbin. He told me that a friend of his from Magherafelt in Northern Ireland had recently gotten engaged, and to celebrate, took his fiancée to Dublin on a “push the boat out” weekend. They went to one of Dublin’s finest restaurants for dinner and shortly after they had ordered, the head waiter asked them to move tables as a very important customer was arriving and they were seated at his favourite table. They did so and shortly afterwards Bono and some other guy arrived and sat at the table from which they had just been moved. After a few drinks, Barney’s mate began to wonder why he had to move for Bono, and after a few more was getting rightly pissed off at the way he’d been treated.

He went to the toilets where he met Bono’s pal and told him that this was their big night and he didn’t see why he should have had to move for Bono, or anyone else for that matter. The guy apologised for the inconvenience that he’d suffered and shortly afterwards, a bottle of champagne was sent over to the now not very happy couple’s table. This cheered them up and they got further good news when they tried to pay the bill only to be told it had already been taken care of. “Oh! Did Bono pay?” he asked. “No,” was the reply, “Bruce Springsteen did.”

A Case of Mistaken Identity
People complain a lot about how unlucky they are. This is normally pretty good news as it’s way better to have them spending their time doing this rather than trying to work out what really happened. It’s good for the game. Having said that, sometimes people do become victims of things that are way beyond their control.

A few years ago Kevin O’Connell was doing OK in the main event at the World Series of Poker and then disaster struck. He can’t remember whether he had A-A or K-K when “Maltese” Joe Grech who had A-K stuck him all-in, but he does know he lost the pot and as he was standing up to leave the table Joe said to him, “Don’t worry, it’s only a game.”

Anybody who’s played with Joe would know that there was no malice in this. Anyone except Kevin that is who couldn’t understand how anybody could call the main event “only a game”. He spent an unhappy couple of days telling anybody who’d listen and a few who wouldn’t what had happened, and when somebody asked him who’d given him the supposed rub down, he got a bit confused and said it was John Gale.

At least he got the initials right. For about a year after that, Kev and a few of his mates stalked John Gale on the Internet and went out of their way to knock him out of every tournament they could find him in. When they succeeded or indeed if someone else got there first, they’d type “Don’t worry John, it’s only a game” into the chat box. Poor John, who’s a grand lad, must have been wondering what the fuck was going on. After a year of this, Kev was again at a table with Joe Grech. Joe knocked some guy out and said to him, “It’s only a game”. It finally dawned on Kevin that they’d been hanging an innocent man. The English know a lot about that kind of thing. Spade Suit

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. Padraig Parkinson plays at and is sponsored by BoylePoker.com.