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Hand from the Epic Poker League Main Event with Joe Hachem

Joe Hachem

Joe Hachem is best known for winning the 2005 World Series of Poker Main Event for $7.5 million, but over the past six years he's earned nearly $3 million more in tournaments including a World Poker Tour title. Because of his poker accomplishments, he is currently ranked 83rd on the Global Poker Index. On Tuesday, he competed in Day 1 of the Epic Poker League Main Event and spoke to PokerNews about a hand he played just before dinner break.

Blinds: 300/600 with a 100 ante

Preflop Action: Joe Hachem, holding {a-Hearts}{9-Spades} in the small blind, raised to 1,800 into the Villain in the big blind.

Going into this hand, what I knew about this player, is that he hates to fold. I know that if I make any hand, I'm just going to fire on every street and get paid.

If he's a player who hates to fold, would you muck a hand preflop that didn't have showdown value?

No, I'd probably still do the same thing, but if I whiff the flop, I don't bother. If he has anything, he won't fold. If you're playing against someone who loves to call because they always think everyone's bluffing, then you should take advantage of it.

Flop Action: The flop came {9-Hearts}{9-Clubs}{4-Hearts}. Hachem bet 1,900, and Villain called.

When he called instantly, I knew he had to have a heart draw, or maybe a medium-sized pocket pair.

Would he float you with nothing?

Maybe not me because we have history, but that's possible.

Turn Action: The turn was another {4-Clubs}. Hachem bet 3,700, and Villain called.

Again, I bet pretty small in comparison to the pot, but I was setting him up for a call on the river that I want. I just needed to get enough money in there, so that if he did have what I thought he had, he'd have to call.

River Action: The river was {2-Diamonds}. Hachem bet 12,800, and Villain called.

Part of me wanted to just go all-in, but he had a pretty bad beat a few hands earlier. I didn't think he'd want to put in the whole stack, but 12,800 seemed like it was around the number that he'd have to call even if he thought he was beat. He tanked for a long time and even called out my hand. He said, “Do you have ace-nine?” I didn't say anything of course. He's my friend but this is a poker tournament. He called, and I showed him my hand.

I guess the moral of the story is, play the player. If you know that someone is going to pay you off, get the most of it. Some other players may have checked the river in my position. What for? He's never betting. You want to get paid. If you're playing against someone like Ben Lamb who is obviously a good player, but also has a big aggro factor, he could float two streets and ship it on the river. He's someone you could check to. The guy I was playing in this hand was never going to bet the river. He was calling with a showdown hand. So again, just play the player.

Hachem has made Day 2 of the Epic Poker League Main Event with 62,000 in chips. Follow the live updates for more on this event.

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