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Monday, March 24, 2008

Dead man's hand

I may have mentioned in the past that gambling is a mug's game.

Well, it is.

The Irish Poker Open is currently entering it's final day, with six punters left at the final table. The winner will walk away with 800,000 euro for a weekend's work. No one currently at that table will leave without a six figure cheque.

Nice. Makes you think, maybe I'm a mug, slogging my bollocks off every week for the pittance I get. Maybe I should try this poker malarkey. After all, it's only a game of cards. They're randomly dealt. You win if you get the good cards, right?

Wrong. People like Doyle Brunson don't keep winning the World Series of Poker for nothing. Poker is an evil game, where the person with the best hand can lose by being intimidated out of the betting. Where people with crap hands can win large amounts of money.

Never forget the old maxim, if you haven't worked out who the patsy is at a poker table within five minutes of sitting down, it's you.

I forgot that last week, when I went down to Citywest to play in a satellite tournament that would have qualified me to enter into the main event had I won it.

I was rusty, but in fairness, I used to play quite a bit. I sat down at the table with more than a few kids. How much poker could they feasibly have played, I wondered. I began to get optimistic.

I was cleaned out in just over an hour. It was almost embarrassing. With the advent of online poker, there are people out there playing six hands at a time for 12 hours a day. It's almost impossible for the normal person to accrue that amount of experience.

See, for a lot of these youngsters, poker's become their day job. No doubt, for an awful lot more, it's become a quick and easy way to burn through money.

Well, I enjoyed my day trip to Vegas-in-Kildare, but I won't be haunting a card table again for a while. From here on in, I'll watch from the sidelines. I guess I don't have the stamina or the bank balance to play poker for 12 hours daily.

You're probably the same.

But you, like me, can find out who the lucky sod who wins the 800 gees is by checking the live blog here. Whoever it is, good luck to them. They'll have earned the money.

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