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A Touch of Class

by Padraig Parkinson |  Published: Dec 07, '09


The Irish love courage and defiance in the face of unbeatable odds and we recently got to witness a performance that had all of that. You probably think I’m talking about the Irish soccer team who got cheated out of a World Cup spot by Thierry Henry with the help of the French football federation and that bunch of wankers in Fifa ¾ much to the embarrassment of the French people, to be fair to them. Well, I’m not.

I’m talking about a young guy called Joey Garland, known to those who play on BoylePoker as “joeydlips”. Joey was dealt a hand with no cards at all in it and was left with no outs whatsoever in his battle against cancer. When you and I might have spent our time throwing bottles at the wall and asking “Why me?”, Joey decided that no matter what, he was going to join 1,400 others and play the International Poker Open in Dublin. And play it he did. He outlasted most of the field before fatigue caught up with him and impressed a lot of people he met along the way. At one stage, a guy asked him how much he had left and Joey smiled at him and said, “About two weeks!”.

Mad Marty and I met up with Joey the next day to interview him for the Boylepoker blog (Jesse was supposed to be there too, but miraculously, he was still in the tournament). Marty’s idea of interviewing a guy is to start off by telling him about an hour’s worth of stories, most of them quite improbable to say the least. Quite a crowd gathered, attracted by the laughter, most of which was coming from Marty, who’s a big admirer of his own material. I’m a fan myself.

Joey just looked at him until we finally interrupted Marty and convinced him it was time to get on with the interview. As a reward for shutting up, we let Marty ask the questions. To be honest, it wasn’t going too well until Joey saved the day with another one liner. After Marty asked him if he had any tips, Joey replied, “You should stop trying to tell jokes!”.

The last time I was talking to Joey, he’d lost €50 in a side event and was headed to the cash game to get it back before heading off for a Chinese buffet. He was certainly a man with a plan. Not too long afterwards, we got an email from his sister Serena, telling us that Joey was now in a hospice, but true to form, was still playing online, as much as he possibly could, and he did until the end. I know he left a lasting impression on me and all of my friends who had the privilege of meeting him over the IPO weekend. What’s not to love about a guy who goes out swinging?

Town or City?

Nicky Power once told me that Waterford is a city but I didn’t believe him. It’s a bit of an exaggeration calling it a town. I was proved right recently.

The Boylepoker team headed off to the Master Classics in Amsterdam for a weekend of team bonding. Amsterdam is a city with its own delights and Boyle’s Ciaran Corbett thought it might be a nice idea to buy Nicky a present of a sex toy which was strictly for one player only and to post it to him anonymously. Some people have got a really fucked up sense of humour.

Unfortunately, the parcel got damaged in the post and to put things right, the kind people in Waterford post office sent Nicky a note asking him to drop in to collect it. By the time Nicky got there, half the people in the post office knew what he’d come to collect and unfortunately for Nicky, at least five of them knew him. I wonder if he still thinks he lives in a city.

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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