Padraig Parkinson and Donnacha O’Dea remember the first time American superstars like Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, Tom McEvoy and Puggy Pearson came to Dublin to play a game unknown in Europe – Texas Hold’em.
Some of them didn’t have passports, players fell asleep on the toilet, money was stolen ... but everyone had a great time. And a small poker club went on to generate five WSOP finalists.
Unsecured Cash and a Dog On a Leash
In the early 1980s Ungar, Brunson and a bunch of stars came to play poker in Europe for the first time. The first games played in Dublin, and many things went wrong.
PokerListings went to Ireland to speak with two legends of poker who were both part of that crucial moment for European poker.
Padraig Parkinson and Donnacha O’Dea were among the players who took on the American stars at Killiney Castle, where infamous club owner Terry Rogers had invited them.
They’re going to tell you about the re-birth of poker in Europe, and how it came along with hiccups and teething problems including a safe full of unsecured money, a cashier on the run and a dog on a leash.
See the true story about how Texas Hold’em took the rocky road to Dublin in the early 1980s below: