By Jim Caple
Page 2

John Daly claims in his new book that he lost $50 million to $60 million gambling. Meanwhile, Charles Barkley claims he's lost $10 million himself. How is it possible to lose that much money and still have both thumbs?

Simple. Just check out the latest episode of "Celebrity Poker Showdown."

[Host DAVE FOLEY welcomes the new contestants.]

FOLEY: We've got a great show for you tonight, folks. We have one of the most popular golfers in history, a former champ of the PGA Championship and British Open, Mr. John Daly. [Wild applause.]
And he'll be going up against one of the 50 greatest players in the NBA's history and one of the sport's most notorious talkers, Sir Charles Barkley. [Wilder applause.]

John, Charles. Welcome to the show.

DALY: I'll raise you $5,000, Charles.

Charles Barkley
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"I play to win. I'll double what you put down!"

BARKLEY: I see your $5,000 and raise you $10,000.

FOLEY: Will you guys please hold on? We haven't even dealt the cards yet.

[FOLEY deals the first two cards. DALY and BARKLEY pick them up and inspect them as if translating clay tablets with hieroglyphics.]

[DALY flips his two cards over triumphantly.]

DALY: Twenty-one!

FOLEY: John, we're not playing blackjack. Besides, you have a nine of hearts and a seven of clubs. That adds up to 16, not 21.

[BARKLEY flips over his two cards, revealing a four and a 10.]

BARKLEY: I'm gonna double down.

FOLEY: Dammit, you can't double down in hold 'em!

[He looks at the two players with their cards already revealed on the table.]

FOLEY: Well, this is going to be anticlimactic, given that you both know what's in each other's hands. But, oh well.

[The two players pick up their cards and hold them to their foreheads, the card faces revealed. FOLEY deals the flop, showing a six of hearts, a jack of diamonds and the three of spades. A ringing cell phone interrupts. DALY answers it.]

DALY: Wassup? … Really? Damn, give me some of that. … Yeah, put me down for $100,000 on the Seahawks. … Yeah, you heard me. A hundred large on the Hawks. … Thanks.

[He turns to FOLEY and BARKLEY.]

DALY: Sorry about that. That was my bookie.

FOLEY: You're betting on next year's Super Bowl already?

DALY: No, this year's.

FOLEY: John, they already played that game three months ago. The Seahawks lost.

DALY: Yeah, but my bookie is giving me incredible odds. 100-1.

BARKLEY: Damn. Can I get a piece of that?

[FOLEY rolls his eyes and turns over the fourth card in the middle, the five of hearts.]

FOLEY: Charles, the bet is to you.

BARKLEY: I bet $10,000 I can guess John's weight within five pounds.

FOLEY: I meant your hold 'em bet.

DALY: You're on.

BARKLEY: Stand up, man. Let's get a good look at you.

[DALY stands up, turns around and gives BARKLEY a long look at his ample girth. He appraises him as if judging the Miss America contest.]

BARKLEY: I say you weigh … 142 pounds.

John Daly
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"Looks like I'm a bit short. How about an IOU?"

DALY: Sucker! I'm 264.

BARKLEY: Damn!

[BARKLEY hands over the 10 grand and DALY places it right into the pot.]

DALY: That's $10,000 for you to stay in.

BARKLEY: [Pushing in $20,000] And another $10,000 to you.

DALY: Call.

[FOLEY shakes his head in disbelief and turns over the final card, the nine of diamonds. The television audience -- as well as the two players -- can see that BARKLEY has a jack, 10, nine, six, five, all non-suited, and DALY has two 9s, a jack, a seven and a six.]

FOLEY: OK, Charles. The bet's to you. And I imagine you'll be …

BARKLEY: I bet $50,000.

FOLEY: Good Lord, Charles. You can see that John has a better hand. You're just throwing your money away.

BARKLEY: Shhh, I'm bluffing.

FOLEY: But you can only bluff if the other guy doesn't know you're bluffing. You can't bluff if he sees your cards and knows he has a better hand. You would have to be the dumbest man in the world to fold in that situation. I mean a complete #$&@-ing moron.

DALY: I fold. Too rich for my blood.

[BARKLEY rubs his palms and rakes in the pot with glee.]

BARKLEY: Momma, I know what I'm gonna do with this. I'm going to take it over to the roulette wheel and put it all down on green.

DALY: C'mon, man. You gotta give me a chance to get even.

BARKLEY: Sure. No problem. Double or nothing I can out-drive you.

FOLEY: Are you stupid? John is one of the longest golfers on the tours. He's legendary for his distance.

DALY: I'll take that action.

[The camera follows DALY and BARKLEY out of the studio and into a back lot. DALY grabs a club, sets a ball on the tee and proceeds to drive it far into the distance. He hands the club to BARKLEY.]

DALY: Beat that, big man.

[BARKLEY merely smiles, drops the club and gets behind the steering wheel of his waiting SUV. DALY suddenly realizes he's been had.]

DALY: No way, man. That's not right. The bet was I could drive a golf ball farther than you.

BARKLEY: No, the bet was I could out-drive you. Didn't say nothing about any golf ball. So all I gotta do is drive my rig farther than you hit that ball, and you owe me another $300,000.

[BARKLEY laughs crazily, then accidentally shifts his vehicle into reverse and backs through a garage door.]

FOLEY: I'm afraid that does it for this week's episode of "Celebrity Poker Showdown," but tune in next week when we welcome Michael Jordan.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com and the author of "The Devil Wears Pinstripes." You can order the book, reach Jim or read the new chapters of "24 College Avenue" at his recently re-designed Web site, jimcaple.com.




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THE GAMBLERS