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Let's Give Something Back

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Sep 05, '17


Last weekend I attended a fundraising/awareness raising poker night in Clifden for Pieta House. Clifden is so far west in Ireland that it’s nearly in New York. In fact, the place was full of Americans going from pub to pub, listening to people playing the harp and doing other stuff they wouldn’t dream of doing if it weren’t for the busloads of tourists who drive through some of the most rugged and unbelievably beautiful scenery in Europe to get there. Pieta House is a fantastic charity which is hands on in suicide and self-harm prevention and helping the families of victims. When I was talking to Clifden Poker’s Simon O’Hora about doing a promo night for partypoker Grand Prix Killarney, we quickly decided to make it a Pieta House night as well.

I arrived in Clifden from Monaghan on one hour’s sleep as a tournament I played there the previous day ran for 17 hours. That’s ridiculous. Haven’t these guys heard of a good oldfashioned crapshoot? I mean, if a guy is drinking in extreme moderation that’s still 34 pints, which more than doubles the buyin cost which can’t be good business in the long term. It did mean, as I amazingly made the final table, I had to endure the Mayweather/McGregor farce which commenced at the same time. I had an average stack and took the opportunity of betting on myself lasting longer than McGregor. I didn’t make as much as him, but then again, I didn’t get hit. Anyway, Clifden was fantastic and there was a kind of party atmosphere, probably because players felt they were actually doing something positive to tackle a problem that had struck way too often in the locality. I was having a fine time at the bar until Simon made a speech. He was great, thanked everyone for their support, gave a passionate account of the great work the Pieta mob were doing, and stressed the need for everyone to help spread the word that help was there if you only reached out. He finished by saying he was going out the back to count the money, would announce the prize pool shortly and called upon the partypoker ambassador (me!) to say a few words. That’s where the problem started. On one hour’s sleep and five pints of Carlsberg, I had to follow a guy who’d just said every single thing I knew about suicide and Pieta House. I was fxxxed. Fortunately, Mrs Parkinson didn’t raise a quitter and I avoided five minutes of dead air by announcing that the Poker For The Homeless (which supports Brother Kevin as he feeds Dublin’s poor daily) partypoker event in killarney would also be raising money for Pieta House. I explained that since we’d started 10 years ago, we had raised over 250k but that if we’d been allowed to go out the back to count the money before announcing the prize pools, it would have been considerably less!

We are delighted to have party on board as sponsors for the Killarney charity event. I also love the fact that we have a ladies event too. It makes it a proper festival.
If you can’t make Killarney, partpoker have 35 millon in online guarantees as part of their Powerfest Series. And they won’t be counting the prizepool out the back!

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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