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A Miscue From Alex "Hurricane" Higgins

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Nov 16, '11


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Dennis Taylor was a popular visitor to last years Irish Winter Festival. There weren’t any snooker superstars in the house this year (Reggie Corrigan was the nearest thing to a sports star around and that’s a bit of a stretch), though the craic over lunch before the main event involved swapping stories about that flawed Irish genius that was the late Alex “Hurricane” Higgins.

It’s fair to say that he certainly lived up to his nickname as he lived as fast and furiously as he played the game he was born to play. He was undoubtedly one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. He could polarize opinion like no one else but whether you loved him or hated him, you lived every shot he played like nothing else in the world mattered. Priceless.

One of the Northern Ireland guys had a story about Alex in action on the Falls Road. Generally speaking, if you were from Alex’s side of Belfast you might prefer to leave the Falls off your itinerary. But not Alex. He was frequently to be seen hopping from club to pub to bookies on the Falls hustling, drinking and gambling.

It was good news for the local bookies because he was a mug punter which, to be fair, is a big advantage if self-destruction is the plan. On one occasion, Alex jumped into a local cab and after telling the driver where he wished to go, announced that he was Alex Higgins. The driver told him that he didn’t care who he was (not his exact words!) and he’d have to pay like everybody else. Alex tried again but was told that the driver had a wife and three kids who liked to eat occasionally and that they didn’t care who he was either. He coughed up.

On another occasion, Alex got involved in a poker game. Alex was probably a better gardener than he was a poker player so, inevitably, he went skint. Desperate to get back in the game he told a guy that he had the cue with which he’d won the 1982 World Championship in a van outside and, though it was of great sentimental value, that he was prepared in the circumstances to let it go for 500 quid.

One of the players followed Alex outside and discovered he actually did have a cue in the back of the van. In fact he had 40 of them. Now I can remember Alex winning the title in 1972 and 1982 but I must confess I must have forgotten about the other 38.

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


over 10 years ago

have nothing against you padraig...but if you know this dusty schmitt who doesn't have the balls to allow comments....tell him to grow a pair. he is truly a disgusting human being, with very little knowledge...yet he continually has no shyness about advertising that fact with his outrageous and ignorant 'writings'. especially his political CRAPOLA. dusty...SHUT THE HELL are embarassing yourself and cardplayer too....


over 10 years ago

hahaha the only reason i even write comments at all is because of dusty. what a loser he is. i cant believe he thinks we give a fuck about his thoughts at all. please cardplayer drop him. take a poll whatever it takes i'm sure youll get 99% to drop him from ur blogs


over 10 years ago

never heard of him

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