If stories have beginnings, middle and ends, it’s hard to pinpoint where exactly the Charlie Carrel story currently rests. We don’t mean in terms of his poker career – you’d be hard pressed to find anyone to say he’s not at the beginning of that long story – but then there are so many stories around Carrel, with tournaments becoming short stories on their own.
Instead you get lots of chapters, countless little stories, each hand giving something of the Carrel spirit. Like the hand he played against Paul Newey.
Newey was all in on a board of J♦9♦7♠2♣4♠. But while he sat still, trying to avoid showing sign of anything, Carrel was looking for information.
Thinking about this, a jack seemed the perfect card for Carrel, one that seemed to size him up, as well as his hand. It’s cheeky, colourful, and potentially lively. You can cause trouble with a jack.
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You only have to look at Carrel to see what I mean. A scruff of hair, as if he drove to the casino with his head sticking out the window, and clothes that look like the illustration from a children’s book, perhaps one about a young man living in a fairy tale life living out each of his dreams.
Like I said, Carrel is the jack.
“If you’ve got fours I’ll cry,” he said to Newey. “Like a little girl.”
Still looking at him Carrel called. Newey flipped over 10♦8♦ for a flopped straight. Somehow this felt like a hand to sum up Newey too, also cheeky, and a warning shot to anyone who might underestimate him.
“Yeah, that’s good, that’s good,” said Carrel. “That also makes sense.”
He laughed. No crying from Carrel this time, who then set about winning a string of pots to recoup his losses. Pretty sure they’ll be another chapter coming up soon.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.