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Put Your Faith in the Lord

by 'Mad Marty' Wilson |  Published: Feb 01, 2010


In January 1991, I went to Las Vegas. At the time my biggest fear was flying. I hated it with a passion but on the flight that day were Mickey Wernick, Ian Dobson, Alex Kong, and Aidan Bennett. I got drunk at the airport and the flight wasn’t as bad as flights had been. While I was there in Las Vegas I won over $100,000. I put two $5,000 chips in my ticket pocket of my Levi jeans, knowing that I had my entrance to the main event at the World Series of Poker which started in May and I would have to get the flight back.
Those two chips were burning a hole in my pocket and by the time May came around and the start of the WSOP at Binions, I kept postponing and postponing booking a flight. In those days it was really difficult to get a flight and when I went to book one it was too late. So my friend, Mac Caldwell, rang the Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers and asked if they could fire out some alarm bells and get me a flight to Vegas. And they did with Delta Airlines flying me first of all to Houston in Texas and then to Las Vegas.

So now instead of me having one direct flight I had the pain of two flights and having to travel on my own. By the way, Barry Hearn has now cured me of my fear of flying. He has told me that I am going to be his tournament director and that if he organised a poker tournament on the moon, I’d have to get there. But we all know that we could never have a poker tournament on the moon, because there’d be no atmosphere.

Anyway, I was so wound up about this flight that I carried a bible with me onto the airplane. When an airplane takes off the worst part for me is the first 30 minutes until we are up to 30,000 feet and cruising. So I sat there with my eyes closed and the bible on my chest, gripping it with all my might, until I would hear the seat belt sign go “ding”. I looked to the right to see a Texan there who had obviously been drinking. He was on his way to Houston. He said to me, “Are you one of those bible bashers?”

I replied, “I put my faith and trust in the Lord.”

He said, “You are one of them bible bashers. Do you believe everything in that bible?”

I said, “Why sure I do.” He said, “But do you believe Noah built an ark and took poisonous snakes and rats and mice and vermin on that boat and sailed for forty days? Do you believe that?”

I said, “If it’s in the bible it must be true. In fact when I get to heaven I’m gonna see Noah in person and ask him.” And the Texan guy said, “Say he’s not in heaven?”

“Well, I’ll let you ask him!”

United in Laughter
I’ve just hosted my first Manchester United poker game at Old Trafford for Circus Poker. What a fantastic day this was for me, to be a part of the “Red Dream” with Man United’s former captain Paddy Crerand popping in to ask me how my first day was going and staying and listening to my Lou Macari story.

But let me tell you about an incident that happened with one of the ticket winners, a guy called Colin Fortey. We were playing “Win with Wilson” in the lounge at Old Trafford, and when he’d slipped out I selected the nine cards from the deck that were on his card, and when I shuffled later I had the nine cards on my lap. The first four cards turned over in the game were on his card, which is like a million to one. The joy on his face was unbelievable. The next four cards I turned over he also had, and his excitement grew.

When I turned over the queen of spades, the last spot on his card, he danced an Irish Jig. He was so excited that he forgot to say, “Win with Wilson!” and he had his prize withdrawn. It was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen, as everybody in the room was in on the joke. It was not until later that we told him what had happened. But what a great day watching Man United with some new friends. Laughter is free and it’s the same in every language. Spade Suit

Mad Marty Wilson is a professional gambler and poker consultant for Matchroom Sport.