It’s not something adults ask each other in polite conversation. Sure, it may happen on a school playground and end two kids in the headmasters’ office, but unless you’re one of these people who terribly misuses online dating apps on a regular basis, the concept of trading peeks at each other’s goodies just isn’t something that’s done.
Except maybe at the poker table.
Honestly, in my day, the question was something I’d hear more often in low-limit tourist games at the MGM.
“If I fold, will you show?” the cowboy at the other end of the table would ask, unsure whether he could feel comfortable wondering for the rest of the day whether the kid was getting one over on him.
Nonetheless, apparently this is a question still used at the top of the game.
Step with us to one of the two remaining outer tables in the EPT Prague Main Event where we’re just a few players off the final table, and the stakes couldn’t be much higher. Brazil’s Enio Bozzano is just a few payout jumps away from his best-ever live poker cash, and he’s got the button.
He’s in for a raise, which at this table might just have gotten through the blinds. This time, however, Montenegro’s Vlado Banicevic is clicking back, making it 305,000.
Bozzano is uncomfortable, and it’s clear.
“How much do you have?” he asks.
Banicevic knows without counting. “Two-point-four,” he says.
Bozzano slips quietly into his own head. He blinks and raises his eyebrows. He takes off his glasses, maybe so he can’t see Banicevic on the other end of the table.
The glasses end up behind Bazzano’s chips, almost as if he’s going to shove them all-in with the rest of his stack. He rubs his eyes, and arranges his shirttail like he’s about to stand up. If you wanted to make a prototype of the man who pushes all-in, you only need to look at Bozzano.
But now, he’s popping the right ear bud out of his head and looking across the table and Banicevic again. Bozzano opens his mouth, and it’s certain he’s going to say all-in and get one of those pretty triangles in front of him.
Instead, he says something no one is expecting.
“I fold, you show?” he says, not quite pleading, but clearly in desperate straits.
If we’d had the time to make a prediction, we would’ve guessed Banicevic would say absolutely nothing and perhaps looking sullenly at the table in front of him.
Instead, Banicevic snap-answers, “Yes!”
The only thing faster than his answer is Bozzano’s cards flying face-up through the air and landing on the felt. It’s A♦10♠.
If there were drama here, if Banacevic were the bad kid on the playground, his cards would’ve gone facedown in the muck and we would’ve had a great fight on our hands. It doesn’t happen. Banacevic is apparently a man of his word. He turns over 8♦8♠. It would’ve been a race, but instead, it’s playground experimentation. He showed his, he showed his, and playtime resumed with everyone just a little more enlightened.
If it keeps up at this rate, we won’t need the hole card cameras anymore.
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Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging.