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The Man Who Knew Nothing About Hockey

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Jan 02, '12


I’m well used to losing when I’m playing for myself but I get really pissed off when we get beat when playing for Ireland. Especially when it’s our own fault. I’d like to say that when Ireland were eliminated before the final stages of the IFP Nations Cup we sportingly hung around and watched the final but we are not that stupid!

I organised dinner instead with Don O’Dea, Mike Sexton and Rory Liffey. Gamblers being gamblers, when Liffey mentioned this line-up in The Vic, a market was formed on who’d pick up the tab. Mike was 1/2. The Don 7/4, me 10/1 with Liffey 1,000,000/1. You could make a case for betting on any of the top three in the market but the lottery is money well spent when compared to betting on Liffey to buy dinner at the best of times. Drink no problem but food? – forget about it.

The 10/1 about me looked a decent price but reflected the fact that I wasn’t drinking that weekend.

Dinner was great craic. Vegas stories were two a penny. Mike told us about his first trip to Vegas. His friend Danny Robinson and Chip Reese had hit town with a bang and had talked Mike into coming out. Mike’s bankroll was $2,500 but that didn’t bother him too much. On his first day in town Danny took Mike to the golf course where he had a big money match against a guy who weighed almost 400 pounds.

Danny been a college golfer and considered this match a lock. That was good enough for Mike and he bet everything he had. What a town! Danny hit the ball down the middle of the fairway at the 1st hole. The big guy barely got the ball off the ground though it did seem to roll for ever. When the dust settled, Danny had shot 76 and lost and Mike was broke. Oh yeah. The big guys name was Doyle Brunson.

The conversation moved on to sports betting. Mike and Don know all about it while Rory could stop the sun rising in the morning just by betting that it would. Mike was telling us about a guy who was a football nut. He bet every week during the season and always lost but he loved every second of it. He was depressed when the season ended and he couldn’t lose any more money for months. He was moaning to his bookmaker about how much he missed betting every weekend. The bookie told him he could always bet on hockey to pass the time. “Hockey?” he said, “But I don’t know anything about hockey!”

Liffey can drag any conversation into his own bizarre world and this time was no exception. He explained to us that he was forcing himself to smoke every day so that he could give up cigarettes for the new year. I swear to God he was serious. He was busy explaining the finer points of this plan to Don when the waiter arrived with the bill and left it between me and Mike.

We had the normal row about who was going to pay but just before I was going to graciously allow Mike to pay if he insisted he quit arguing and I was left holding the baby. I’m sure there’s a poker lesson there somewhere if I was bright enough to work it out. Maybe I will ask The Don. He knows everything.

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 9 years ago

Entertaining! Enjoyed the sportsbetting story Padraig. Think I'll go for a puff now..

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