Last week's episode of Premier League Poker (which concluded this
week on Channel 4) contained a good example of what I wrote a few weeks ago
about calling on the river. I raised with the King of Spades, King of Hearts
and Liz Lieu called. The flop came ten of diamonds, six of Diamonds, two of
clubs: I bet, Liz called. The turn came five of diamonds: I bet, Liz called.
The river came a nasty fourth diamond, and I checked. Liz bet 40,000. Why? With
a medium flush, straight or set, she would be relieved to check. With the ace
of diamonds or king of diamonds, why would she flat call on the turn? It
smelled exactly like one of those opportunistic river-card thefts with no hand
at all. I called, and Liz was indeed on a total bluff. Sadly, in tomorrow's
episode I will be giving most of those chips back, after running an ill-timed
bluffing check-raise into one of Liz's monster hands.
What's interesting about both bluffs (and
the call with one pair) is that the final began with Devilfish saying Phil
Hellmuth had the best seat because "he's got the two ladies in the blinds when
he's on the button" - the implication being that ladies are weak-tight players
who will only get aggressive with the nuts. But I am not surprised after his
earlier comment that "girls should be home ironing clothes", the refusal of any
PLP commentator to understand that feminine guile can be more profitable than
blunt aggression anyway, and Andy Black's insulting remarks before the
semi-final about what an easy opponent I would be (ironic, given how quickly I
knocked him out).
Premier League Poker has taught me that much of the
poker world is even more blindly sexist than I thought - and that's saying a
beakful. Luckily, I won $35,000 (while Black and Devilfish failed even to make
the final), and that buys a lot of oven gloves.