Sunday 14 October 2007

Lethal Weapon/Exit

Lethal Weapon/Exit

By Mick McCloskey

In these days of heightened airport security, it seems you have to be careful what you take on board for reading material. According to The Irish Daily Mirror, top Irish poker pro, Padraig Parkinson ended up being questioned at gunpoint on a recent trip through Beauvais Airport, near Paris, when airport staff mistook his poker book for a bomb manual. He was carrying a copy of Dan Harrington’s Hold’em book in his hand luggage when he was called aside for a security check. The routine check almost turned into an international incident when the security lady decided to flick through the pages of Harrington on Hold’em. The book contains lots of diagrams of a poker table that take the form of numbered circles all nicely connected up. “The security girl jumped about a foot in the air when she saw these diagrams and shouted some instructions in French.” says Padraig. “Within seconds a guy with a machine gun, who looked like he was just itching to use it, was at my side. After a while I gathered that they had decided that the diagrams were not a make-your-own-bomb recipe, and that he wasn’t allowed to shoot me just yet” He added, “I bumped into Dan Harrington at the WSOP and told him his book had got me into a lot of trouble, and should come with a warning that it should not be carried as hand luggage when travelling. Instead of sympathising and apologising for all the hassle, Dan just burst out laughing. I don’t know if he’d have laughed as much if I had told him I still hadn’t read his damn book!”

Lethal Exit

I was talking to Joe “The Show” O’Neill about his exit from the 2006 WSOP main event. Playing the second last hand of the day, just after getting into the money positions, everyone at the table virtually agreed that the only hand they would be playing now would be Aces. Despite this, Joe faced a 20K raise into his stack of just over 30K. Looking down at the pocket rockets, Joe moved the rest of his stack in, virtually telling his opponent what he had. The raiser, with a stack of over 100K, still felt obliged to call with his pocket 6’s. Joe’s heart sank when he say a 6 on top of the flop. Then the cards were spread and it was celebration time when another A appeared. This turned into total despair when the guy hit his one out and made four 6’s. To rub salt into the wound, Joe had to return to the table to shake hands and congratulate his opponent, for the assembled cameras.
For the maths experts among you, Joe reckons that the odds of this sequence of events happening, under these unique circumstances, were about 650,000 to 1. Talk to Joe about the math, as it is way beyond me.

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