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No Big Deal at The World Series of Poker

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Aug 08, '10


Some things are always the same at the World Series. Players complain non-stop about dealers and a few hundred dealers get fed up listening to all this shit and quit. I don’t blame them. The dealers, that is. All I know for sure is that any day I make less mistakes than the dealers that deal to me, I win. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

Lots of the dealers tend to keep their mouths shut and their heads down as though they are always expecting some asshole to have a go at them and tell them how to do their job. That’s how they get through the day. But some of them insist on enjoying themselves and join in if there’s a bit of good-natured banter at the table. Every now and again, one comes up with a gem. The best one I heard this year came from a guy who’d been dealing the Series from back in the Binion’s days.

A player at the table was telling Scof stories. Scof aka John Sheffield is legendary for both his partying and his wit. The dealer came up with one of his own. Scof had just started work as floorman one morning and wasn’t in the best of form. A dealer of the female variety of whom Scof wasn’t a huge fan called him over to the table and complained that one of the players had called her a bitch. Scof thought about it for a second or two and asked, “Was that before the flop or after the flop?” and walked away.

The Camel and The Wolf

With the WSOP getting longer and longer and dozens of tournaments every day, some guys just get sick of it all and can’t wait to go home. Only some of them though. Some guys need to gamble like the rest of us need to breathe. Maybe even more so. I was having a pint in the Bellagio before heading for the airport and was joined by Keith Hawkins.

He told me that a bunch of the English mob had decided to take a break and take their wives, girlfriends, etc… off to see the Beatles show Love. Hard to get into trouble there, you might think. But Keith and Roland De Wolfe weren’t happy with that and decided to turn the night out into a gambling proposition.

The idea was that they both got to pick three Beatles songs and if your song got played in the show, you won one unit from your opponent. The Camel won 2/1. The Camel isn’t as dumb as he looks and managed to get first pick. Of course, he picked All You Need Is Love, which would have been pretty hard for them to leave out, so you have to give him full marks for that.

Roland probably realised he was taking the worst of it here but action is action and the thing was going to take a few hours anyway. I suppose a lot of people will be researching more than poker next year and Roland might find that he gets invited out a bit more often than usual.

You Wear It Well

All you have to do is walk into the Aviation Club in Paris any day of the week and pretty soon you’ll stop believing all those rumours about there being a recession.

There’s something for everyone, from smaller tournaments and cash games to some of the biggest games in Europe. The TV is responsible for a lot of the growth of poker in France and poker in the pub, a national sport in Ireland, is beginning to catch on, and the price is right, as they are not allowed to charge an entry fee and prizes are put up by the pubs.

Corcoran’s pub in Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, has an enthusiastic turn-out on Monday nights, and looking at them, you’d find it hard to believe that they are not paying any entry fee. I was having a quiet pint there one day and observed Helen, who says she works there, talking at length to two of her customers. When they left, she told me that they were her parents and that her Dad was a poker fan. I asked if he played but she explained that he just watched it on the telly, and said he particularly enjoyed it when Maggie May and I were doing the commentary.

Obviously, my eyesight isn’t what it used to be.

Padraig is currently involved with Jesse May in hosting Irish Pub Poker Tours for medium-sized corporate groups. For info you can contact him on Twitter @padraigpoker.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of


11 years ago

Love this guy, none of the pretentious self absorbed drivel that you get from some other bloggers one could mention (e.g. RustyShit).

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