Former EPT presenter and all round poker heroine Kara Scott has, to my eye at least, a relatively normal face. Now, wait one second, I’m not saying that she’s not attractive or doesn’t contain a winning smile with perfect teeth, but her head, well, it does seem to be of normal size. It’s comparable to a smaller then average water melon. Or perhaps, well, a regular human head. Maybe there’s something that I’m missing.
“Vanessa Selbst told me ‘Your face is crushing Deauville.'” Scott casually informed me, standing just a foot away from her seat at table 45, ready to jump back into her seat for the next hand.
Apparently Scott is not the star of a new Hollywood B-movie, an Attack of the Giant Poker Faces, but that somewhere in Deauville there is a huge poster of her face in some kind of poker exhibition. Even the legendary Scotty Nguyen, who is sat two seats to Scott’s right, has seen it. But he’s not sure about the directions either. It’s all rue frites this and avenue le grand fromage that. I get lost on the two minute walk from my hotel to the casino.
Scott’s poker CV is impressive and goes someway to explain why she’s become a fan favourite and the subject of billboard photography- good bone structure aside – having presented domestic poker programming in the UK before graduating to the international stage with hosting duties on the EPT, High Stakes and the WSOP, where she’s often been left interviewing players who knew less about the game than she.
Back to back cashes in the WSOP Main Event in 2008 and 2009 sandwiched a second-place finsh at the 2009 Irish Open for €312,600, the same position which Annette Obrestad claimed two years before in the same tournament. These three cashes helped to push Scott up the women’s all-time money list where she currently sits in 28th with $567,295 in live winnings. Taking the €875,000 title here would push her into the top ten, just a few thousand dollars ahead of German Team PokerStars Pro Sandra Naujoks.
Scott has been playing a swathe of European events this January with a small cash in a €1,000 side event for €2,900 but that magic Irish run it yet to happen again.
“I keep expecting it to happen again but it doesn’t work that way sadly… I’m not a professional poker player. I don’t play enough to be at this level. This is a massive treat for me. I don’t play well enough,” she said with a laugh before looking back at the table to take in the hand playing out between Scotty Nguyen and Ignat Liviu.
“It’s not that I don’t play well enough, I probably don’t, but I don’t play enough. I don’t play every day and I really like my job,” said Scott while Nguyen tried to talk Liviu into checking behind on the river. It didn’t work. Livu bet, Nguyen passed and wandered outside, presumably for a smoke.
Scott slid into her chair for her 800 big blind. Liviu, perhaps abusing the fact that Scott may be distracted by talking to me, opened the pot again from middle position to 1,800. The action passed to Scott who promptly tossed out a grey 5,000 chip as a three-bet. It was enough and Liviu passed.
“You can stand there, I needed a change of luck,” said Scott who whispered that she had pocket eights.
Eights? You make your own luck. Plenty of players in this field would have called before either check-calling or check-folding incorrectly on the flop.
Scott obviously loves the game, it’s not just a painted smile for the cameras, and that’s always been a large part of the attraction for the fan boys. She’s one of them. Kind of. She’s excited about playing with Scotty Nguyen anyway. And why wouldn’t you?
“I played with him once before in the States and I remember I was waiting for the break, waiting, waiting, waiting because I really needed to go to the loo – to wash my hands and powder my nose of course – and he said ‘Just go, baby, you can miss a hand, baby.’ He was disgusted that I wouldn’t miss a hand and he’s off now. ‘Why you taking it so seriously, baby?'” recalled Scott just as the man himself returned to his chair to see Antonio Guerrero’s aces getting paid off for a pot of some 60,000.
“You get aces and you win a pot like that? I get them and win 1200,” said Nguyen tipping his head back and laughing.
While you may be unlucky to be drawn at this table with this pair at least you should enjoy the ride.
Scott bust to Julian Kabitzke moments before this post was published, jamming into the nut straight on the river.