Friday’s Caption Competition

It’s caption competition time again. But before that, the password for the Freddie Mays Bounty tournament at 9pm tonight is:


Mario Balotelli had this to say after receiving a one match ban for Twitter foolishness:

“I am sorry that my team-mates and supporters of Liverpool FC have to be penalised for something I did”

I don’t know about “penalised”. I suspect some Liverpool fans were hoping the ban might be a bit longer.  Or that he might be permanently transferred – a prospect they were hopeful of when Inter Milan were allegedly interested.

Italian supporters have this wonderful but very simple saying. You know how in Rugby League they give an award to the hardest man in the sport – the “Man of Steel” Award? Well Italians supporters like to call their least favourite players “uomo di merda” – which means “man of shit”. And on Monday Mario was their uomo di merda. A mate of mine was watching the Inter Milan game on Monday night and was relaying to me the chants of the Inter fans by text in running. They started with a few gentle “Balotelli figlio du puttana” (“son of a whore”) chants. Half an hour later he texted “they’re singing ‘Balotelli must die‘ now” (“Devi Morire”).  The next day the Inter vice chairman Javier Zanetti issued a statement denying Inter’s interest in the striker. Poor Mario. Poor scousers too, more like. Looks like they’re stuck with him! Here’s a picture of the much maligned Mario in an image which would probably have been more appropriate to last season than this one (with Jose Mourinho the jockey in behind).

Mario Balotelli on horseback

Congratulations to Charlie Brown (carllito) for winning last week’s competition with: Wanna see a trick? Pull my finger!” 

LvG got moves

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Hand of The Week – Week 144

A couple of weeks ago we looked at an awful hand from the WSOP final table where Andoni Larrabe turned a set and, after tanking for a bit on the river, inexplicably checked! There was only one hand that could beat him – 8-9 for a straight – yet he somehow checked his monster.

I’ve got two cases of something similar today. My opponents didn’t check the river but they failed to raise and that’s almost as big a sin. One noticeable difference between my hands and Larrabe’s is that the stakes are a few orders of magnitude lower :) .

These days my online poker consists of 15 minute blasts of lunacy.  I enjoy frenetic sessions playing 10-16 tables of micro stakes Speed Poker and playing between 40-50% of hands is the order of the day. (And no I don’t win with this strategy. Of course I don’t. It is strictly for a bit of fun. But if you can find me a player who wins with stats like VPIP 50%, PFR 40% and 3-bet 15% I will be very impressed.)

This is the sort of nonsense I’m talking about. Yeah, let’s get that VPIP over 50%!

Speed Poker nonsense 18-12-2014 13-45-45

So here’s the first hand. Usual set up, you flop a set and your opponent turns a better set!  With the 3-bet preflop I’d put him squarely on AA-QQ so this wasn’t a massive surprise but look what happens on the river. He bets, I raise and he just calls.

AAA just calls 18-12-2014 13-59-27

He just calls – but he’s got AAA and I still have some money behind! There is only one single hand that beats me and that’s 10-9. Is he really not prepared to sacrifice that extra dollar and ten cents just because he might be losing to that solitary hand? Isn’t that weird?

(You might well be asking “why didn’t YOU go all in?” and that’s a fair point. So ha! Well spotted. The reason for this is I released the button too soon when sliding my mouse while selecting the amount to raise. It’s a high speed game when I play and I make a few mistakes like this.)

On the second hand I flop trips but my man has flopped a full house.  He does that really irritating thing where he bets the absolute minimum on the flop with his monster so I’m  doubly chuffed to suck out on the river when I snag my ace :) . He actually thought for a while and I was sure he was going to fold. I couldn’t believe he didn’t try to win my last chips off me by raising.

Full House just calls 18-12-2014 14-04-12

OK this would have been a losing play but he can’t seriously put his opponent on a better full house than him every time he gets to the river. A man that scared would never leave the house in case he caught germs.

So why aren’t players going all in?

It’s too easy to say “it’s micro stakes and they don’t have a clue what they are doing”. These players do have some idea how to play. And seeing as these are micro stakes it is even more reason to not care about the money and stack off with top set or a full house. I just don’t get it. These are not isolated incidents.

There is something weird going on her. Just why are players so tight fisted at such low stakes? With that question in mind I intend to take advantage by shoving all in on every river knowing I will only get called by huge hand. Yeah that’s a good plan. It’ll complement my 50-40-15 strategy very nicely indeed :) .

