Kevin Hart bets, Usain Bolt (really) flats
When Kevin Hart plays poker, we've come to expect the unexpected...and ridiculous. Add Daniel Negreanu and a super-flat Usain Bolt...you have a recipe for shenanigans.
It was Usain Bolt's time to shine.
One of the world's fastest humans had barely moved a muscle all night. Bolt was waiting for his chance to pounce on Kevin Hart. The two have been locked in a head-to-head battle for months, one-upping each other online before their big battle in January. The launch party for Hart's new streaming comedy app, Laugh Out Loud Network, seemed like a good place to get him. It was right on his home turf, a lavish Hollywood party with unlimited booze and denizens of celebrities chomping down on fancy cheese and tacos.
Bolt quietly waited in a corner, hidden from the crowd, not saying a word. Celebrities posed, cameras flashed and then Hart appeared. Bolt pounced on the red carpet with an assist from Daniel Negreanu.
"Damn, I thought you were on my team Daniel," Hart said. Then he directed his attention to Bolt.
They were headed for the poker table.
Bolt's smirk shined even brighter when they sat down for one hand of poker that was definitely not scripted. Daniel Negreanu, Chris Paul, Bill Perkins, Tracy Szymanski, and Lara Sebastian also took a seat at the table. The powerhouse line up had a shockingly inexperienced dealer and a once-in-a-lifetime runout. Negreanu kicked things off with a solid fold from under-the-gun. Action folded around to Hart on the small blind and he looked down at K♥T♥. His poker face wasn't in full form, his raised eyebrow and nervous chip shuffling seemed like clear signs he liked his hand. Bolt might've missed the not-so-subtle cues though, his gaze was locked forward and he never once glanced at Hart. Action was on Bolt and he froze.
"Fastest man in the world but kind of slow when it comes to making a decision," Hart said, laughing longer than the joke required.
Negreanu, never a fan of tanking, called the clock. Bolt flatted and showed his slowroll. Pocket aces. It was a disappointing development for Hart. There was an emotional 180 on Hart's face, and it dropped even further when a third ace came on the flop to give Bolt a set.
Then the A♥ came on the turn to give Bolt quads, but it also opened up a slim opportunity for Hart. A J♥ had already fallen on the flop, so Hart was drawing live to a royal flush. All he needed was the queen of hearts.
Hart stood up, asked the Hollywood poker forces for the only card in the deck that could save him. The inexperienced dealer delivered: Q♥.
It was emotional whiplash for Hart and he darted towards Bolt with a fast-fire tirade. The eight-time Olympic gold medalist handled it in style and, just like he did the whole night, never flinched. It was an amazing example of an immutable poker face.
The beat no doubt affected Bolt though. He's not used to being ahead just to be passed at the last possible moment. Bolt stayed at the table, immobile and brooding, while Hart and the rest of players went to party at the club downstairs. He was no doubt plotting his next move. The game between Hart and Bolt, after all, is a marathon, not a sprint. The finish line is a few months away, on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
Whose side are you on?
Alex Villegas is a freelance contributor to the PokerStars Blog. Photos by MOVI Inc.