Inside the Poker Tour (17)
As some of you know I work on television shows for Fox Sports Net, the Game Show Network, and other networks as well, both minor and major ones. This year it ripped up my World Series of Poker intentions as I was only able to play Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays because the WSOP went to three day events to accommodate the enormous fields and I was working for Fox on weekends in Los Angeles. So far I have only turned television down when I am out of the country or their schedule conflicts with an event on the Professional Poker Tour. I feel like someone that has given up half my career for something uncertain, and yet Karina Jett and I are the poker interface for these shows and from my perspective they need our input. This largely independent crew knows how to produce good television but woefully little about poker...which, to be brutally honest, is why I have value to them. Chris Ferguson got me this job and I am grateful...I think.
More interesting hands from the 2005 WSOP follow:
With blinds of 200-400 and a 50 dollar blind in a no-limit event a fellow we will call Old Beer limps up front and a fellow name Lucky goes all-in for 16,000 from the big blind, Old Beer calls instantly. They both have JJ and split the pot, but it is a good exercise to think about the range of possible hands for both of them. Were these actions reasonable?
Two hands later Old Beer limps for 400 and Lucky makes it 1200 on the button and Old Beer calls the raise to get heads up. The flop come AcKh3c and Old Beer leads at the pot for 1000, Lucky calls. The turn is the 7 of diamonds and Old Beer fires out 1500 and Lucky raises all-in for a huge number without hesitation. Old Beer calls his last 7300 without hesitation and turns up Kc10c while Lucky turns over AhAd and wins the pot when a 2s comes off on the river.
You can get a lot of chips by completing draws in no-limit holdem after the chips go into the center, but it is a good way to play only if you are trying to get broke.
In a limit holdem event at 300-600 blind and, most importantly, on the bubble for a payday, M picks up KhKs in first position and brings it in for a 1200 dollar raise off a 5000 dollar stack. An older guy behind him (who has acknowledged that M is playing rather tight) re-raises it to 1800. M decided to flat call and put the rest in on the flop as he is quite sure that he is against a pocket pair and that he will not win the hand by re-raising now. The pot is now 4500 and the flop comes 5h3s2c. M checks, Older bets, M (check) raises, O puts in number three, M number four, and O caps it at five bets. This leaves M with exactly 200 which he bets in the dark. O calls and it comes 9c and 4s. M was afraid that he would see AA and hopes to see QQ when the cards are turned up but it is one of each(!) AhQs and O takes the pot while M gets to be the bubble boy. Wow! Why would you risk so many chips with a hand like AQ against someone that you think is playing tight? As I sometimes say, "please do NOT tell me what he was thinking!"
In the 10,000 dollar Omaha (high only) pot limit event (as talked about in an earlier column, where all the contestants in this pot have about 5,000 in chips) M is dealt AsAd10d6s in first position at the first level (25-25 blinds, which was a standard level to start most of the events at this year at the WSOP, making the use of five dollar chips unnecessary) and made it 50 to go. One caller from mid-field and then Sammy Farha made it 225 to go from the little blind (a re-raise), the big blind called and M now makes it 950 on a re-re-raise, mid-field passes, Farha calls, and the big blind dumps it. The flop comes Ks8d2s and Farha checks, M bets 2175 (the maximum) and Farha calls. The turn is 5c and Farha checks with M going all-in and Farha calling for about 1800 each. The cards are turned up and Farha shows QcJh9h8s (a pair of 8's with not even a spade draw!). M almost fell onto the floor when he saw such a weak hand but my own speculation is that Sammy must have wanted an early out so that he could get to a bigger game. After all Sammy arrived in a limousine an hour earlier and it was still waiting for him. (PLEEEEZ do not tell me he was playing cards! This is Sammy's main game and there must have been a reason we know not of...)
How about this hand in the same pot-limit Omaha tournament, 150-300 blinds? Unknown limps in first position and Pascal (one of France's most famous players) raises to 1000 from mid-field with Barney Boatman calling him, UTG re-raises the maximum and Pascal goes all-in, Barney folds. The hands are AsAc3c9h for UTG and Jh10h9s8s for Pascal. The layout now comes 9c7d2s Kh Jc and Pascal makes a large move upward. Pascal holds an excellent gambling hand here but most players would rather see the flop before committing to the hand.
Again in this same tournament, Omaha high only, pot-limit with all three players having over 20,000 in total chips, blinds are 150-300. Pascal raises to 900 from the front and both blinds call. The flop comes 7h3s3c and both blinds check to Pascal who bets 2500, little blind dumps and big blind (Peter Costa, famous European player from England) raises it to 7500. Pascal calls. The turn is 5h and both check. The river is 10s and Peter bets out 5000 and is called. Peter shows AhQs6s4d and Pascal mucks with disgust. To elaborate on this it is obvious that Peter was making a play and got caught, but then was lucky and spiked a winner which took him off the guess as to whether he needed to continue the play with nothing on the next street by betting out. Pascal clearly had an overpair and was disgusted with what happened. The 33 on the board both emboldened Peter to make this play and froze Pascal's reaction to it.
One last hand from earlier in this event (10,000 buy-in Omaha pot limit, high only) with blinds of 100-200.
Boatman limps under the gun (UTG), and seven players (including the two blinds) take the flop for the minimum 200. The flop comes Qc5c5s and all check. The turn is 4s and all check. The river brings the As and Pascal bets 200 at the pot and Barney calls (he later states that he had two black K's with both suited, so here he held the nut flush but the board is paired and a straight flush is possible), now Bill Gazes raised it to 700 and when the action returned to Pascal he raised it three thousand more! Barney mucked and Bill goes into a long think and finally mucks AA face up! (it is one thing to talk about mucking a big hand, and another thing to actually do it) Pascal now showed 5d5h face up. Personally I almost never like to reward another player by showing them what a great laydown they just made....
Until next time play good...and get lucky!
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