Hand Review: Christoph Vogelsang on His Big Call to Win the SHRB
The feared German crew is the talk of the poker world at the moment after going through the Poker Masters series, covered here on PokerNews, like a collective wrecking ball, taking everyone's money and heading back across the pond.
Christoph Vogelsang wasn't the one doing damage at the ARIA Resort & Casino over the last week-and-a-half, but he already raked in his share when he won the $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl there at the beginning of the summer for a cool $6 million.
Last week in this space, Vogelsang ran down his thought process during a huge hand against Justin Bonomo that saw the German eliminate the American and take control of a stack that trailed only that of chip leader Jake Schindler.
Well, Schindler and Vogelsang wound up heads up for the title, and while many tournaments end with a big stack dominating and finishing off a shorter opponent, that wasn't the case here. Vogelsang battled back to take the lead, then the final hand proved a memorable one as Schindler executed a daring all-in bluff that Vogelsang picked off when both players had pretty deep stacks.
After Vogelsang and I discussed his clash with Bonomo, he agreed to go over his thought process against Schindler in that climactic hand, as well as to share some thoughts on how the 30-second action timers and time extension chips affect play.
PokerNews: Can you set up the dynamic of the heads-up match between you and Jake? How was it playing out leading up to the final hand?'
Vogelsang: I think it was a really interesting game. I feel Jake had a lot of good hands preflop in general. He probably won more of the medium-sized pots and then I sucked out on the river [laughs]. That's kind of how the heads up went.
That's definitely how I remember it. He had a lot of big hands but you made a lot of big hands on the river. In the last pot, he limped while you checked when you were about 80 big blinds deep. He then bet twice and called your check-raise on a board. What sort of hands are you thinking he has when he's taken this line?
It's a limped pot, so I'm not going to have hands like ace-ten, I guess. He also is not supposed to have an overpair very often. He's going to bet for value with a ten and two pair [or better]. He's going to bet some bluffs which can be pure bluffs or open-enders, flush draws. He can be quite wide.
Once he calls my check-raise, he's supposed to have either a ten, two pair, or a draw.
You bet 2.3 million into a pot of 3.5 million when the hits on the river. He shoves the river for 6.2 million. You don't have any more time extensions. What was your immediate thought? I'm sure you had to think pretty fast in this spot.
Yeah, I was unsure what to do. You can see it in my reaction when he shoves the river. It's difficult for him to have any blockers, I feel. He could go all in with a weak ten as a bluff that he doesn't want to call. So, I guess with ten-seven I block those. I don't know.
It was a difficult situation. I got 3-to-1 I guess. I took until the very last second to make up my mind and called.
I remember a situation [earlier] where he overbet and I had pocket fives. I used a time bank and folded, and I was very unsure and I made the wrong decision. Here, I was completely unsure as well and I guess I got lucky and made the right decision.
You have to ask yourself, does he really go for the bluff here? Again, he bluff-raised the river earlier one time when I bet the river very small as a bluff.
Do you think when you don't have any more time banks, opponents are more likely to try to bluff you?
Oh, that's a good question. I should think about that. I'm not sure. Yeah, possibly. It depends. Some people probably like to call when they are under pressure and have little time, and other people are more likely not to want to make a mistake.
I don't think I'm afraid to make a mistake. If I think I should call and it looks stupid, I'll go for it. I don't think it would affect his frequency of bluffing.
More and more tournaments are using the timers these days. It's not like it used to be where it was only $25Ks and $50Ks — now $10Ks and even WPT Main Events are going to the "action clock." How does the timer affect a player like yourself who is known as a more deliberate player?
I think the time bank can affect the play insofar as you can't take too much time very often. If you want to make a read on the river against someone who is not playing poker professionally, you only have 30 seconds to do so. So, I think it makes that part of poker — reading body language — slightly more difficult.
You always have to decide, do I want to use my time bank for this decision? In general, I feel whenever you need it, just use it. Don't be afraid to, in the worst case, run out of time banks as I did in this Super High Roller Bowl. Because you never know, you might bust, and if you don't have many left or you run out, you can still play.