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When Benny met Terry

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: May 29, '08


Back in the days when donkeys had four legs and hoodies were called anoraks, eccentric Irish bookmaker Terry Rogers dropped in to the Horseshoe during a visit to Las Vegas to see what the World Series of Poker was all about and met the colourful Benny Binion. It was the beginning of a real and lasting friendship. Benny was impressed at having met an Irish visionary who could look forward rather than backwards and Terry liked meeting a guy who'd shot a few people because he could think of several guys he'd like to shoot himself if it wasn't illegal in Ireland at the time (it's ok now). It was to be the start of the annual migration of Europeans to the World Series.

On arriving home, Terry founded the aptly named Eccentric's Club and immediately began running satellites for Benny's tournament. It wasn't all one way traffic as a couple of years later the best players in the world, including Doyle, Chip and even Stuey with a brand new passport, travelled to Ireland to take part in a series of tournaments in the Killiney Castle Hotel. Terry, ever the showman, turned it into a media circus as only he could. It all went great, except for a minor hiccup when the cashiers took the money with them for safekeeping when going on a dinner break. They forgot to come back. It all worked out fine because Terry paid everybody anyway and the punters got a free laugh.

The cream of Irish poker (and some of the milk) turned up to do battle with the Yanks including the legendary road gambler Laramie. Laramie likes to drink almost as much as he likes to play poker and as life is short he manages to fit both in at the same time. This isn't unusual in Ireland though it's normally considered a good idea to at least start the poker before the drinking but Laramie always did march to his own drum. During one of the tournaments, he had a huge chip lead and an even bigger drink lead. It looked like the double was on until Laramie disappeared. After a frantic search he was found asleep in a cubicle in the toilets but the search was a complete waste of time as the searchers were drawing dead as far as waking him was concerned. Eat your heart out Vinnie Vinh!

I was in Dublin last week and there was some speculation as to why Andy Black was bringing such a large entourage with him to Vegas. The younger guys were a bit confused but the veterans think they know. At the first hint of him hitting a chip lead the team will be under instructions to lock him in the nearest toilet for at least three levels. If you can learn from the past, you can earn more in the future.

Visit to read more about Padraig Parkinson at the WSOP.

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
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