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Shoes: It's Not Just The Size That Matters

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Aug 31, '15


I was surprised to be invited to the recent wedding of Ciaran Corbett and the lovely Aileen. Why they would invite a witness who would most likely forget at least eighty per cent of the day is a mystery, but I guess that’s their business. I have enough things to be figuring out without worrying about that kind of stuff.

The pissup, sorry reception, was held in the Nuremore Hotel which brought back memories from decades ago. It used to be the venue for the Terry Rogers Harp Ulster Draw Poker Championship. This was Terry at his finest. The buyin was 250 quid but tickets that had been won in pubs and Gaelic football clubs were on sale freely at vastly discounted prices, but the best laugh of all was you could rebuy for 20 quid. Not necessarily right after you’d been knocked out either. This was the best part of half a century before re-entries were even thought of. Terry was indeed a visionary. The first time I played it a guy got knocked out, played a full football match and came back and had his rebuy. I’d imagine that’s some sort of record! Even for Terry.

Terry brought his Big Wheel there one year, probably hoping the locals were stupid enough to give him a spin. Pardon the pun. They weren’t but a bunch of pros who were drunk, tilted, sick or a combination of the above put a few quid together and hunted as a pack. Amazingly, we won and managed to quit well ahead. That wasn’t enough for a couple of the guys who insisted on talking about the wheel being biased within earshot of Terry’s spy Liam Flood. That did it. Terry and Liam spent half the evening trying to find this imaginary flaw whilst the lads had a few pints observing the steward’s enquiry. The Irish can be proper bastards when they’ve had a few.

I had a few pints at the wedding with Gerry Bishop who, with Ciaran, had been heavily involved in organising the IPO. There are a lot of great IPO stories out there but our favourite involved Ciaran’s interview technique at the final table a couple of years ago. Nicky Power and I were doing the commentary on the internet stream and Ciaran was doing the exit interviews etc. Ciaran would have crawled over broken glass to get a microphone in his hand, a camera in front of him and a silly grin on his face. I can only assume he spent so much time practising the grin that he skimped a bit on the research end of the business. For example, he was the only one in the place who didn’t know that one of the finalists was deaf but was perfectly capable of carrying on a conversation without it being in any way obvious. As long as he could see your lips that is! Now, Ciaran had a habit of holding the mic right up close to his mouth. So much so that when he had to interview this guy the lad couldn’t see his lips at all. He took it in his stride and stood on his toes to try to see over the mic but that didn’t work either as Ciaran bent over backwards and countered that move rather well. The interviewee then tried to try the sideways route but Ciaran had that covered too even though he had absolutely no idea what was going on. That was too much for Nicky. Everyone working on the streaming was losing it but Nicky was completely gone. He rolled around on a table with tears pouring down his cheeks. There was dead air for about eight minutes until another guy got knocked out and thankfully we took a much needed break. The rest of us eventually recovered. I’m still not sure about Nicky.

I spent a few nights last week travelling Ireland with Jesse May and a bunch of Danish guys playing pub poker. It was a riot and about as much fun as poker gets. We were chatting with local character Silkey’s dad. He remembered the last time the three of us had a chat at a tournament in Dublin. He said he rembered it so clearly because just before we arrived he had joined Silkey at the bar interrupting an animated discussion between Silkey and Dave Curtis about shoes. Apparently, Dave was convinced you could tell everything about a man just by looking at his shoes. They all looked at Silkey’s dad’s footwear. He was wearing carpet slippers.

Next week, I’m off to the MPN Poker Tour Dublin. Most people will be attending to see if the gutsy NLH and PLO guarantees lead to overlays. I don’t care about that shit. I can’t wait to do some footwear research.

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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