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Poll of The Week

I was playing a home game of poker over the weekend when it dawned on me I was paying zero attention to my opponents mannerisms.  I just wasn’t even trying to look for tells.

That’s a terrible thing to admit isn’t it?

It was a friendly home game with amateur players and tiny stakes and I suppose it’s fair to say my competitivity rating was about 2/10. Even so, I really ought to be trying to suss out my oppponents, especially when I’m supposed to be the experienced one at the table.

It’s so easy to forget that there’s a wealth of information out there.  Some people – usually the heavy online grinders – go as far to say there’s not even any point trying to look for live tells. They might be right at the very top level where the pros just don’t give anything away. But playing below the elite level there’s loads to look out for. So I made a conscious effort to start trying a bit harder – after all that is the whole point of playing live. (I still didn’t win though :) )

I remember playing a big pot with second pair and my opponent really slammed down his chips on the river as he went all in. If I hadn’t read Mike Caro’s book of poker tells I would  probably never have made that call. He had missed his nut flush and straight draw – no wonder he was angry!  On that same trip, after being knocked out of a tournament me and my brother watched our friend play. Hand after hand he sat there looking bored and folding. Then all of a sudden he looked at his cards, sat bolt upright and started rubbing his hands! We couldn’t believe when he shoved all in and someone actually called him. His A-K of spades won and he doubled up. We rushed over to let him know as he stacked his chips, still laughing our heads off.

This week’s question is: which is the most reliable tell in live poker?  Answer this week’s poll and leave a comment with your Twitter username to be in with a chance of winning a token for my Bounty competition.

There’s no end of poker tells and I’ve only listed a few here so please do suggest more in the comments section below.

Congratulations to @pcbunter for winning last week’s poll.

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I often think that a huge percentage of poker players would have had kamikaze pilot as their top career option if only they had the balls for it. Almost all of them know poker is primarily a game of illusion, but when it comes to disguising their game plan… forget it ! They give the whole game away lest any of their peers think they’re not worthy opponents. But it’s the guy who doesn’t give a shit how his opponents rate him and lies through his teeth at every opportunity who’s most likely to finish up with the money.

A few weeks ago, I played a tournament in the Maldron Hotel in Dublin. I arrived in plenty of time, but was a little late starting as the craic in the bar was good, there was football on the telly and anyway it’s very hard to get knocked out if you haven’t started yet. Whilst we were enjoying ourselves, a guy walked into the bar dressed as though he was about to ride a stage in the Tour de France. He had all the gear any self respecting cyclist could ever want, including a very impressive crash helmet. I was surprised the management didn’t insist he takes it off as there was a lot of foreigners around who might draw the wrong conclusions as to how they were fixed safety wise if they continued to imbibe in this hostelry. He stood at the bar and started to floor double vodkas and Red Bulls with all the enthusiasm of a man who had it on good authority that a worldwide Smirnoff shortage was imminent. There’s been lots of controversy over the years re cyclists allegedly taking performance enhancing drugs but this lad seemed clean. Whereas I can see where Red Bull might be a help if a chap was climbing the Alpe D’Huez, the double vodkas would only be of use if you were trying to break your neck whilst doing it.

Eventually, this guy decided to talk to a few people who were prepared to listen to him and several who weren’t about poetry. His poetry in particular. All efforts to suggest he should talk to people who were more deserving of his company proved futile, so we reluctantly made the decision to join the tournament. On our way to the tournament area, we spotted the cyclist. He had cornered the hotel manager and was happily bending his ear.

The following day, I was having the craic with the manager and commiserating with him for his misfortune in getting nailed by the nutjob. He told me the guy was a regular customer. He also told me the guy didn’t even own a bike but put on all the gear to travel to the hotel by bus! Only in Ireland. I don’t know if this geezer ever played poker but he’s certainly got the illusion bit down to a fine art.

I was telling a couple of guys what the story was when one of them said there’d been a discussion on bikes at the poker table he’d just left. He said one guy volunteered that he had seven bikes. When asked why he had seven he explained that he had had eight but sold one. Hard to fault the maths!

