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888Live London Main Event Winner Tom Hall Analyzes Early Decision

Tom Hall
  • Before winning the 888Live London Main Event, Tom Hall faced a tough decision at the start of his run.

  • Watch 888Live London Main Event champion Tom Hall break down a tricky hand from early in the event.

Tom Hall didn't register the 888Live London Festival Main Event until the start of Day 2, just before the option to jump in had closed. His late start nearly became an early finish thanks to a difficult spot in one of the first hands he played.

Fortunately for Hall he was able to survive that early challenge, then after spinning his stack up on Day 2 would go on the next day to win the tournament and earn a £78,888 first prize for topping the 427-entry field.

888Live London Main Event Winner Tom Hall Analyzes Early Decision 101
Tom Hall, 888Live London Main Event champion

Thanks to registering late, Hall began with a short stack of just 15 big blinds. Moments after sitting down, the following situation arose for Hall on just the second hand he played.

As Hall explains in the video below, a player limped from under the gun as did the small blind, then he looked down at {A-}{5-} in the big blind and decided just to check. It was a spot where he might have gone ahead and got his chips in the middle, but as he says he didn't want to do so as the UTG player could have been trapping.

The flop fell {A-}{8-}{9-} and it checked around, then a {2-} fell on the turn. The small blind led for 3,200 (about one-third of the pot) and Hall called, then the UTG player raised to 8,000 and the small blind folded.

"I'm not really sure about this spot," says Hall. "I think we have the best hand a lot, and we are very underrepped," he adds, making the case for why he decided to call and leave himself 19,000 (or about nine big blinds).

The river was a blank, and after Hall checked his opponent bet 15,000, putting him to a tough test.

What would you do? Find out what Hall did and listen to how he estimates his opponent's range in this spot and how that preflop limp from UTG also affected his analysis of the situation.

Hall would speak with PokerNews again following his win — his winning hand (coincidentally) being {A-Clubs}{5-Hearts} — discussing at length the heads-up portion of the tournament and again addressing short-stacked strategy (and again pointing back to the hand discussed above). Click here and take a look.

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