Tuesday 5 August 2008



By Mick McCloskey

I have just got back from the WSOP in Las Vegas and will bring you more on that subject and on the Irish success stories in my next column. However, I can’t possibly complete this one without congratulating Marty Smyth on his stunning victory in the World Championship $10,000 Pot Limit Omaha event. Well done Champ.


They say you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. After a few recent experiences, I don’t really want to look at any part of a horse. Me and horses have never really got on. I remember many years ago backing the winner in the Grand National but, apart from that, my winning bets have been few and far between. Happily betting on horses is a very occasional vice for me. Really the only time I get involved is when I get what I consider to be a reliable tip. Even then there is no guarantee. I remember quite a few years ago flying into Dublin on my way home from the WSOP and happened to be on the same flight as WSOP champion, Noel Furlong. Noel’s horse betting coups are legendary and he was an owner as well as a punter. He gave me the name of one of his horses that was running that afternoon and he assured me it had every chance of winning. As well as having a bet myself, I passed on the information to a couple of friends back home. They in turn passed on the name of the horse to a few others. I wasn’t too popular back home when this horse came nowhere.
More recently, while playing a tournament in Dublin, a friend of mine convinced me to have a bet on another great hope. A little more success here as it led the whole way only to lose by a nose in a photo finish. My last, and hopefully final, experience in equine matters came at a poker tournament in Co. Waterford. It just happened to be Friday the 13th and I had just finished a meal with a friend. We were leaving the restaurant when we happened to bump into a fellow poker player and bookie. Now I have never asked this guy for a tip nor has he ever offered one before but, on this occasion, he told me that he had taken a big bet from the owner of a horse which was due to run in an evening race within about 5 minutes. He told us that the horse had come in from a 14-1 shot that morning and was now quoted at 6-1 second favourite. As there just happened to be a bookies shop right across the street, we decided to have a punt. As the race was going out live on TV, we waited around to watch the outcome. Things didn’t get off to a very good start when the jockey managed to fall off the horse on the starting line. Having given the rest of the field a 100 yard head start, it was of little consolation that the jockey managed to re-mount and finish the race in 8th place. There were no prizes for 8th spot that day.
So, horses and me are officially finished. They can go their way and I will go mine. No more tips please and, if you ever see me in a bookmakers with a betting slip in hand, please feel free to remind me of this statement.


The Irish Classic Poker Festival at the Macau Club Cork runs from 11th to 17th August. It includes a Ladies event and a Super Satellite for seats in the WSOP Europe as well as the main three day event. The main event starts on Friday 15th August with a buy-in of €1,500 + 100 and features a 15,000 starting stack and 75 minute levels with a guaranteed prize pool of €150,000. Always a well run event, don’t miss this one.

Online satellites are currently running for two other Irish tournaments scheduled for October. These are for the Killarney Festival on Ladbrokes Poker and for the Irish Winter Festival in Dublin on Paddy Power Poker. More details about both of these events in the next issue.

If you have any news, views or events, you can contact me by email to mickymccloskey@hotmail.com