A couple of weeks ago, I arrived in beautiful Barcelona for the Grand Final of the partypoker Millions tour Season One.
An amazing €23 million was up for grabs over the next ten days, but I decided to make my first investment quite modest. I ordered two coffees at my hotel. It wasn’t quite as modest as I thought. I got a bill for €11.92 for two pretty average cups of coffee. The waiter was very helpful and told me that it was OK to leave my phone on the table beside me in the hotel, but if I went outside I’d need to be more careful as there was a lot of street crime around. I was still staring in shock at my coffee bill when all at once I saw the light. Amarillo Slim was right. Not all trappers wear fur hats.
partypoker LIVE Fitzwilliam Poker Masters
Next up was the partypoker Fitzwilliam Masters in Dublin. It was great craic and a good event for the old guys with Scott Gray, Andy Black and I all involved at the business end of things. A lot of the weekend was spent on Sean Fagan stories as this very popular guy who went all the way back to the early days of the Eccentrics Club had recently passed away. Sean and his brother Don showed up at my mother’s funeral which was nice of them. It was particularly nice as their own mother had died six hours earlier. They don’t make them like that any more. The lads were chalk and cheese at the poker table. Don had it all figured out years ago. Sean rarely seemed to get dealt a hand he didn’t like. He didn’t care. He absolutely loved the Irish Open and made it as expensive as possible for himself by seeking out the biggest game in the place. His family got smart and deliberately booked a holiday for everyone including Sean to coincide with the Irish Open one year. A lot of guys since then have wished their families did likewise.
Sean worked for several years doing security on the ferries. One day, the ferry company got a letter from a happy customer complimenting them on their service, saying how great it was to be able to get coffee and a sandwich at 4.30 a.m. They were a little surprised, especially as they were under the impression that they stopped serving at 11.30 p.m! They are probably still scratching their heads over that one!
A brother and sister team
My favourite Sean story happened years later. At this stage, he had a warehouse and was wheeling and dealing. One evening, he turned up and three guys had broken in and were busy robbing the joint. Three against one wasn’t fair since the one was Sean. About six opponents would have been fairer. One guy escaped and Sean was busy dealing with the other two when the police, alerted by a neighbour, arrived. One guy had a bloody nose and the police asked what was going on. Sean explained that they were working late and a heavy box had fallen from a shelf and landed on the guy. The cops were happy with this and went to leave. The two thieves were having none of it. They confessed to breaking in and begged the cops to arrest them. You couldnt make it up!
Just when you think you’ve seen everything, this game has a marvellous way of throwing up something new. Brother and sister team Bridie and Barny Gribben are usually good for a laugh on the circuit, especially if they’ve had a few scoops, which is quite often. They got the cocktail hour off to an early start the other day and continued topping up with more fuel as they played the partypoker GP Dublin. These things happen. Barny was an early casualty .No surprise there. Bridie got to end of Day1 but was very shortstacked and completely slaughtered. No surprise there either. When the announcement was made that it was time to bag up chips she did. She put them in her handbag! Only in Ireland!
Killarney partypoker MILLIONS event at beginning of September is a must! A sporting million guaranteed for €1,150 buy-in! Wow. And the venue is world class. If you don’t have craic there, is something wrong with you. I was delighted to find out the other day that our charity event for Poker For The Homeless and Pieta House, which is at the forefront of the battle against suicide in Ireland, will be part of the schedule. Sadly, since then my little sister became a victim of the suicide epidemic, so we’d be delighted if you could find the time to join us and help to maybe save the next one.
Over a decade ago Jesse May talked me into writing a magazine article by just telling a story or giving my thoughts on the poker world as though I was talking to a guy in a bar. I didn’t need to practice. This is the result…