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WPT Venice, UKIPT Galway, and The Honey Badger Craic

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Mar 03, '12


The WPT pushed the boat out in Venice (pun accidental I’m afraid) when it came to entertaining players with free drink and bringing the magician Dynamo along to provide the entertainment. Unfortunately, I was on good behaviour and have to be about seven sheets to the wind before I’d consider a magician worthy of my attention, so I struck out.

I found myself in the Tony G camp. He said that if Dynamo allowed him to tie him up in chains and padlocks and throw him into the canal he’d be prepared to watch any trick Dynamo wanted to perform if he escaped.

In the main event I was seated beside English stars Rupert Elder and Dave Nicholson who were tremendous craic. At one stage Dave started prattling on about a documentary he’d recently seen on the honey badger. He reckoned this creature was the most vicious creature you could come across and that even tigers backed off if one of these lads fancied nicking their dinner.

I’d no reason to disbelieve him but as he’s English and we don’t trust those guys ever since we had a bad experience with the Treaty of Limerick. I checked it out on Youtube and he was right!

The next day I was playing the Omaha event (there’s a clue there as to how I did in the main event) and late on had Dave and James Dempsey on my left. The banter was great but after a while I began to feel a bit like a tiger as these two fucking honey badgers were all over me every time I stepped out and took a nibble at a pot. I resorted to verbal warfare as this was definitely the cheaper option.

All was going well and we were having a grand old time till one of the Italians asked if they were my sons! A diplomatic incident was avoided when I couldn’t find the words I was looking for in my phrase book.

The honey badgers? One bit off his own leg and the other knocked me out at the final table before wed reached the money.

Next stop was the unmissable UKIPT in The Radisson, Galway, where hospitality and craic is a way of life. There was no magician but even Dynamo would have been impressed at the alarming rate at which pints magically appeared and vanished. Not a honey badger in sight as even they regard trying to separate a Galwayman from his pint as a poor business plan. Especially during a recession.

Day 1B provided the highlight of a great weekend. A popular Irish lad decided to spend the first five levels in the bar with the lads who’d played day 1A and was in flying form when he did join the tournament.

When his table was broken he put his chips in his pocket, picked up his pint and announced he was taking a bathroom break (he didn’t quite use those words). The Italian floorman, whose English is perfect, told him he’d have to go to his new table first. He said ok but headed for the bathroom anyway when nobody was looking. He reappeared a few minutes later with a new pint and pulled out his chips ready for action. Then it all went off!

The TD ,in the great spirit of things, did his best not to disqualify him but our man misunderstood and claimed much to the surprise and amusement of all that he didn’t understand a word the Italian had said. Despite everyone’s best efforts he talked himself into a disqualification!

Security was called and passed the buck to the police (cops in Ireland are called Gardai to confuse tourists) who reluctantly arrested the player under the Mental Health Act and took him away. Two hours later he was in the Eglinton Club playing blackjack and having a beer.

Only in Galway!

Fair play to Fintan and Stars for running a charity event for the excellent Positive Mental Health people, who sadly are way too busy in Ireland these days. One of the players asked why the plural of moose wasn’t meese. I don’t know, but I do know that in Galway the plural of pint is gallon.

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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