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Can I Kill Him?

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Jun 27, '13

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I was surprised when over 4400 people turned up to play the WSOP Seniors event as having observed buffet queues in this country for nearly twenty years here, I have calculated only 3100 Americans could live to be as old as 50. I can only conclude there must have been a sizeable overseas contingent in the field. Also the average age seems to be getting a lot lower and I’m not saying this because most years my average age is getting higher. Maybe 57 for poker players is the equivalent of 27 for rock stars in that that’s the age THEY decide whether to let you live or rub you out.

I learnt quite a bit on day 1. A guy gave me an eye witness account of the MGM fire of 1869 which would have given me nightmares if I wasn’t having them already. Even when I’m awake. Another guy told me that in a survey the majority of farmers in Alberta said that if they won the lottery they planned to keep on farming until the money ran out. Then a guy who was watching some golfer double bogey his money away said that the game was called golf because fxxx was taken.

In one of the breaks, I was talking to Mike Laing and the legendary Karl McKelvey about the old days in Binions Horseshoe. The story I liked was about Karl punching a guy who’d been out of line in something he said. He may have punched him more than once. Opinions were divided on whether Karl should have hit this guy, especially the sixth and seventh time though some thought the world would be a better place if someone went to the trouble of punching this guy every day. The following morning, Karl thought it a good idea to phone Jack (Binion) to see how the land lay. When he apologized, Jack said “That’s fine Karl, but maybe you should be apologising to the other guy!” Perhaps in the old days, when the car park was used for more than parking, people behaved a little more respectfully at the table as penalties tended to be measured in broken bones rather than hands or orbits.

A little later, Sam Grizzel walked by. Sam may divide opinions a little but few guys have made me laugh at the table more than he has. He also has a tremendous ability to really piss people off. Especially dealers. There was a Vietnamese ex special forces guy who used to deal the WSOP downtown. He was not a fan. He once approached the shift boss and asked if it was okay if he killed Sam. When the shift boss didn’t answer immediately, he said : “Well. Can I kill him or not?” The shift boss replied “Hold on. I’m still thinking about it!”

I went to Caesars a couple of days later to see if I could get my money back from the seniors down there. I deliberately turned up 15 minutes late .When I got to my table, I wasn’t surprised everyone looked to be at least 80. I assumed that was because they’d just endured a speech from Oklahoma Johnny. I was quite surprised to observe a small minority of these seniors blatantly cheating and angle shooting every time they got a chance. If the kids tried to pull half the strokes this lot did we would never hear the end of it. Apart from that, it was great craic. A truck driver told me his wife thought he was in Arizona. She was half right. His truck was! When I asked him how long he’d been married, he replied : “I’ve been married so long I don’t bother to look either way any more before I cross the road.”

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.

 
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