When you search Google for the “best call in poker,” you won’t see this hand. You may see a few PokerStars YouTube videos, the infamous Jack-Four hand with Garrett and Robbi, and some strategy articles.

A truly legendary call is out there, deep in the search results. What’s weirder about this call is that one of the players isn’t even a poker player.

We’re talking about Tony Hawk. Remember his popular game and X-Games highlights you saw back in the day? Tony is known for creating a skateboarding empire and doing the first 900-degree spin, not poker.

Here’s what Tony Hawk did against Maria Ho in a charity tournament.

A Late Hand in the Poker Central Charity Event

Poker Central held a charity match in 2016 among celebrities, poker pros, and a Zynga qualifier. All of the winnings were donated to charity and the structure was interesting.

The professionals included Maria Ho, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Hellmuth.

The amateurs were represented by the UFC’s Chuck Lidell, plus Tyler Posey, Jennie Garth, and Jackie Cruz, who are all actors. The Zynga qualifier was Jennifer Maddox.

The Poker Central Shootout had two stages:

  • A 6-max Sit & Go with the celebs and qualifier. The top 3 pair with poker pros in the next round.
  • Heads-up games pairing poker pros with amateurs.

For the heads-up portion, it was Tyler Posey against Hellmuth, Tony Hawk and Ho, and Chuck Lidell against Negreanu.

Our legendary call happened in the televised match between a pro skateboarder and the Game of Gold winner.

Preflop and Flop Action

Maria Ho and Tony Hawk look down at similar hands. She’s got and he’s got . Maria elects to limp in with a hand she’d probably be raising these days and Tony calls on the button.

The blinds are 300/600 and Tony is leading with 54% of the chips in play.

The flop is terrible for both players, but the pot is small. Either one could fire out a small probe bet, nobody’s investing in it yet.

Check, check.

Maria Begins to Apply Pressure on the Turn

Attacking weakness on a scary board, Maria begins putting chips in on the turn. She bets 1,000, a little under pot on the turn.

Tony Hawk calls in five seconds. Despite snap calling, it looks like he thinks about it for a moment. Is he floating to bluff the river? Calling to spike a 3?

Is this another Jack-Four situation? Calling with the unlikely, yet ever-so-slightly ahead?

Pulling the Trigger on the River

The river changes nothing. Unafraid, Maria puts out a large 4,000 bet into 3,200, hoping to break Tony’s will to go on.

Five seconds later, Tony’s chips are in the pot and one of the greatest calls ever is complete.

It takes a few moments for everyone to catch on. Maria knows she’s beaten, but not exactly how. And then, Tony flipped over . “What?! What just happened there?” she gasped, barely audible over the commentator’s laughter. “Did you just soul-read me?”

“This is the weirdest hand I’ve ever seen,” said Daniel Negreanu, who was in the commentator booth.

Tony Hawk called down Maria with a hand that was only slightly better, but still unbelievably weak. How many professionals have boasted about King-high and Queen-high calls over the years? 7-high calls are infinitely more rare.

If this call was intentional, Tony is an untapped poker prodigy.

But did he know?

Why Did Tony Hawk Call with 7-High?

Calling with 7-high against 6-high is an act we need an explanation for. How could this happen?

There are a few possible reasons:

  • He thought he was ahead of Maria Ho.
    The most unlikely option was that Tony Hawk thought his cards beat Maria's. This possibility is pretty unthinkable, even for someone far more skilled than Tony. Even if you suspect she has or , this means she can also have those combos with a . And of course, there are all of better high-card hands, pairs, and Maria Ho's value range.
  • He was curious.
    The proceeds go to charity, so Tony might have called out of curiosity, knowing the winnings go to a good place either way. Only about 5% of his stack was in by the end and maybe seeing her hand felt worth it, understanding he'd probably lose.
  • He misread his hand.
    Most of you probably think that this is the most likely reason for Tony's 7-high hero call. It does feel like the most likely. There's a moment in the video that appears to show him re-checking the community cards after calling. What looked like a senseless hero call may not have been. Tony could have easily thought he had a hand like , , and even is possible.

Remember the Jack-Four hand that shook up the poker world in September 2022? It's very likely that the same thing happened there.

In both hands, the winning players acted like they meant to make an unmakable call. Hopefully, someone calls you with 7-high in your next online poker game (but not when you have 6-high).

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