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An Irish Solution To The Too Many Chips In Play Problem

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Feb 11, '14


The Eccentrics Club in Dublin, founded by Irish bookmaker Terry Rogers, hosted the first No Limit Holdem tournaments this side of the Atlantic, and was the original home of Europe’s oldest major NLH tournament,The Irish Open. The club was aptly named and Terry was the most eccentric of all the nut jobs who frequented the place. Terry loved a good screaming match as long as he was doing all the screaming. I took a friend of mine horse racing one day in Dublin. He’d never had a bet in his life, but was keen. I couldn’t help myself. I pointed Terry out to him and told him to give that nice man ten pence and tell him he wished to wager it on horse number 4. Terry’s minimum bet at the time was five quid. I can still hear the roars as he told my friend in no uncertain terms what he could do with his Micky Mouse bet. It was great. I can be a proper bastard at times.

Terry made sure he was never going to lose a row in the club by bringing in his own rule (I think it was rule 16) which stated that the TD was always right even when he was wrong. It might sound a bit Irish but when properly applied it does allow the TD to use the spirit rather than the letter of the law when making a decision.

The Galway lads have never been shy when it came to giving funny rulings. I played a side event they ran a few years ago that fast became a party largely due to Fintan Gavin buying Guinness at an impressive rate. I was at a table where the craic was great apart from one guy who kept spouting on about rules and things. He called Donal (the TD) down and told him I had told him to xxxx off. Donal quickly figured out we were only having a laugh, adopted a serious face, and told him : « That gentleman over there is Mr Parkinson. He can do what he likes. However, I feel I must warn you that if you tell him to xxxx off, I will have to give you a penalty. » The guy nearly burst but when he spotted that everyone else was laughing he joined in!

A while later, an angleshooter was ruled against (quite rightly) by the floorperson. Fintan, the organiser of the whole event was playing at the same table and the angleshooter appealed to him on the grounds that Fintan himself had read out the relevant rule (it concerned the use of mobile phones ) the previous day. A lesser man would have caved in but Fintan replied : « I’m glad you were listening. Most people don’t. But that was yesterday and those rules applied to the main event. This is a side event and the rule structure is far more relaxed. » It was a thing of great beauty.

A few years later, the same guys were in charge when a bunch of extra chips were gradually introduced into play at the Irish Poker Championship. This kind of thing has happened more often than you’d think all over the world and has been dealt either quietly or not at all. The Galway lads drew attention to it themselves. While everybody knew who the most likely culprit was (I personally suspect he was not alone), the evidence, though impressive, was circumstancial. The prize pool was 28K short of what it should have been for the final total of chips in play. The organisers offered an entry into the following days charity tournament to everyone who had played the main event and paid the balance to the charities. It was a great day for Irelands homeless. It was an even prouder day for Irish poker. Terry would have loved it.

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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