A JUDGE has told a professional poker player that his gamble to drive through a city centre after taking cocaine did not pay off and fined him €2,500 and banned him from driving for four years.
Paul Carr (33) of Vartry Avenue, Raheen, Limerick, appeared in Limerick District Court before Judge Eugene O'Kelly after he was charged with driving while under the influence of an intoxicant on September 28, 2011.
Carr, who won €312,600 when he came second at the No Limit Texas Hold'em Paddy Power Irish Open tournament in 2010, pleaded not guilty.
Judge O'Kelly heard that Carr drove a 2008 registered BMW along William Street and then into High Street – a busy area.
Gda Paul Bentley said he and a colleague who were pursuing struggled to keep up with the car. Moments later, they found it stopped at traffic lights.
Gda Bentley recognised the driver as Carr, and said his eyes were glassy and he was unsteady on his feet. He was arrested and brought to Henry Street garda station, where he provided a urine sample. Cocaine was found in the sample.
Defence solicitor Darach McCarthy said his client was "a professional poker player", and a driving ban would affect his profession.
However, Judge O'Kelly found Carr, who has 23 previous convictions, guilty of the motoring offence, fined him €2,500 and banned him from driving for four years.