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Travel Advice Irish Style

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Feb 03, '17

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One afternoon in the noughties, I strolled into the bar in the Aviation Club de Paris to find the Irish poker community in town had increased by two, and almost incredibly they were both wearing suits. One was Liam Flood, Irish Open tournament director. We were used to visits from Liam and his questionable neck ties. The surprise visitor was Dave O’Neill. Paris wasn’t normally on his itinerary. We quickly established that Liam was in town to publicize the Irish Open and Dave was here as his assistant. This brought a few chuckles from the resident expats. It certainly wasn’t a two man job and Dave hadn’t a word of French. Some unkindly said he was still struggling with English, but that was just for the craic. I had known Dave from way back to Sunday afternoon Dublin house games in the early eighties, and was delighted to catch up. Liam did what Liam did best. He hung about talking to two guys in suits who looked anything but potential Irish Open punters to me, but at least they were suited. Everything was going fine until Liam let a roar across the room to Dave asking what was the cheapest way of travelling from Paris to Vienna. Everyone fell silent and looked at Dave. Ida bet the farm that Dave hadn’t the faintest idea but Ida lost. Dave took his time before replying “Walking, of course.” before turning back to his beer. The silence lasted a couple of minutes. That was the last we saw of Dave promoting the Open in Paris! I’ve laughed every time I’ve remembered that magical moment and did so again recently. Though sadly the most recent time I thought back to it and smiled was after I’d been told Dave had passed on suddenly and unexpectedly. May he Rest in Peace.

Ironically, this year the Irish Open needs a little publicity if only to alert punters that for the first time ever Europe’s oldest NLH tournament will, for this year only, not take place at Easter Weekend. Apparently, this has something to do with Irish dancing. Honest. Instead, Paul and Jp have put together a festival of poker running from 27th March incorporating first 3 days of partypoker MILLIONS (the 6 million dollar gtd event to be played to a conclusion in DTD), the Irish Open and the Norwegian Open. I wish them well and can’t help wondering how many Irish players will turn up at Easter to play the Open no matter how many times you tell them the dates been changed. Hope their Irish dancing is in good shape!

I was delighted to sign as Irish Ambassador for partypoker. I have been asked are they out of their minds! I don’t know, but what I do know is I get to work with people I like and trust doing what I like in bringing bigtime live poker to Ireland at the grassroots players price.

There’s also the buzz of being involved in the most player friendly, fun and forward thinking operation in the game. It’s going to be great craic! Then yesterday, I heard they’d signed Duthie as president of something. The fun is sure coming back into the game! Good luck John, whatever you’re supposed to be doing!

It all kicks off 23rd-26th of Feb with 100k gtd Grand Prix Cork. See you there!

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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