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Friday’s Caption Competition

It’s caption competition time again. But before that, the password for the Freddie Mays Bounty tournament at 9pm tonight is:


Did I ever tell you about the time Louis van Gaal took the Bayern Munich job?  He assembled all his highly paid stars and announced “Listen up! You think you’re all great, I know you’ve all got big egos and you think you’ve got big balls.”

He had their attention. He continued: “well I’ve got bigger balls than all of you“.

And then he got his cock out.

True story apparently, but then again I wasn’t there.

For this week’s caption competition here’s a fully clothed LvG showcasing his dance moves to some visibly excited players. Submit your caption on Facebook with your username for a chance to win a token to my bounty tourney next week.

LvG got moves

Congratulations to Andy Harris (chubbybuddha69) for winning last week’s competition with: Harry ” When you said he was on the throne I thought he was having a shit “

The Gallery: Roy Hodgson

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Wenger In!

I’ve got a question for you:

As an intelligent human being, if you did a job for 20-30 years, do you think you would you be better or worse at your job at the end of that period?

I’m guessing you said “better” and unless you worked as a downhill skier or as a power lifter you really ought to be improving because you’d have used your intelligence and experience and learned from your mistakes.

So this next thing might sound controversial: Arsene Wenger is actually a BETTER manager now than when he took over Arsenal in 1996.

I know I’m courting the wrath of Piers Moron and his “Wenger Out” disciples but I’m deadly serious when I say that. They’ll rage “Better? – How can he possibly be BETTER??” The question they’ll probably want answering is “So why don’t Arsenal win as much as they used to?”

Well there’s a few good reasons but the simplest answer is that there is more competition now than there used to be.  There’s more money and tougher competition. Realistically you’re not supposed to be able to compete with Chelsea and Man Utd, teams who spend hundreds of millions on players (or Real Madrid or PSG for that matter).

First though – if you are one of these Wenger Out merchants, just consider this. Last season Arsenal tried (and failed) to buy Luis Suarez before sprinting ahead in the title race, only to get caught and fade in the New Year. Seeing how badly Liverpool have done without Suarez it is fair to say Chewy would have vastly improved Arsenal and we might well have won the title.

Suarez did want to leave at that time, Wenger did try to buy him and he made a sufficiently large enough bid to trigger talks.  That’s what a good manager ought to have done.  John Henry has since admitted that Liverpool were indeed obliged to enter talks under his contract terms but they just chanced their arm anyway because contracts don’t mean anything in England.

So ask yourself would you still be chanting “Wenger Out” if we’d done the double last year and if we still had Luis Suarez leading the line? Wenger was doing the right thing, acting like a top manager and he nearly did get his man.

There are some other reasons Arsenal haven’t won as many trophies as they used to. I’m deliberately not saying “not as successful as they used to be” because Arsenal are still a very successful club, as 17 successive Champions Leagues and 15 knockout stages in a row demonstrates.

Remember that prior to the arrivals of Sanchez (£35m) and Ozil (£42m) Wenger achieved all of that at a net cost of £9m, allowing our lovely new stadium to be built.  So tell me Piers Moron and all the others who say he has underachieved – what is the going rate for a manager who spends no money?  Speedy relegation, that’s what. In one season, two max.

Getting out the Champions League group stages isn’t as easy as you’d think.  Pellegrini’s mob just scraped throgh last night by the skin of their teeth and he’s got all the money in the world at his disposal. Brenton Rodgers failed in a straightforward looking group and of course Moyes came unstuck as well. IT IS NOT EASY! Even the mighty Arsene Wenger failed in his first two CL group attempts, but not the 15 since.  He’d have learned about the problems travelling and playing twice in a week, the recovery periods, how and when to rest players. This wealth of knowledge that he accumulates is why he is better now than he was in 1996. It is not a formality – Wenger just makes it look like it is. All these Gooners with their silly banners should recognise this.

Would you really just hand all that over to some Johnny come lately like Tim Sherwood just because we lose a few games?

Wenger was one of the early pioneers who used statistics to measure fitness and effectiveness during games. He was doing it before OPTA was even thought of. Now everyone is using them.  So other managers improved – by using his methods to gain ground on him. This doesn’t mean he’s got worse, it’s just the gap has closed.  Going back to the question up top – I maintain it’s virtually impossible for an intelligent human to get worse at his job over 20-30 years.

