Day 1 of the partypoker Irish Poker Masters got off to a flying start, at my table at least.
One of the guys told us that three lads from Dublin were sharing a room. They’d had an early start and a late finish the evening before so were a little confused as to what had actually happened. The three of them went to bed, and when they woke up there were four of them sleeping in the room. Everyone assumed that the fourth guy was a mate of one of the other two. Fair enough. But when he got up and went about his business, the lads pooled information and discovered no one had a clue who he was. Furthermore, he had managed to get a bed of his own while two guys shared a double bed. It got better a couple of hours later, when they made a few enquiries and were told this guy had a room of his own, which he had sublet to two other lads. You have got to give the guy credit for a job well done!
The day also finished well when I dogged my friend Colin Quarry in a big pot. A million is a million, so I went straight to bed but not before checking the wardrobe and under the bed for new friends. If lightning is going to strike twice it is likely to be in Killarney!
Despite my being the most rested guy in the room, Day 2 went pear shaped within five or six levels. I’m not doing that again. But not before I had a good laugh with a few English players who were up for the craic. Another of the English lads pulled up a chair beside me whilst I was having lunch and asked if a story I’d written ten years or more ago was true. Unfortunately, it was.
What happened was I was going through security in Beauvais Airport outside Paris with a laptop and a book my only luggage. What could go wrong here? What could go wrong was the previously bored looking security girl glanced through the book and summoned assistance. Guys appeared, as if by magic, including a guy in paramilitary uniform with a machine gun who looked like he’d just love to shoot me. They took me to a back room and sat me there with the gun pointed at me .They were very interested in the book which was Harrington on Hold’em Part 1. The problem was the diagrams used to illustrate hands were made up of a series of circles joined by lines, which they thought were instructions for making a bomb. Eventually, they figured it out and, much to the disappointment of the lad with the gun, let me go about my business.
Six months later, I got a call from Fintan telling me I had my own page that day in the Irish Daily Mirror, with a picture of me under a headline “IRISH POKER PLAYER IN TERROR ALERT AT FRENCH AIRPORT”. I thought he was having a laugh. Then my mother phoned and asked what the hell was going on. Oh God. The problem was you’d have to read the whole article to realise all I’d done was buy a poker book and the newspaper was having a slow news day. Not doing that again!
A charity event for the homeless and suicide counselling rounded off the festival (Padraig won it! – Ed). Thank you partypoker for your generous sponsorship. It was hilarious! One of the highlights was when guy who never shut up for a second came out with the gem “I got a note from my doctor. It said DON’T COME BACK”. We could see the doctor’s point!
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…