It would be hard to top my favorite moments from the Big Game, because those moments don’t come around too often. I remember Kirk Morrison staring at Brian Townsend on a jack high board in the wintry night southeast from London, after Townsend had fired off a 3-bet before the flop and three barrels following. The bet was huge, and so was Brian Townsend’s reputation, and before calling Morrison inquired of the tournament director, just how long will it take a taxi to get to the airport?

“Everything, Phil!”

I remember Juha Helppi beating Phil Hellmuth in a pot, quite a big pot in fact, towards the end of a cash game in the bowels of East London in which Hellmuth kept having buy-in after buy-in to no avail. “Everything, Phil!” Helppi shouted gleefully as he stood and raked his hands through his pile of chips, “Everything!”

A Noose From Neil Channing

And was it Juha Helppi who in another series got handed a noose? From Neil Channing, who had grabbed it from Phil Laak, who had fashioned it between hands, immediately following the hand where Andrew Feldman had gone loose like a space cadet and then gotten there on the turn against Helppi’s two jacks.

Laak’s Overbet

One time it was hazy in Vienna and Phil Laak sat there like a giant Buddha, thirty hours in and overbetting the pot like that was the minimum bet. Then he mucked his cards at showdown even though he had the winning hand. In a sixty thousand euro pot against Andy Mosley with Tony G trying to bet on what Laak might have had. And everyone then realized Phil Laak’s grip on reality was at least as loose as the rest of us.

“Phil’s Bitch”

Viffer was going at it hammers and tongs in a Red Room in West London, when he and Neil Channing and Phil Laak decided to all three play the duration just for fun, and he sat with a paper sign around his neck that said “Phil’s Bitch” and ranting out of the side of his mouth with the one hundred, two hundred, and the four hundred straddle out there every time, and it was the most natural thing in the world.

It would be an understatement to say that I always look forward to another installment of the Big Game, this Monday night from Barcelona. The mix of big name pros, aspiring bankrolls, and chancers just happened to pass by the table always make for a crash of action. Streamed live.

Who’s Playing

Spanish pro Raul Mestre is confirmed, and Max Pescatori has said he’s coming to play. Rumors are the Jungleman might fly in, and tournament pros like Steve O’Dwyer and Calvin Andersen could dabble if they bust the WPT. Big Game veteran Alec Torelli will also make an appearance. I like Torelli’s style. He showed up to the 48-Hour Big Game in Nottingham with five shirts. Every eight hours he’d put on a clean shirt. He used all the shirts.

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