Diplomatic Relations

I could never understand why, when poker was booming all over the world and the Irish were punching way above their weight, the Irish media en masse insisted on ignoring the elephant in the middle of the room. It was doubly mysterious because the Irish have always loved a gamble.

A champion race horse could easily have won a seat in Parliament or even become Prime Minister if it looked like it should be selling fruits and veg in a market. Luckily, in the last few years, the national broadcaster had a change of heart and now shows the Irish Championship and the Irish Open almost live. This year, Mike Sexton and Doyle Brunson have been the stars of the show. They’ve shown how true ambassadors of the game should behave and when they left town everyone thought a lot more of them, the game and the country they represent.

It doesn’t always work out quite so well. Not too long ago player A and player C decided to take a cruise on the Mediterranean. I don’t know why player B didn’t join them but I’d guess he might have been a bit concerned that the ship wouldn’t be carrying enough alcohol, especially as player A and C were going to be on board. The first day at sea, player A and C gave it the holly and tried to drink the boat dry. In the middle of this mission, they came across a bunch of Americans playing No Limit Holdem. They got the tactics right initially with player A joining the game and player C in charge of the drinks. Player A was the class of the field by some distance. In the third hand, he got a present of 300 bucks. Five hands later they gifted him another 800. Player A doesn’t normally play that many hands but after all he was on holidays. He got to thinking about this and that: this being how much money these guys had in their pockets and that being how much they could get access to before they hit dry land. Player C was playing the game of his life just by keeping his mouth shut and had indeed set a new personal best in that department. This couldn’t last forever and eventually on hand number ten, he decided to join in the conversation. His opening gambit, "What business did you guys have invading Iraq?" could have been better thought out. It upset player A even more than it did the Americans because strangely enough there was no hand eleven.