PCA 2015: The hero call

Ronaldo -- the football hero -- is here. You knew that. The Brazilian has acquitted himself well thus far today, weaving his way to a stack of about 150,000, comfortably above the average as the field shrinks below 300 players.

Ronaldo plays lots of hands, often calling others' raises to see flop after flop. When so engaged, he has a way of rotating his two hole cards around and around and around. The movement resembles the agile feet of a soccer player dancing around the ball while progressing forward.

Among those sitting at Ronaldo's table to start were Ka Kwan Lau and Don Cornwell, positioned side by side to start the day. They caught our eye in part because of a shared theme illustrated by their t-shirts.

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Ka Kwan Lau (left) and Don Cornwell (right)

Superman had position on Batman, but alas for Cornwell he ran into Kryptonite somewhere to start the day and lost the last of his below average stack.

Lau, meanwhile, has thrived, building up over 100,000 even after losing a recent hand versus the player who'd been moved over into Cornwell's vacated seat.

With 8,000 in the middle and a highly-coordinated board showing [10s]J♦Q♠, Lau had checked, his neighbor tossed out one blue 5,000 chip, a third player in the hand folded, and Lau called. Lau check-called another bet of 10,000 after the 4♣ turn, then checked again when the 6♦ fell on fifth.

The bet this time was 18,000, and as Lau's tanking extended into a second minute the phrase "hero call" was difficult not to imagine.

Lau shook his head once, grinning slightly as he stole a look to his left. Blinking rapidly, his expression wavered between perplexed and pained. He yearned to call, it was clear.

"Show me?" he asked tentatively, the tone of his voice signaling he had no expectation of a positive response. There was no response at all.

Finally Lau folded, showing his cards -- ace-queen -- as he did, having chosen against making the hero call, if a call in the spot might be so classified.

The next hand was dealt, and a player in early position raised. The action reached Ronaldo. He called.

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Ronaldo Nazário

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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.