Arts & Entertainment

Phil Hellmuth on Poker: Eva Longoria Parker’s A Queen!

The paparazzi descend on San Antonio every year for a very special poker tournament and two celebrities in particular, Eva Longoria Parker and her husband, Tony Parker, actually look forward to the attention.

You probably know that Eva, once voted the world’s most beautiful woman, is the star of the hit TV series Desperate Housewives, and her husband Tony is a perennial NBA All-Star guard for the San Antonio Spurs.

Eva hosts an annual charity event for Eva’s Heroes (, an organization that raises money for intellectually-disabled children. The highlight of this event is the Celebrity Casino Night and Poker Tournament which brings in hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

This event is important to me because my younger sister Ann is intellectually-disabled. So on September 12, I flew to San Antonio to emcee the poker tournament that featured Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Sara Evans, Leeann Tweeden and others. Check out some great videos at my twitter address — @phil_hellmuth.

One thing I love about Eva is that she takes her poker seriously. Here’s an example.

About two hours into the tournament, with the blinds at $500/$1,000, Player A opened for $3,000 with A-8 from middle position. Eva moved all-in for $11,000 with Q-Q from the button. Player B called off his last $9,000 with A-J from the small blind.

Player A called the raise and the hands were flipped face up.

With the final board reading 10-9-4-4-7, Eva’s pocket queens held up and she scooped a $30,000 pot. Two queens for the tournament’s true Poker Queen!

Let’s take a look at this hand.

Player A’s open for $3,000 with A-8 is okay with me but I probably would have folded instead, especially in a charity tournament, figuring that at least one other player would call the bet. Knowing that your bet will get called and knowing that you must hit your hand to win the pot, why bet? A-8 is a hard hand to hit!

Eva’s $11,000 all-in move is the correct and standard play.

I hate Player B’s $9,000 call. Why get involved for all your chips with a marginal hand when you’ve only got $500 invested? Also, Player B should have realized that Eva is a patient player and that his A-J just couldn’t be the best hand. Fold the A-J in this spot.

I don’t like Player A’s $8,000 call with A-8 offsuit but only slightly.

In defense of the call, the pot was laying Player A three-to-one odds to make the call – pretty decent. But Player A must have been a bigger underdog than that, right? I think he would have been more than a three-to-one underdog at least 80% of the time. That’s why I like the fold.

I mean, what would you expect your opponents to have in this situation that would make you less than a three-to-one underdog?

The decision to call or fold in this situation is really a matter of personal style.

If you like to gamble, make the call. If you don’t mind surrendering some of your edge, make the call. If you think you’re one of the worst players at the table, make the call.

And if your flight home leaves in two hours, by all means, make the call!

If, however, your style is to push your chips into the pot only when you think you have the winning hand, fold the A-8 and wait for a better spot. That shouldn’t be hard to do in a charity tournament.

As for me, I would have ditched the A-8 and waited to shove my chips into a pot where I had a bigger edge.

Learn more about Phil Hellmuth and Poker Brat poker merchandise at

© 2009 Card Shark Media. All rights reserved.