Also when he arrived in 1996, Wenger seemed to have unique access to the French transfer market. He doesn’t any more. This is not his fault and this does not diminish his qualities. What is does diminish is the advantage he had over the competition. Again – not to say he is a worse manager now – it just means things have evened up a bit.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not some sentimentalist who thinks we owe Wenger a job for a life and a pension. A little gratitude yes, employment in perpetuity? No.  If there was someone who was guaranteed to do better I would happily say “Au Revoir”.

But the key word is “guaranteed”. Not just someone who you possibly think might do better, or whoever happens to be hot right now (seems they’ve gone off Jurgen Klopp since Dortmund went bottom of the German league). I mean someone who is guaranteed to better. As far as I’m concerned there’s only one person in that category and I don’t want that mentally ill narcissist within a million miles of the club.

It’s funny when you listen to the “Wenger Out” merchants. On the subject of who should come in they usually fall into two camps.

Type A moron just says “whoever is hot right now”

Type B moron doesn’t even know!

The only time the nuclear option of “anyone but him” is valid is when the manager has completely lost the dressing room and the players refuse to play for him, or if he has been exposed as a paedophile, or if his name is Steve Kean.

So many sackings in football are purely speculative. The board can virtually never be certain that the incoming manager will be better than the one they’ve released. And often they haven’t even lined anyone up to replace the outgoing manager. Madness! Football is the last billion dollar industry run by idiots.

“Get Guardiola”” in they say.

Guardiola!    Guardiola has only managed Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He’s barely been tested but in 2011-12 he took Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Alves, Pique, Puyol et al and LOST the Spanish league by 10 points and quit his job.  Yeah, well played Pep.

If we’re not careful people will start clamouring for Ronald Koeman after his massive 15 game sample of “success” in the Premier League.  Or Big Sam :)

I don’t care how young these contenders are or how “hungry” they claim to be. Least of all I don’t give a toss how well they handle themselves in job interviews or in front of the media. There’s two criteria as far as I’m concerned.

1 – can they get the best out of the players at their disposal?

2 – are they any good in the transfer market?

And that is it basically. Tactics come a distant third behind those two.

I want Wenger to stay because I believe he’s the best man for the job, and I do include Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in that statement. The odds of Guardiola getting the squads that Wenger got through the last 15 CL group stages, are touching zero. (I do believe Diego Simeone is already a great manager though – that man is pure winner).

I mentioned tactics there and this is a well known problem with Arsenal teams. Wenger’s weaknesses are well chronicled and to be fair many of these criticisms are valid. Let’s have a look at a few of them.

There’s his penchant for skilful midfielders with no defensive sense. In fact, he doesn’t seem to pay much attention to defending generally. Witness the tactical mess at Swansea this season – 7 players bombing on and the wrong side of the ball while 1-0 up at Swansea in the 75th minute – and Arsenal, the away side get counter attacked. 1-0 up. After 75 minutes! Yes, it’s appalling. It definitely would not happen under Mourinho because he’d simply drop players.

And a perennial weird one: the way Arsene doesn’t seem to care that we come 2nd in the group stage every year even though it means we’ll draw a big gun and get knocked out immediately. Still, that’s not the most terrible sin because it means we’re still qualifying.

He does moan a bit, I can’t deny.

But that is to do him zero credit for all the good things he does. And there must be some good things – look at his record! Yet all you ever hear about Wenger is about how useless he is and how he might get sacked. You’ve got to have some balance.

Ungrateful Gooners should be careful what they wish for. If Arsenal fired Wenger they could end up like Tottenham very quickly. Virtually every other club in the country fires their managers too soon and none of them have any success apart from Chelsea.

Just remember that if you think Wenger should be fired you share the same opinion as Piers Morgan. This means that you actually share 92% of the same DNA as that chubby faced bell end. And as the great Doctor Fox – currently assisting police with their enquiries – once said: “now that is scientific fact. There’s no real evidence for it, but it is scientific fact.”

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Poll of The Week

This week’s poll is a bit of a Victoria Coren appreciation piece so I’m unashamedly being biased :).

Victoria Coren (or Victoria Coren-Mitchell to use her double barrelled name) is a Poker Stars sponsored pro and has been paid to represent Poker Stars for the last 7 years

Since Amaya Gaming bought Poker Stars in a $4.7 billion takeover they have made several changes to the business model and the trajectory has been pretty transparent (MAKE MORE MONEY!!!). First they  started charging fees for players withdrawing in a non-US currency (it was free before and now the rates are PENAL, eg €50 on a €1000). Then increased the rake across the board – basically because they can due to their enormous market share. And now they’ve introduced games of chance, having up until now only offered poker and nothing else to their customers.

