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Paddy's Corner

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: May 01, 2010


Like Old Times
People seem to think something amazing has happened when a 22-year-old wins a tournament these days. Given the fact that the average age these days is about 22-and-a-half, it would be amazing if one of them didn’t. I played the Omaha tournament at the recent Euro Finals of Poker in Paris and pretty deep into the event, I was sitting beside Benji, a French player I’ve known for years who stands out like a beacon due to his laid back attitude and wonderful gallows sense of humour. He announced at one stage that six players at the table had at least 20 years experience each and that was after we’d lost Ali, who’s put in more table hours than God. He went on to say that even though they were a lot of chips on the table, there was a better chance of getting a hundred years experience into a pot than a hundred thousand in chips. He was right.

Another 20-year-old man, the Devilfish, was playing at another table but he spent half his time standing behind me telling Irish jokes. I don’t know any Hull jokes so I was a little stuck. I finally got my opportunity when he pulled out his phone and showed me the cover of his book, which he said was due out in August. He told me that I got a mention and that I’d like it. I told him my book was due out in December, so I didn’t give a fuck if I liked it or not. You’ve got to keep winning the small pots.

What Have We Done?
The European Poker Awards were to be announced at a dinner in the Aviation Club. Surprisingly, I didn’t get a nomination but I went to the bar anyway to say hello to Nic and to meet Silkey, Jude, and Gerry from Boyles, who were all there hoping to pick up awards.

John Lennon once described the Eurovision Song Contest as a night out for middle-aged pop fans. If he’d lived and got into poker, I’d love to see what he’d have made of this carry on. I was in two minds as to whether to attend the dinner or not. On the negative side I wasn’t drinking and after sitting sober through last year’s awards I was well aware that that was not the play. Also, I had it on good authority that the Irish table was in the far corner of the back room in the restaurant, which certainly wasn’t a good sign. On the plus side, I’ve got a lot of time for the Irish guys who were there and it might have been a good laugh anyway. The decision was made for me.

A suited up English guy at the bar announced in a very loud voice that he’d been charged €15 for a sandwich in the famous George V Hotel. When I first started playing poker in Paris, the George V had the class not to let poker players in and poker players had the class not to want to go there anyway. I went home wondering what the hell we’ve done to a great game. I forgot to stop in the George V and tell them they weren’t charging the fuckers half enough.

PokerStars Haiti Appeal
Congratulations to PokerStars for a job well done in reaction to the devastation in Haiti. What they did is they advertised a bunch of Haiti tournaments, starting at $1,000 and going all the way down to $1 or $2. The tournaments were never actually played and the entire prize pools were given to the Red Cross. The nice bit is that PokerStars matched every dollar put up by the players. The cynics might say that Pokerstars has plenty of money anyway so it’s no big deal. The reality is lots of people have lots of money and do nothing about these things.

The fun part is that as the donations are given in the form of a registration for a tournament, everyone can see who gave what. The PokerStars sponsored pros all appeared in red on the list and some of them were very generous and signed up for everything they could. Some didn’t think this two-for-one deal was value enough for them to part with a few quid to benefit people who had absolutely nothing. Next month, I’ll be naming those who contributed generously. The month after, I’ll be naming the ones who gave absolutely nothing.

On the charity note, on behalf of all the lads involved in Poker for the Homeless in Ireland, I’d like to sincerely thank Paddy Power Poker for their generous sponsorship of our charity events in the Jackpot Club. 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