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Final Table 1999

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Aug 11, '09


In 1999, Scott Gray, Julian Gardner and I made a point of going to all the big European nights at Old Trafford. United won the treble and within three years between us, we had finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the WSOP main event. Maybe we should have brought along a 4th guy!

People say time flies but looking back it seems such a long time ago, though I can still remember it like it was yesterday, especially the bit where I nearly demolished the whole seating setup in my eagerness to get to the table – great start!
The real damage was done on the second last day when myself, Seidel, Seed and Furlong, the four biggest stacks and probably the four most aggressive players left in the tournament, got drawn side by side. There was carnage. Every time I raised, Seed called behind me and Furlong executed the squeeze play. Furlong didn’t know it was called a squeeze play but he certainly knew how to do it.

When the dust settled, Furlong had a big lead, I’d lost about a quarter of my stack, Huck had lost about half of his and was not a happy camper, while Seidel had got savaged by Goering who kept calling his raises, flopping middle pair of a load of shit and check/calling. To be honest, I thought Alan was a pretty bad player though history has certainly proved me wrong, again.

The final table was about as good a buzz as you’re ever going to get playing this game. The hand between Furlong and Seed where Seed moved all-in with Jd8d and Noel has made the call with Ah3h, became one of the most talked about hands in history.

Don O’Dea had big liabilities if Huck Seed won but Noel told him the night before that he had nothing to be worrying about as he was going to sort Huck out himself. Don nearly had a heart attack when he saw the hand Noel was going to sort him out with! Having been in the middle of the battle the day before, I wasn’t in the least bit surprised that Noel called. I’ve spoken to my friend Mr Furlong several times over the years about it and he was pretty sure that Huck was ready to pull the trigger with just about anything. He didn’t mention the “range” word to me but again, he knew what he was doing.

The Yanks were a little upset that an American hero got taken out by a carpet guy from Ireland but they get upset very easily. Phil Helmuth included this hand in one of his books and defended Noel’s play. I didn’t know Phil was that good.

A few months after the event I read an interview that Australian journeyman golfer Doug Saunders had done for a newspaper. Doug had missed a short putt on the 18th to win the British Open and had never got another chance. When asked if he thought about it often, he replied “No, only about every ten minutes or so.” I decided there and then I wasn’t going to go down that road and I’ve convinced myself that either you win the World Series before you die or you die before you win it. I’m ok with that

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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