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Most players simply put a small value chip on their cards, to protect a live hand from being accidentally swept into the muck by the dealer. This does happen sometimes, mostly if you are in seats next to the dealer, but the rules of poker state that it is the player’s responsibility to protect their hand, which is why it is a good idea to place something on top of your cards to signify that your hand is still live. 

Some players bring mascots with them that they might use for this purpose if they are in the 1 or 8 seat, but otherwise place them next to or on top of their chip stack, perhaps as a good luck charm.

If you use one of these, you might want to place it on top of your big value chip stack when you go on breaks, just to ease any fears that a chip might go missing. Most poker rooms are pretty good at guarding chips during breaks so this is not something you really need to worry about, but doing so can certainly stave off any paranoia or a break-time chip-stack shrinkage.

We haven’t seen too many lucky mascot card protectors at the tables this week, which is unsurprising, as the natural “Luck of the Irish” seems to suffice for most local players. But our beady eyed photographer Brian Ó hÉideáin did spot a few. The tiny glass duck in the header pic is the mascot of Andrew Hedley. Not sure how lucky it’s been for him this week, but at the time of writing he was still a contender in the MILLIONS main event. Also still in contention in the main event is the blue bunny of Darren Harbinson, setting up the possibility of a duck and rabbit fight on the final table.

Another that caught our eye is the dragon belonging to Maximilian Sanders. We asked him if he has a name and he doesn’t, so there’s an opportunity to help name him. We might have a competition about this in a few days, so keep a close eye on Party Poker’s social media accounts for that.

Then there’s the Diddy Kong Kart mascot that accompanied Thomas Murphy on his glorious rampage earlier in the week, when he bagged all the big bounties in the Mystery Bounty tournament, on his way to taking down the title and trophy. Go DK!

And finally, who could the owner of this card protector be?

Andy Black of course! Wanna know what it is? Find out more here.


Jonathan Raab

Irish Poker Festival Media Coordinator


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