On hearing that Poker Stars were going to offer casino games to their customers Victoria Coren quit her role as a pro. Just like that. It was very amicable but she did say that although she’s got nothing against the company going about their natural business of making money she didn’t sign up for this. She wanted to represent poker and didn’t want her name involved promoting games of chance.

I have to say this is very refreshing. You’d imagine she was paid handsomely because she said she will miss the money. So I say fair play to her. Of course, it isn’t going to alter their decision to offer casino games but she’s done what she thinks is right. We know she doesn’t approve and she’s willing to sacrifice tonnes of money in order that we know this fact.

Now I don’t imagine she’s going to starve or move into sheltered accomodation on the back of this decision. But I wonder how many other people would do this. In a world where famous players continue to represent sites after they have been caught stealing money from their players and laughably claim to have fantastic ethical standards, it’s nice to know that once in a while someone can just say “to hell with the money”.

This week’s question is: what do you think of Victoria Coren-Mitchell’s decision to quit Poker Stars?  Answer this week’s poll and leave a comment with your Twitter username to be in with a chance of winning a token for my Bounty competition.

Congratulations to @fiercelyacute for winning last week’s poll

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Friday’s Caption Competition

It’s caption competition time again. But before that, the password for the Freddie Mays Bounty tournament at 9pm tonight is:


I can’t tell you HOW HAPPY I am that the English FA has released the The “England DNA” report. Because paying some erstwhile scribe to write things like:

“All players entering the England system from 15 up to the senior team will now undergo an ‘induction process’ into ‘the England way’ ” 

is what will win England the World Cup. No doubts.

I haven’t read this document but everything I’ve heard about it thus far, including all the breathless excitement from Sky Sports News, suggests that it is a complete pile of shite, right down to pathetic, sickly name they’ve chosen. Bloomin’ “DNA programme” indeed.   Still, the letters “D-N-A” always gives me a little laugh because it reminds me of a David Beckham story. Once upon a time he attempted to read the words “It’s in our DNA” out loud to reporters but actually came out with with the words “it’s in our DINNER”. 

Have these people never read Simon Kuper’s “Soccernomics*”? If they did they will find the answer to England’s problems in there and saved God knows how much on commissioning this silly report. It isn’t complicated either and there’s a clue in this week’s caption.

All of which leads us to yet another Roy Hodgson photograph for this week’s competition. Sorry about that – but you have to admit the man takes a good picture.  Submit your caption on Facebook with your username for a chance to win a token to my bounty tourney next week.

The Gallery: Roy Hodgson

Congratulations to David O’ Connor (celtic3x) for winning last week’s competition with: ‘I never forget a face, but in your case I’d be glad to make an exception.’ 


(*The book was formerly titled “Why England lose and other curious phenomena explained”. It’s a very good read.)

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Poll of The Week

I don’t have much time for all the back slapping jollity that is the UK Poker Awards but there is one new  category that I do appreciate and I hope it becomes a regular fixture in all these end of year ceremonies: the Best Hand of the Year Award.

So for this week’s poll of the week, the question is “Which of the following hands is your favourite “Hand of The Year”?”  Answer this week’s poll and leave a comment with your Twitter username to be in with a chance of winning a token for my Bounty competition.

I’ve attached Youtube links to all four hands so you can see them played out live.

1 – Cary Katz cracks the AA of Connor Drinan in the Big One for One Drop with A♠ A.

2 – Davidi Kitai calls three barrels with queen high against Tony Ruberto in a $3000 WSOP event

3 – Olivier Busquet hits runner-runner Aces  during the final table of the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller en route to victory

4 – Scott Seiver bluffs Tobias Reinkemeier off AA during the One Drop Final Table

You might have seen a better hand this year – you might have even played a more remarkable hand this year than any of these – but the panel selected by the organisers have arrived at these four hands and this is all that you are able to choose from.  If you want to vote online officially and actually have a say in who wins this award, you can do that by voting here. You might want to turn the volume down because when you get directed to the page there’s a loud blast of some really annoying music.

