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Devilfish Caught In His Own Net

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Dec 16, '12


“If you build it, they will come” may have been true in the good times but attendances this year at a lot of events knock that old chestnut on the head. Poker players still want to play the game and have the craic but the price has to be right.

Fair play to the sponsors of the International Poker Open, the Irish Winter Festival, next month’s World Poker Tour Dublin and next year’s Irish Open for recognising this fact and setting buy ins at a realistic level which is amazing considering they are Irish.

Maybe they just guessed right!

The IPO is as popular for the craic as it is for being the people’s championship and as usual it didn’t disappoint. If an economist had wandered into the bar in the Regency Hotel, he could have been forgiven for scratching his head and wondering wtf was going on. The beer was flowing like there was no tomorrow and the usual suspects were telling stories.

In a hotly contested competition for the best oneliners, a Devilfish story from Galway came out on top.

A few years ago I was having dinner in Galway with Vero, Mike Sexton and the Devilfish who was accompanied by a young lady who’d have been carded for sure if she ordered anything stronger than a fruit juice. Even in Galway!

In this lineup, I contented myself with keeping my mouth shut and listening to Mike’s stories and The ’fish’s jokes. During a lull in the entertainment, we were earwigging a conversation the girls were holding. The young lady said that she’d like to do some social work at some stage, to which Vero replied, “Oh, I thought youd started already.”


Hostilities were resumed the following weekend in the Burlington bar at the Irish Winter Festival. We were joined by Mark Hunter, an English player I hadn’t met for years. I did however remember that the last time we’d had a drink, ****ss had been his weapon of choice so I was surprised when he started lashing into JD and cokes.

Any veteran observer will tell you that the old JD is strictly a sprinters tipple and should be avoided like the plague on any mission planned to last longer than 45 minutes. Several hours later, the lads were in flying form and planning a Poker For The Homeless weekend to be held in the Jackpot Club in March. Mark dragged himself away from his battle with the whiskey to say he was coming over to the event for sure and wanted to be first on the list of entrants.

A few days later, he was in London telling Rory Liffey about his night out in Dublin. He confirmed he was a runner for the charity event but admitted that if I had been looking for volunteers to join in a drive off a cliff in March he’d have volunteered for that just as enthusiastically.

Next up was the GUKPT Final in the Vic. If you’ve ever played in the Vic, you’d know that if there was ever a competition for stating the obvious, the Vic could enter a team that would scare off all opposition. So, it was no surprise that when a guy in the Omaha event was moaning that he was hungry and that the next break was only 15 minutes long, he was helpfully informed that he could order a meal in advance and it’d be ready for consumption when the break commenced.

Another kind soul told him that he could take his meal out and eat it on a side table while playing. I was just stifling a yawn when he replied, “I had more than enough of that in prison.”

I was still chuckling at that one a couple of days later when one of the lads in the cash game innocently asked Limerick Frank if it was true that he’d recently been asked to leave a pub because it was the happy hour.

Who said the English don’t have a sense of humour?

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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