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06/08/2007 No. 36
he Guardian G2 Poker Column
Victoria Coren
Monday Aug 6, 2007

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.

One of 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 folded.

"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!"

That told him

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