If you read yesterday’s column you’ll know I’m hugely biased so hopefully you’ve got some brain bleach handy or if you’re like me and you struggle to answer basic questions such as “what did you do on Saturday night?” you’ll be OK. (Seriously, someone asked me yesterday what I did on Saturday night and after saying “nothing…I think” it took me 10 seconds to remember I’d been playing poker round my mate’s. Worrying lack of short term memory!)

Congratulations to @fiercelyacute for winning last week’s poll.

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Hand of The Week – Week 143

For this week’s hand of the week, we’re talking hand of the YEAR.

The British Poker Awards have added a new category for the 2014 edition of their annual awards – the “Best Hand of the year Award” – and I think I’ve found the winner without too much difficulty.  To arrive at the following contenders for the award the organisers appointed a panel of experts to nominate their choices.  With that done they whittled the contenders down to the following four entries.

I’ll be surprised if the winner wasn’t Davidi Kitai’s call with queen high in a $3000 buy in WSOP event – not only because it is the hand with the most skill but because it’s also very easy to eliminate the other entries. We’ll look at Kitai’s amazing call at the end.

One of the hands was an AA vs AA in the One Drop where Connor Drinan got his AA cracked by a flush when four hearts landed.

Now that is a pig sick beat for any man, let alone in an event which costs a million dollars to buy in, but it’s only remarkable for those reasons. It’s hardly worthy of the “hand of the year” award because there was absolutely zero skill involved. All the money went in preflop, lady luck dropped a turd in Connor Drinan’s mouth and that was that. Instead of the 96% split pot that we all expected, one man lost.  Besides, how would winning possibly compensate Connor Drinan for the $1,000,000 he lost? Trust me he doesn’t want to win this award and don’t expect him to fly in especially just to pick it up.

Another entry was an all in and a call pre flop with A-2s vs KK between Olivier Busquets and Sven Reichardt at the final table of the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller. The flop was K-8-8.

Sven Reichardt held KK.

And Sven Reichardt lost the hand

(running aces….the mere thought is pukeworthy)

Again, so what? A 95% fav gets chinned and we’re being asked to choose this as the greatest hand of 2014?

This is a disgusting sight for anyone who has played a lot of poker because we’ve all been there. Given that, why on earth would we be compelled to select this as the BEST hand that happened all year? I mean what sort of poker player are you when you’re a cheerleader for this sort of thing?  WORST hand of the year maybe? Yeah I’d vote for that.

The third hand which I don’t expect will win was also from the $1m buy in One Drop. The German pro Tobias Reinkemeier held As-Ah and Scott Seiver had Ks-10s for a straight draw. On a

4c – Qs – 2c- Jc board Scott Seiver moved all in.

Reinkemeier folded his AA.

And everyone seems to think this is the worst fold ever! Are we all supposed to turn into calling stations just because we have AA? Yes this fold happened to be incorrect but bear in mind Reinkemeier only called the preflop raise so Scott Seiver was entitled to have a wide range of hands. Added to which there is a queen and a jack on board and people like raising with Q-J. He could easily be playing two pair, plus there are three clubs to a flush. And excuse me for pointing out the obvious but it was a million dollar buy in event and maybe he didn’t want to go broke with one pair.

To be honest I’m disappointed with the panel’s selection and I expect Davidi Kitai will win as much by process of elimination than for any other reason. There is still time to vote for these by the way. I don’t even think a date or venue has been set for the awards just yet. (The 2013 awards were held in March 2014 so there’s a while to go yet.)

So here is the Kitai hand, the hand I predict will win the 2014 “Hand of The Year” award. Having limped with Q-4s from the button he called the flop with a gutshot, the turn with a flush draw and when the 10s paired the board on the river he missed everything.  The board was 10c-Jd-Ad-2c-10s.

It’s not even as if he has KING high for the best high card.  But he still managed to find a call when Tony Roberto fired a third barrel on the river. You’ll just have to ask him how he made this call because I can’t come up with an explanation! Poor Tony Roberto must have felt like he’d had his soul read from the inside.

Phil Hellmuth said of Kitai he’s a “crazy Frenchman” who has “never won a tournament before”.

I suspect he probably has won a tournament or two before but on a point of actual fact, “crazy Frenchman” Davidi Kitai is from Belgium. Still, in a “Phil Hellmuth geography Venn diagram” I suppose both the French and Belgians would slot nicely into the “idiots from Northern Europe” section.

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