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The Winning & Losing Of The European Nations Cup Part I

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Apr 22, '13


As captain of the Irish poker team, I’d like to tell you that I spent the two hours before the final session last weekend of the IFP Poker Nations Cup poring over hand historys, discussing tactics and considering a possible substitution with my team mates.

But I didn’t.

Because A) I’d lost my team and B) the Manchester United match was on TV (maybe I’ve got A and B mixed up).What I was really doing was drinking beer with Jesse May and watching the football.

We got around to swapping Alan Betson stories of which there are dozens. One of our favourites concerned the early days of internet poker when a player was considered all-in for whatever he had in the pot if he was unfortunate enough to be disconnected in the course of a hand.

The only certainty in poker, as in the game of life, is that if you give people a chance to cheat, a certain number will consider it careless not to do so.

As a result, disconnections were a little more frequent than they should be and usually favoured the player who was disconnected. Alan had an account of his investigated after numerous complaints about him disconnecting. The investigator was baffled when he discovered that for once these disconnections were a mixture of profitable and costly for him which was not what they were expecting to find.

They advised Alan to talk to his internet provider and they duly sent a guy around to his house who found everything was fine. Just before he left, Alan opened the door of a fridge beside his computer to get himself a beer and his computer disconnected!

The technical guy quickly worked out that these two events were related and advised Alan to either quit drinking, or move the fridge. He moved the fridge.

If you think this has nothing to do with team poker, you’re wrong. It’s got everything to do with it and I’m going to tell you why. I’ve been involved in every Irish team that’s played a major international event for years now.

I’ve been both the problem and the problem solver. As a player, I’ve been guilty of keeping the team up half the night. As captain, I’ve been the first to impose a curfew.

Ok… I’m a hypocrite. What I have seen is that some guys up their game when playing for their country while others either crack under the pressure, shit on it or can’t leave their egos at the door and seek attention, not points.

This applies to the Irish at least as much as anyone. We have definitely underachieved. One of our number threw away the Paddy Power Grand Slam when we had it in the bag.

Their have been other offences sometimes when you’d least expect them, but poker players are like that and you never know what’s going to happen ’til it happens. You could show six monkeys a couple of bunches of bananas in a cupboard and an empty fridge beside a laptop. With a little training, they’d ignore the fridge and head for the grub.

Substitute six poker players for the monkeys and at least one of them will look longingly towards the fridge. That’s why when Ireland play team poker, you don’t hear shouts of “Go Ireland” or “Go on you boys in green”, but will frequently hear a roar of “Stay away from that fucking fridge.”

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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