A couple of weeks ago, I covered the $1,675 buy-in Poker Night in America at Golden Nugget event, which came down to a heads-up battle between Mike Comisso and Vinicius Lima. It was a back-and-forth affair, and ultimately Lima prevailed.
One of the hands that stuck out from that tournament was what looked like a pretty wild call from Comisso, one in which he picked off a huge bluff by Lima holding just queen-high.
I caught up with Comisso at the Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, where he was putting in a session grinding single-table satellites on a day off from World Series of Poker bracelet events. He agreed to walk me through his thought process on the hand, which arose late in their battle at a point when the players were close to even with about 2 million chips each.
PokerNews: It's heads up and he completes from the small blind at 25,000/50,000/5,000. The flop comes . You end up leading out 75,000 with . What was the reasoning behind that?
Mike Comisso: In retrospect, I don't even like my lead. At the time I was thinking that he had been limping a lot and he hadn't seen me lead yet. So part of me was like, let's just switch it up and see how he reacts to it. In retrospect, I don't even like that play necessarily.
He just completed preflop, and you guys were generally playing pretty aggressively. What was your sense of what kind of range he was limping the button with?
That was a big part of the reason I ended up calling [later in the hand]. He had shown down a few hands he had limped, and it had always been small connectors and gappers, five-four type of hands. He actually hit that board pretty hard, that's one of the reasons I probably shouldn't have led it.
The turn comes the . You check-called 140,000. It's a pretty big bet, what's your thinking there?
His sizing is what really kind of made me suspicious. He bet really big. I remember thinking, well he doesn't have that many kings in his range. If he had bet smaller I might have just folded right there, because he could rep or .
He bet so big which polarized him, meaning he had either a really good hand or a really bad hand. What hands does he have? He doesn't have , he would have raised that preflop. Even would have been a raise or . Why is that turn so exciting for him that he's betting so big? Queen-high might still be ahead here, so I went ahead and made the call.
On the river, it's the . Two flush draws miss and a lot of straight draws miss. He fires huge, 475,000 into 540,000. That sent you into the tank. That's a big bet — was that what you were thinking about?
Yeah, same thought process as on the turn. I don't think he really has these big value hands he's trying to rep. He would have raised high cards preflop, unless he was trapping. If he's trapping, I'm just beat. Small chance he has a lower two pair like . Basically it comes down to either he missed a straight draw or some kind of flush draw and doesn't have a pair — because he would want to check back a lot of stuff that has me beat — or he has a big trap or two pair. When you run the math, there's a lot more combos of missed draws.
To be honest, I kind of wanted to call quickly. I remember thinking, this is going to be on TV. If I make this call and I'm wrong, I'm gonna look like the biggest idiot on the planet.
That was my next question — how does being on TV change things?
It really does. That's the reason it took me so long. After 30 seconds if you watch it on TV, you can kind of see me twitching because I wanted to just flick the call in. But I was like, oh my God if you're wrong, Phil Hellmuth's gonna say you blew up.
Was there a timing aspect to the read? He fired in there pretty quickly.
Yep, along with the big sizing, I felt like he was just over-repping and I feel like he just missed a straight draw.
Where does that rank among the most memorable hands you've played?
Number one by far. I've never made a call that sick. It's tough to call with queen-high.