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Strategy with Kristy: Max Steinberg Talks About Busting Phil Ivey in the WSOP Main Event

Max Steinberg

Max Steinberg returns to the Strategy with Kristy podcast for Part 2 of his two-part interview discussing his incredibly successful summer. Last week, he talked about hands from the World Series of Poker National Championship and the WSOP $3,000 No-Limit Hold'em event he finished second in. This week, Steinberg talks about his Main Event and goes into depth on the hand he knocked out the legendary Phil Ivey.

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Here is a snippet from that part of the interview:

"Phil and I are both big stacks. At this point, it's late on Day 3, and I have about a half million in chips. The average chip stack was maybe about 200,000. My thoughts were that I didn't really want to get involved in any big hands because I was going to so easily be able to cash and pick up easy chips on the bubble when everyone tightens up. I had chipped up a lot since I'd gotten to the table after hitting the second nut flush against Michael Mizrachi, who called some pretty substantial bets without a flush. So that was fun.

"Phil seemed especially focused that day, and it seemed like he really wanted to do well. I found that when I had seen him play or played with him in the past, he didn't seem as focused. So he raised under the gun to 7,500 with blinds at 1,500/3,000. We were both almost 150 big blinds deep. This recreational player to my right called in the hijack, I called in the cutoff with pocket tens, and the big blind also called. The flop came {a-}{10-}{3-} with two spades. I flop middle set so I'm just fist pumping in my head. Phil bet 16,000. Obviously, he's continuation betting into four people, but he was continuation betting a lot so I didn't think too much of it. It didn't have to be that strong for him to bet here. The player to my right made it 42,000. This guy was sort of splashy. I felt with this sizing, he probably had an ace of some sort. He might have even been messing around with a low flush draw or something of that nature. Given the action so far and that I was in position, I felt like the only way to play my hand deceptively was to call. My stack was so deep that Phil and the other player could interpret my call as a flush draw. Phil might think that I reraise pocket tens preflop, so my call really doesn't look that strong. After the big blind folded, it got back around to Phil. He just went all in for 150 big blinds. It was a very big raise, especially for a tournament. The recreational player folded and I called. I showed my hand for middle set, and Phil just looked disgusted. He flipped over bottom set, and the turn and river were blanks."

For more poker strategy, make sure to tune in every week for new episodes of the Strategy with Kristy podcast. Feel free to send in questions, ideas or suggestions for the podcast to Also remember to follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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