Sexton, Dalla Saved By the Craic at Irish Poker Open

irish open 2015 padraig parkinson discussion panel

The 2015 Irish Poker Open is underway and not only the Irish think that is a pretty good reason to come to Dublin.

Iconic poker figure and writer Nolan Dalla, for example, is on his first trip to the second-longest running poker tournament after the WSOP and has already tried to sort out the lovely local accent.

PokerListings is also here and will bring you some stories you probably won’t read anywhere else.

 We'll start with a panel discussion between Mike Sexton, Dalla and Padraig Parkinson that almost got personal.

Smoke is in the Air

David Ulliott
Devilfish and Late Night Poker a game changer on several levels

On the night before the start of the Open TV host Kara Scott – who came second in this event in 2009 - gathered those aforementioned big names around to share some stories from the often not-so-glorious times of poker.

Sexton recounted how once three Irish players made the final table of the WSOP main event.

It was in 1999 and Noel Furlong from Ireland went on to win while Parkinson came third.

Dalla pointed out how poker looked on TV before Henry Orenstein invented the hole-card camera and that it was the English show Late Night Poker that showed hole cards first – by means of a glass window where the cards were laid.

“Then the camera would shoot from below upwards," Dalla said, "and you could see not only the cards but also people like the Devilfish smoking cigarettes and blowing smoke in the air."

If You Could Change One Thing ...

At the end of the night Scott asked the seemingly harmless question of what they would change in poker if they could.

Mike Sexton
Holds his line on November Nine.

Dalla went first and said: “I think we have a really big problem with tanking. We can’t have people mulling for minutes over what I think are automatic decisions.

"We can’t have tournaments where they only deal 12-15 hands per hour. People want something for their money; we should have twice as many.

"Also, it’s terrible for TV because it makes the game unwatchable and boring. A shot clock could be the right thing.”

Sexton jumped in: “I’m a big fan of the shot clock.

"We have to make the players move. Otherwise there will be more calling the clock, which eventually leads to clock wars and a bad mood at the table.

"Also, I don’t like it when the so-called pros talk down to the amateurs and say things like ‘how can you play the hand like this’ or similar.

Saved By The Craic

Padraig Parkinson
Hard to beat, humor-wise.

"The only other thing I would change is getting rid of the November Nine.

"It doesn’t seem right that the players can get several months of tutoring and become much better players before they actually play the final table.

"Maybe Mr. WSOP Dalla can comment on this.”

The WSOP’s media director Nolan Dalla seemed to be a little annoyed, maybe because there had already been a lengthy discussion between WPT presenter Sexton and WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart about this.

“Well, I think we should get rid of the World Poker Tour," was his wry statement.

Sexton turned to Dalla quickly but before he could say anything, Scott went in and asked Parkinson what he would change.

“I would change the rules so I could win the Irish Open," replied Parkinson dryly to save the situation.

“At least once. Maybe if I could bring a gun or something that might help.”

When it comes to humor, the Irish are not easy to beat.

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