What if Keano had been a poker player and not a soccer champion? David Lappin seeks to find out. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
I, Keano – the poker pundit
Roy Keane is the most successful Irish soccer player of all time, with 19 major trophies in his club career. A hard man on the pitch, he is just as hard off of it when lambasting players, coaches, governing bodies, and his fellow commentators these days.
Pulling no punches, Keano’s diatribes and put-downs have become the stuff of pundit legend, but what if the great man had been a poker player and not a soccer champion?
What if, indeed.
No room for sentimentality
Angry Roy Keane would certainly have no time for Level 3 chip count updates, nor would he indulge anything remotely sentimental:
Whether it is providing updates for their backers or just plain vanity, poker players are guilty of thinking that small increases to their stack in fields containing thousands of entrants are tweet-worthy. Upswing Poker’s Gary Blackwood shares Roy’s frustration:
Also, with this last comment, Roy would be firing shots directly at a viral video that went around last week, depicting a man’s emotional first WSOP cash:
Dry your eyes, Sir. There’s no room for sentimentality when you’re in the heat of battle. Keane is an old-school scrapper who would have tussled with all the gangsters:
In his day, you didn’t bring a knife to a gunfight. You brought one to the poker table.
Roy’s best friend
It is well known that Keano loves his dogs. But what is it about ‘man’s best friend’ that so appeals to the mercurial player turned manager turned pundit?
Dogs offer Roy a quiet fidelity, with an emphasis on the quiet part. Whether it’s a bad beat story or just some table banter, he’d be the guy reaching for the headphones:
Hell really is other people for Keane, and William Kassouf would not be the only person to get called out. Poker commentator and renowned dog lover Jamie Kerstetter would also get thrown under the bus:
A bit harsh, but it’s likely that Keane spotted this recent tweet and thought enough is enough:
Either that or he heard the recent interview where Kerstetter confessed to once having been a cat person. Loyalty is paramount to Keano. How could he trust someone who flip-flops on the great cat versus dog debate?
Keane’s emphasis is always on professionalism. Train hard. Prepare well. Focus on the goal. He knows how players can be easily distracted. The trappings of poker can lure a player away from the straight and narrow. So can their crypto-portfolio:
Keano would be on the pulse of the modern way of doing things and have great respect for technological advancements. That said, he would also respect a player who knew how to rattle his opponent’s cage:
There is, of course, such a thing as over-preparation, especially if the modern player is focusing on the wrong things. Some in-vogue mental game techniques would be a load of nonsense in Keane’s eyes:
Needy means soft, and softness is the cardinal sin. You must play aggressively. You must play to win. You must play fearlessly. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
The WSOP is on right now, and if you don’t have skin in the game, then Keane would be quick to put you back in your box: