Andy Beal’s Short Poker Hiatus

by Lou on February 12, 2006

Well, it didn’t take my prediction too long to come true. Lisa Wheeler, writing on Sunday February 12, in said: “. . . a credible source informed Card Player on Saturday at 6 p.m. PST that Beal was on a plane to Las Vegas to continue the high-stakes-limit-hold’em-heads-up matches that have peaked (sic) the interest of poker enthusiasts and become media fodder over the past several years.”

Beal’s retirement lasted a grand total of five days, and ended the very evening of the day I predicted that he would lick his wounds, go home to work on his game, and return to challenge the Corporation one more time.

Michael Craig’s book The Professor, The Banker and the Suicide King, which documents earlier encounters between Beal and the coterie of professional poker players he plays against for sums the vast majority of us would consider somewhere between staggering and other-worldly, will soon have sufficient fodder for an epilogue, or maybe even another book. And I, for one, would like to read it.

Given his uber-competitive nature and ego, there’s just no way Beal could have kept away from the game unless he developed another all-consuming passion or he was convinced that he did not have the ability of the Corporation players. Craig’s book provides enough insight into Beal’s personality to realize that the only way he’s putting this game in the rear view mirror is after a convincing win.

I knew he’d be back; I just never realized how quickly. And the fact that he’s back so quickly suggests that he believes no extended time off for tinkering with his game is necessary and that he possesses all the right stuff needed to win.

We’ll see. But in the meantime, it’s game on, everyone’s gonna be watching, and I’m glad. Good luck to both sides.

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