While in Las Vegas, I was determined to argue with top Irish player
Andy Black, aka "the Monk". Andy and I are both contestants and commentators on
Premier League Poker (Tuesday nights, Channel 4). Before leaving London, I was
pretty offended by the episode in which Andy commentated on me.
the key plays was certainly debatable. We were five-handed with blinds at
3,000/6,000, when Devilfish moved all in for 55,000. Tony G (with 130,000) flat
called. I looked down at my own 80K stack and my hand: AQ. In a "winner take
all" satellite, it would be natural to move in here. But in Premier League
Poker, players must accrue points over a series of games. It was vital that I
finished at least third in this match. After a long think, I decided not to
risk the possibility that Tony G was slow-playing a monster, or that one of my
opponents had a pair while my own big cards were counterfeited by the other. I
"What is she doing?" shouted Andy Black.
"She must be nervous!"
I did survive into three-handed play, where
another key hand came up. The button passed, and Tony G raised to 50,000 from
the small blind. Finding a pair of fives, I moved in for about 155,000.
"What is she doing?" shouted Andy (who had the benefit of seeing Tony
G's 99). "She's much too rash!"
While I admit an argument for playing
the AQ differently, this hand was a no-brainer. I would never pass a pair,
three-handed, just because one aggressive opponent has a stab at the pot. And
nor would Andy Black.
When I bumped into the Monk in Vegas, I really
let him know how I felt about this criticism-for-the-sake-of-it. "Hello Andy!"
I said. "Good luck in the main event!"