Just when you think you have seen it all, the poker gods always throw up a new experience to make us smile. I had the misfortune of playing in Matchroom’s latest TV spectacle ‘Poker & Soccer Legends’. The Wales v USA match is a TV programme that you have to see to believe. There is a complete dearth of quality poker but the entertainment value was second to none.
The Welsh Team was Iwan Jones, myself and Neville Southall. It’s fair to say Neville was not quite Tony Cascarino standard…in fact looking at his cards appeared to be a challenge. So of course the Poker Gods decided to make a complete mockery of the game as only they know how to do.
Nev soon made short work of his team mates sending us both down the tunnel with our tails between our legs. He’d called Iwan’s all-in with 6-4. This was great news when Iwan flopped a third 7 to go with his pocket pair of 7s…until the poker gods intervened on the river of course.
After demolishing the pro’s on his own team, our Nev now went to work on USA’s finest. Mike Sexton moved all in with AJ on a A-Q-rag flop. Nev wasn’t for passing his 10J though. He had a gutshot draw, and the poker gods on his side!
The wonderfully entertaining Kenna James gradually quietened down as the former Everton keeper went to work on him and before long, the two footballers were left heads up. The Welsh keeper had over three quarters of the chips and the poker gods on his side. How could he possibly lose to a man called Bocanegra who couldn’t even find the TV studio (which was inside a football ground incidentally)?
How? Well here’s just one hand that interrupted my conversation with Daniel Negraneau (spot the name drop).
The flop is A-Q-8 and the US keeper Bocanegra bets his dead mans hand: Aces & Eights. Nev shows some imagination, and calls with 6 7.
The turn is a 10 and the board is now A Q 10 8. Boc bets his 2 pair and … Nev calls, with 6 7.
The river is an Ace and the board is now A A Q 10 8. Boc ponders his full house and reluctantly moves all-in…our man goes into a think tank…and ponders with 6 7. He can beat, absolutely nothing. But he can share the pot… as long as his opponent only has 7 high as well. Daniel tells me he is going to call and I laugh. What happened next may be the single worst poker decision I have ever seen anyone make in 20 years. The smile on my face soon became complete and utter astonishment.
I’m not sure if Daniel’s howls of laughter were at what had just happened, or whether he was laughing at me on my knees banging my head against the floor.
You have to watch party poker’s Wales v USA match. It is utterly astonishing. Don’t miss it.