Poker Mad Gab

[RR] “Are you playing that poker game again?” Roderick the Rock asked Deb the Duchess.

[DD] “Well, as much as I like to play to warm up for these tournaments, today the answer is ‘no'”, Deb responded. “I’m actually beta testing a new game from the same developer.”

[RR] “What is it?”

[DD] “It’s a poker-themed Mad Gab game.”1

[RR] “My kids love Mad Gab.”

[DD] “Well, they might enjoy this version, but I think it’ll be too hard for them. Unless you play poker or are a fan of poker, most of the answers might as well be in Greek.”

[RR] “Hit me with one.”

[DD] “Well, the sample puzzle is:

	They Tub Bow Curb Row"

[RR] “Day Dub Oh… Day Duh Poke… Day Duh Poker something… Oh, of course. THETA Poker Pro.”

[DD] “Yeah, horrible example, but that’s the developer’s Hold ‘Em app. Probably not the best place for cross-promotion though.”

[RR] “How about a good puzzle.”

[DD] “My favorite so far was this word palindrome:2

	Hoe Sake Ants Sake Hoe"

[RR] “Hose A Can’t Say Co… Hoe Say Can’t Say Co… Jose Canseco!”

[DD] “Right. You’re pretty good at these!”

[RR] “I’ve had a lot of practice. What does a baseball player have to do with poker?”

[DD] “He’s a celebrity poker player. I’m sure Stan could tell you for sure, but Canseco played in a couple WSOP Main Events.3

Celebrity Poker Players is one of the main categories. Unlike normal Mad Gab, this game provides hints if you need them instead of using a human coach to help you. The first hint is the general category (e.g., Poker Pro, Player Nickname, Hand Nickname, Poker Phrase, etc.). The second hint can be almost anything.”

[RR] “Cool. Hit me with another one.”

[DD] “Okay, here’s one that alliterates:

	Hair Heap Hotter"

[RR] “Oh, that’s too easy. Harry Potter. He doesn’t play poker, does he?”

[DD] “No, that’s a hand nickname. Harry Potter means J.K. Rowling, and her initials stand for the Jack-King.”

[RR] “Did you hear that she’s publishing another book?”

[DD] “Can’t wait, even though it’s just the script of a play. And Harry Potter and the Cursed Child isn’t out until the end of July.”

[RR] “I’m sure my kids will enjoy it more than Poker Mad Gab, but I’d love to do some more puzzles.”

[DD] “Okay, why don’t you just start a new game on my iPhone? The app’s still early beta, so the puzzles are in alphabetical order for now, but I assume they’ll be randomized later.”

{ Rod quickly plays through the following dozen Mad Gabs. See if you can solve each of these dozen puzzles in under a minute each. Score three points for each correct answer, but subtract one point for each hint you use. Highlight any of the hidden cells to read them. }

Puzzle Category Hint Second Hint Answer Notes
A Knack Or Nick Oaf A hand nickname tennis player Anna Kournikova Ace-King (for her initials). Vince Van Patten claimed this was a particularly apt nickname because both Kournikova and Ace-King “look great but never win”.
Air Hicks Idol poker pro top High Roller Erik Seidel Seidel was the runner-up in the 1988 WSOP Main Event and finished 4th in 1999.
An Need Uke poker pro top female poker pro Annie Duke Duke was the Last Woman Standing in the 2000 and 2003 WSOP Main Events.
And Honey Hand Glee Of Batter Ah hand nickname historical figures Antony & Cleopatra Ace-Queen (“A” for Antony)
Ant Owe Neo West Fund Tee Are He poker pro popular pro Antonio Esfandiari Esfandiari won the 2012 Big One for One Drop for over $18 million.
Ape Hair poker phrase hand type A Pair Two cards of the same denomination
Array Nub Oval Hop poker phrase share and share alike A Rainbow Flop In Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha, a rainbow flop is when the first three cards on the boards have three different suits.
Axe Shunt Tan player nickname Massachusetts native Action Dan Dan Harrington’s ironic nickname given his usually tight play
Ball Beers celebrity player basketball player Paul Pierce The NBA player was Last Celebrity Standing in the 2014 WSOP Main Event.
Barber Of Felt Ton hand nickname actress Barbara Feldon A pair of Nines. Feldon played Agent 99 in the Get Smart television series.
Basque Keen Raw Beans hand nickname food Baskin Robbins Ace-Three. The ice cream chain boasts 31 flavors.
Bathe Hat Mayonnaise Moon Knee movie quote quote from Rounders Pay That Man His Money In Rounders, Teddy KGB concedes to Mike McDermott.

[RR] “Please tell the developer that I enjoyed his game so much I almost wish I had an iPhone.”

[DD] “Cons Hitter Rid Ton.”4

[RR] “Than Cue.”5


  1. Sorry, although the Poker Mad Gab app has been almost completely designed, no actual development is planned. I would love to actually make the app for iOS and tvOS, but I just don’t have the time because of THETA Poker Pro.
  2. A normal palindrome spells the same thing forward and backward if you reverse the letters, ignoring spaces. A word palindrome is the same thing each way if you reverse the words.
  3. Jose Canseco played in the 2007 and 2008 WSOP Main Events but didn’t cash either year.
  4. “Consider it done.”
  5. “Thank you.”

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