Analyzing Ian Drake's Stunning Heads-Up Comeback Versus Rodrigo Selouan
Table Of Contents
On Sunday, August 27, high stakes up-and-comer Ian Drake captured his first $5,200 Titans Title on PokerStars. Drake, who married his fiancee the day before, overcame a stacked final table for the perfect wedding present and battled back from an eight-to-one heads-up deficit versus Brazil's Rodrigo Selouan.
Drake, who lives on the Isle of Man, is not a professional player but has been mixing it up on the virtual felt with some of poker's biggest names the last few months and has posted several five-figure scores on various platforms in high-roller events.
And his latest eye-catching performance prompted railbirds to comment, "Insane heads up", "The best HU I [have] ever seen," and "Holy s***, what a heads up."
So PokerNews caught up with Drake, who broke down some of his heads-up hands that saw him grab the $87,003 first-place prize.
|1||Ian "Drakeylfc" Drake||Isle of Man||$87,003|
|2||Rodrigo "SELOUAN1991" Selouan||Brazil||$62,697|
|3||Leon "RUMUKULUS" Sturm||Germany||$45,182|
|5||Ole "wizowizo" Schemion||Germany||$27,464|
|6||Rodrigo "seijistar" Seiji||Brazil||$16,907|
|7||Yuri "theNERDguy" Dzivielevski||Brazil||$12,185|
Drake Gets Dream River
Heads-up starts from 1:03:49
"I'm still learning to compete at this level, but very pleased to come away with a win in a field full of absolute crushers," said Drake. "This is only my second time heads up in a Titans event, but I try to be selectively aggressive, especially in position."
Selouan, his heads-up opponent, had crushed the entire final table and looked destined to win. But a few small pots and then a double-up breathed some life into Drake's stack.
"I limped in from the button with 8♥3♥. I am playing 70%+ in position heads up. This one is borderline, and if it were unsuited, I fold the hand," explained Drake.
The 5♥3♦2♥ flop gave Drake a pair on the flush draw, and he continued with a bet of 1.06 big blinds, which was just under half of the pot.
"I continue, targeting all of the hands that Selouan will float with and bet for value with our pair and draw. Selouan called, and the turn is Q♣. I continue again with a half-pot bet for value. Selouan has a lot of Qx and drawing hands in this spot."
Selouan raised to 7.31 big blinds which Drake called, leaving with just under 25 big blinds ahead of the 3♠ river.
"I face a 3.5x raise on the turn and in this spot, I am happy to call and put Selouan on a lot of Qx here. I would expect him to hope that we perceive this raise as a draw of some kind and I expect to see a lot of river jams regardless of the river. When I call, I imagine he puts me on straight and flush draws."
"With the river, all of the draws missed, and we have very little 3x here most of the time. He shoves, confident his pair of queens is good, which most of the time it would be, but unlucky for him, I ran well and called with trip threes to narrow the gap."
"The most important takeaway here is range, including the perceived range and the line we've both taken. We are essentially trying to tell a story that we want our opponents to believe with the line we take. It helps when the cards present themselves in the way that they did, but it is important to adapt and change your approach if you need to, based on the runout.
The hand discussed above takes place at 1:10:52.
Taking the Lead
A few hands later and with only a two-to-one deficit, Drake opened 6♠5♠ from the button to 2.5 big blinds and called when Selouan made it 8.5 big blinds.
On the 10♠3♠2♣ flop, Selouan continued for 11.7 big blinds and Drake called with his combo draw. The 4♥ turn gave Drake the straight and action checked through to the 10♦ river. Selouan then decided to move all in with his K♣4♦, and Drake quickled called off for his last 33 big blinds to win the pot and take the chip lead.
"Preflop, I'm trying to mix up my opening strategy, from limping to raising and going with differing raise sizes," said Drake. "My hand is very playable post-flop heads-up, so I'm happy to call the three-bet here."
"I faced a big bet, which i chose to call. He has a lot of Ax, Kx, QxJx and Jx10x sort of hands here, and I'm not sure he would take this line with premium hands, including over pairs."
"I have a lot of equity with our draws, and it's very easy for Selouan to put us on single pair hands here plus flush draws if we call."
"My thinking here is that on future streets with our perceived range and a healthy amount of equity, and if one of our draws completes, it would be perfectly logical for him to bet to continue and bluff to represent strong hands, including overpairs which would be consistent with his preflop three-bet."
"The turn is beautiful and completed our straight for the nuts on the turn. It goes check-check. Our story is still solid in that we are happy to check down with draws and weak-paired hands. The river brings another ten, and due to the line I've taken, I don't have many tens in my range."
"He jams the river and is probably aware that I have many more hands that would fold than call. The only hands I'm calling for my tournament life are 10x holdings, Ax5x and full houses. I guess his shove is logical and represents made hands, such as trips and overpairs, which would be consistent with his pre-flop line."
Selouan Refuses to be Beaten
"After this hand, I pick up some small pots, run well when I need to, and all of a sudden, I have Selouan on the ropes with only two big blinds," commented Drake.
"Three hands later, he is somehow back up to 25 big blinds, and before I know it, I am behind. There are definitely some leaks I need to work on here, and due to a sheer lack of experience at this level and at this stage of the tournament, Selouan is back in a comfortable position, and I have our work cut out again."
"We went back and forth again a few times, both winning some small pots, but importantly, I ran well in the non-all-in but sizeable pots, and I went on to take the lead again."
Drake Gets Sneaky with Aces
On the final hand of the tournament, Selouan limped in from the button, and Drake looked down at A♥A♦ and opted to check.
The 10♥7♣4♦ flop checked through to the K♥ turn. Drake then led for half pot before calling a raise from his opponent.
"After a dry flop, I'm praying the king on the turn is good news for Selouan and decide to lead for half pot. He raised, which smells of a king, considering I have the A♥ which blocks hands like A♥Jx. I'd also expect hands like that to raise preflop as well."
"His turn raise represents Kx, QxJx and flush draws. He's also not limped pre-flop with strong hands. So, hands like KxQx I can all but rule out, and a hand like Kx10x, I would expect to bet the flop. I'm confident he has a king and decided to call again."
"The river is the Q♠, and Selouan leads for half pot. Ace-jack gets there, but I have ruled that out, along with king-queen and king-ten. Jack-nine is possible, but would a raise on the turn with J9 make sense? Probably not, unless it was J♥9♥. I give that holding some consideration before making an informed decision that this hand is Kx a lot of the time, and we shove for all of it."
"With my shove, I'm trying to sell a dodgy story about somehow getting there with something on the river. He calls with K♠3♠, and I secure the victory."
Drake's final notes:
"I've never done anything like this before and definitely have imposter syndrome when it comes to explaining my thought process."
"My way of thinking certainly has its flaws, and my game is by no means the finished article yet, but wins like this give me confidence and determination to continue to work to be able to compete with these legends."
"I hope I made some sense in my logic; ultimately, I have good cards and running well to thank for this win."
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Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum's proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.