If you like laughter with your poker, the Paddy Power Poker Irish Open was the place to be. Mike Sexton got into the spirit of things pretty quickly and started telling Devilfish stories over breakfast. His favourite was about a big Omaha game in the Bellagio, a few years back. Greek George was in town which meant so was everybody else. This guy was in the island owning business which, judging by the way he played poker, was a lucrative enough way to make a living.
The Fish was quite keen to get into the game but was a little short of the 50k required to sit down. A lot short actually. About 44k short. He spent three days spinning up the few quid he had and eventually got the buyin together and joined the big game. He played pretty tight and eventually the opportunity he’d been dreaming about for days came along.
He was dealt aces double suited and got the last preflop raise in against George and Doyle Brunson. The flop was A 7 5 (two diamonds). This was pretty good news for The Fish as diamonds was one of his suits. He joyfully got the lot in against Doyle. A 6 appeared at some stage and Doyle showed 9874 (two diamonds) to win the pot. The Fish stood up and stared at this hand. Mike thought he was going to turn the table over but he didn’t. He just walked away. A few minutes later, he came back and asked Brunson “Have you got a copy of your book handy? I could use it to wipe my ass!”
Nolan Dalla and Eamonn Connolly were in the bar one evening trying to be whiskey drinkers. They weren’t much good at it but their enthusiasm was commendable. Mad Marty dropped by and told an unlikely story. Unlikely even by his own standards. He said a friend of his had his foot amputated due to gangrene. Marty went to see him just after his operation and the guy drowsily asked him “Are my testicles black?” This was a bit of a shock even for Marty who didn’t really want to get involved, but the guy repeated the question twice more. Marty finally pulled back the sheet that was covering his pal, pulled down his boxers and carefully examined their contents. He assured him all was well down there but the guy just said “No No. I asked you were my test results back?” This is apparently a very funny tale if you happen to be half full of whiskey.
The final table of the main event produced a priceless moment when some German guy slow rolled Irish legend Don O’Dea. He agonised for about four minutes before calling all in on the flop with the nuts. In the old days of the Irish Open he’d have thrown down the stairs for sure, but these days that kind of thing is frowned upon so a partisan crowd had to settle for booing the guy which is a poor substitute for a good lynching. Unfortunately, The Don outdrew him. This was a very popular move with the crowd but I’da love to seen what was coming next if he’d actually won the pot. This may well indicate that I’m a lot sicker than I thought. By the time I got to the commentary box about an hour later, apologists were spreading a rumour that the guy was actually a very nice chap. I recalled a conversation I had with a friend of mine who’d just been attending his friends murder trial. I asked him how he could possibly go along to support a guy who had obviously committed a gruesome crime. He replied that the guy was actually a very nice fellow indeed. Especially when he wasn’t murdering people.