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Watching the trains wreck

Watching train wrecks… Here are my two most anticipated television poker match-ups. Anyone against Phil Hellmuth, and Padraig Parkinson against anyone. Some call me sick, some call it rubbernecking, but everyone who watched the duo square off during LNP V from the Cardiff green room agreed that it was more entertaining than the most spectacular of car crashes. Good news, because both players have signaled their intentions for the Poker Million – The Classics, fuelling suspicions that the tournament field will represent the cream of the poker world, and not just a clutch of folks with ten thousand dollars. Factor in John Duthie, Peter Costa, and four parts of the Hendon Mob, and it’s enough to start shuffling.

“The Gentleman” Liam Flood has managed to secure a shot for those who either didn’t get an invitation or are a fraction short of the buy-in. The Merrion Club will be running a satellite for the Poker Million on the Sunday of the Irish Winter Open this month in Dublin. The buy-in will be in the 300 euro range. Two additional Poker Million seats will be awarded online, and while details haven’t yet been released Ladbrokes.com poker room is sure to be the vehicle.

Let’s make a Deal… I read an interview with World Series of Poker Champion Robert Varkonyi, where he stated, “When we reached three players, I inquired about making a deal, but the answer was no.” Seeing as how I was standing right there, I think I’ll set the record straight. Scott Gray had just gotten knocked out fourth, and Varkonyi asked Julian Gardner and Ralph Perry if they wanted to step in the hallway and talk deal. They stepped out, and here were the stats. Varkonyi had 65% of the chips, with Gardner and Perry holding 20% and 15%, respectively. First place paid $2 million dollars, second was $1.1 million, and third was $550,000.
Robert Varkonyi looked in dead earnestness at the two men who had been playing their hearts out for four days straight, two men who were a hair’s breadth away from living immortality, and he said, “Here’s what I think is fair. I’ll take $1.9 million, and you two can split the rest.” That was the deal.
Julian actually started laughing. All credit to Julian Gardner, who showed tremendous class at that instant by bursting out laughing, and not taking the sensible option of leveling Varkonyi with a haymaker for wasting everyone’s time. Julian then walked back into the tournament room and took his seat without so much as a counteroffer. Some people you just can’t reason with.

The Favorite?… What is going on with Roy “the Boy” Brindley? Brindley has been backed into the role of pre-tournament favorite for the Amsterdam Master Classics. Who? What? His opening odds of 200-1 at Betfair seemed sensible, as Brindley has never played in Amsterdam before, never made the final table of a big buy-in tournament, and been on the poker circuit for less than one year. But since £600 was bet and laid on him at that top price, Brindley has been backed every step of the way down to the unbelievable odds of 30-1. And punters are still lining up to bet him!

To Roy Brindley’s credit, he did win the Paddy Power Poker tournament and make the final of the World Head’s Up tournament, both of which were shown on television. But a major championship is something else. At 30-1, I’d consider laying an in form Johnny Moss. Using marked cards.

Reports are that Brindley has quite a lot of support from the world of greyhound racing, where he labors as a columnist. Talk about dog betting.

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