Aliens have invaded, and the poker world is our only hope.
A superior alien race has invaded the earth and threatens to wipe out all humanity. However, they’ve given us one chance to save ourselves. A poker tournament (No limit hold’em), consisting of 4 aliens and 4 humans. It will be played anonymously, so that neither side can collude against the other. Let’s assume that these aliens have some sort of ‘Game of Thrones’ style ‘faceless men’ technology that allows our 8 participants to play in disguise, each appearing as a random human and exhibiting perfectly accurate human facial expressions and body language.
Humanity must somehow decide on the 4 human participants. To do so, we must figure out who are the best tournament hold’em players in the world. Given the volatile nature of small sample sizes in tournament poker, this is almost impossible to do scientifically. Live tournaments are very time consuming, and it’s almost impossible for a player to accrue a relevant sample size in an entire lifetime. But this is a live game, so choosing players based on a relevant sample size of online stats makes no sense either.
Faced with this impossible task, humanity says ‘fuck it’ and decides to rely on one man’s subjective opinion. For some reason, they choose me, lowly poker blogger and low stakes tournament grinder to try and save the human race.
So, in this totally likely and completely possible scenario, here are the 4 players I would choose to represent Team Earth:
Okay, getting serious now:
With his ability to read micro expressions and exploit physical tells, Kitai is probably an actual alien himself. Let’s just hope that he’s from a different species than these invading aliens and is willing to stay undercover as a human a little while longer in order to help us out in this match. Seriously, check out this call if you’re not familiar with Kitai’s work:
We want players with a mixture of skills. Carrel is math genius with a huge sample size of online success. He’s also an elite live player with great table talk and physical reading skills.
How could Fedor not make this list? This is a small-field live high roller tournament, and Fedor Holz literally just had the greatest small-field high roller streak in poker history. And just like Charlie Carrel, Fedor has a large sample size of online success to prove that his live hot streak is no fluke. (2014 and 2015 online player of the year.)
No disrespect to Koon’s poker skills (he’s as elite as they come) but I give him a spot on this list for other reasons. As the most fit man in poker, and quite simply an all-around badass, we need him around in case the poker doesn’t go so well and this whole thing shifts into an action-movie type scenario. If any poker player can kill his way to the top of the alien hierarchy in time to stop the annihilation, it’s this guy.