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No Fun in the Sun

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Apr 06, '09


I caught a great break a couple of weeks ago. Kevin O'Connell contracted to marry the lovely Leona in St Kitts and as Kevin doesn't have any friends he invited his poker acquaintances along to witness the event. It was a long plane journey, so I decided to do something useful and read a bit of Harrington on Hold'em on the way. I got as far as the bit where he was going on about controlling the size of the pot. When I started playing poker, the size of the pot usually depended on whether you were winning or losing, so I watched a movie instead. This was a mistake.

A bridesmaid had been appointed but there was a vacancy in the best man department. It was decided that this spot would be filled by the winner of a one hand poker tournament to be contested by all the guys. The pot was pretty small really as we all knew that no matter who won, we could bully Jesse May into dressing up like Little Lord Fontleroy and making the speech. I thought it might be a good idea to sweeten the pot by suggesting that the last place finisher should be punished by having to fill the demanding role of Flower Girl. Jon "Skalie" Kalmar had been complaining about how bad he was running, so the suggestion got an enthusiastic welcome as we all figured that not alone would he finish last but would also make an excellent Flower Girl. He'd obviously been lying (after all, he is English) and not alone did he not finish last, he was very unlucky not to be best man.

I got horribly unlucky. Not alone did I finish last but got a terrible decision from the tournament director when I quite rightly pointed out that the tournament should have been run again on the grounds that being seven months old should not have disqualified Tiger Gardner, son of Julian, from being dealt in. In fact, in this line up, you'd have fancied him to make a good showing, even if it was a regular deepstack event. I'd like to say that my friends weren't too hard on me and let me off the hook or at least gave me an easy ride, but that wouldn't be telling the truth. I did feel a lot better after the event was over and I'd thrown Harrington's book in the bin.

The Way we Were

The Boylesports sponsored Poker for the Homeless event in Dublin's Jackpot club was a big success. The biggest winner was undoubtedly Ryan's pub as several of the contestants seemed to think that was where the event was taking place. It was certainly where all the craic was and not surprisingly at this time of the year, many of the stories being told were of past Irish Open's.

One of the best of these was in the Green Isle hotel in the early nineties. Scott Gray was out of form at the time and spent half his bankroll putting petrol in the car on his way to the event. The garage owner asked him where he was going and Scott told him that he was going to Dublin to play the best players in Europe with £25 in his pocket.

The guy seemed to think that this was an extremely good tactic and pointed out that things couldn't go too badly in the circumstances. I'm not sure Scott bought petrol there again. The event turned into a huge party and the night porter couldn't keep up with the pace being set by his bar customers. One of Andy's "Shiny Happy Supporters" helped him out by nicking a bottle from behind the bar to ease the enormous pressure the man was under. Some people just refuse to be helped and the ungrateful man kicked up quite a fuss.

Meanwhile, a big name Yank that Terry Rogers had brought over was winning all the money in huge kalooki games. People who know a little bit about the game told anybody who'd listen that he was indeed a very good player, especially when he was dealing. I don't know if they told the guys he was playing against but there were so far behind at that stage that it probably wouldn't have made any difference. I met Terry a couple of days later and he was very upset about the scandal at the tournament. I thought he was referring to the kalooki game until he asked me if I knew who'd stolen the bottle of Vodka from the bar. I was able to answer truthfully that I didn't know. I was just glad he didn't ask me who drank it.

Terry always gave a few quid to charity out of the Irish Open profits and it's great to see that Paddy Power Pker have added an event to this year's schedule, which should raise a lot of money for the Crumlin Children's Hospital in Dublin. All we need now is a bent kalooki game and a bit of larceny in the bar and it would be just like old times.

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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