When you’re second in chips up against the chip leader, many people would argue that it’s a good opportunity to apply pressure and use your stack size to get your opponent to fold strong hands. Others might argue that it could be suicide because your tournament life could be on the line. In the first few minutes on Day 4 of the PokerStars.net North American Poker Tour Los Angeles Main Event, second in chips Micah Raskin ran an all-in bluff against chip leader Chris DeMaci. It turned out that this was suicide for Raskin. DeMaci now has the chip lead going into the final table, and he sat down with PokerNews to talk about the hand.
Blinds: 12,000-24,000 with a 2,000 ante
Preflop Action: Micah Raskin raised to 60,000 and Chris DeMaci three-bet. Raskin flatted.
What did you know about this player before the hand?
We had just started playing, and I think it was the fourth hand. He showed up late, so he missed the first one. I’d played with him in another tournament here, which I think was a $10,000 buy-in. He was really tight preflop. I didn’t really think he was capable of something like this. Come to find out after he busted, this is commonplace for him, apparently.
If you thought he was tight preflop, why three-bet ace-ten?
Because I think I can get him to fold a lot of hands. Or if he has something like nines, he probably flats preflop since we both have about 100 big blinds, and if it comes king-queen-two, I’m going to win every time.
Flop Action: The flop came . Raskin checked. Demaci bet 181,000 and Raskin raised to 400,000. DeMaci reraised to 725,000, and Raskin called.
Why did you decide to continuation bet this flop?
Because we’re so deep. If it was someone else and they only had 35 big blinds or less, I might check. Against him, I want to start building a pot to play for stacks with a hand as strong as mine.
After he check-raised a little more than minimum, how does his hand range change?
I’m pretty sure at this point he doesn’t have pocket jacks. I was thinking though that he had a hand strong enough that he wanted to go with whether it was a ten, king-jack of clubs, or king-queen of clubs because I can see him flatting with those hands preflop.
So because he put him on a strong hand, that’s why you decided to three-bet the flop?
Yeah, because if he has a ten, there are so many bad turn cards that can come like a king, a queen, a nine, any club. They are all big action killers. Not only would he have to slow down in the hand, but I’d definitely have to slow down, too. If he had a hand he wanted to go with, I just wanted to get it all in right there.
Turn Action: The turn is the . The board now reads . Raskin went all-in for 1,366,000. DeMaci tanked and then called. DeMaci showed and Raskin showed . The river was a meaningless , and Raskin was eliminated from the tournament.
If you thought that his range on the flop didn’t include bluffs, then what can he be shipping here for value?
Random tens. I mean, I think that if I was in his shoes, then he has to at least give me credit to have jacks, aces full, or a tens full. I’m not always going to have air. All of his value hands are crushed by that and probably drawing dead. So if you think about it, all those hands are the same type of hand, but maybe not to him. Maybe in his mind, one might be stronger than the other.
Do you think it was a blowup?
I don’t know how you have a blowup four hands into the day. I just think that he thought I was really trying to mess with him. I was probably going to, but I guess he just picked a really bad spot. There’s no reason to put in 100 big blinds, no reason on earth.
So you have the chip lead going into the final table. How do you feel?
I feel pretty good. It’s a tough table, but I’m pretty comfortable. I’ve met a lot of these guys before so I’m not really worried about it.
If you want a step by step picture blog about that hand, you can find it on the PokerNews Live Reporting blog, or you can also check out an video interview he did shortly after the hand took place.
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