Wednesday, November 19, 2008

WSOP ME Final Hand Thought

I finally watched the TV coverage of the delayed WSOP ME FT. I thought the coverage was pretty good this year, yet you still do not really get a good sense of the table with the limited amount of hands shown. Peter Eastgate who was supposedly aggressive, was really just catching cards and setting up sick traps during the bulk of the coverage. If those were all the hands that were played, you could classify him as weak/luck-sac, but that is not really how he plays. Its just not great TV showing a raise preflop taking the pot down.

The final hand was pretty interesting to me, and I think there is a very good situational lesson that can be learned here. I am going to forget about the preflop/flop action as it is not that important. We are heads up for the championship and the hands are 42 vs. A5 with A5 in position. Going into the turn, 42 was drawing to 2-pair or runner straight on the flop, and was already paired in a heads-up situation. A5 was drawing to an over and a gutshot, and held an Ace in a heads-up situation. Both can obviously get to the turn card on this hand, and in this case it completes the straight for A5 and the two-pair for 42. So the hidden two-pair checks to trap from out of position, and the made straight bets a smallish 2 million. All standard plays. 42 then drops the check-raise to 6 million, committing a good portion of his stack. So Eastgate is in position on the check-raiser, on the turn, with a very strong hand heads-up. This is the key situation. He either can push or call, and I would say a bunch of people push here figuring the Russian is pot committed and can't fold. I really like the smooth call here, and that's what Eastgate did. Being in position, all you need to worry about is an obvious scare card for your opponent. After the river drops, 42 is either going to check or open push. A smaller bet would be awkward based on stack sizes. An open push and you make the easy call. If 42 checks, you think/push and 42 will pretty much have to call if they have anything, because the open/call the check raise on the turn with the push over a check on the river looks a lot like a big stack bluff. So 42 is pretty doomed there, but lets think more about his range than the specific hand. When he check raises for close to 1/2 of his stack on the turn, he pretty much must have something made with the lack of draws out there. It might not be super strong though. He might figure he has a good enough hand here to make a major move, but not enough to end the tournament. Let them get to the river in a situation like this so they can properly hang themselves.

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At 9:10 AM, Blogger $mokkee said...

I followed most of the final table coverage live on BluffTV's audio stream.

Eastgate did catch cards and played very well. He was never all-in for his tournament life through all the coverage i saw on ESPN and what i followed at the final table. Although, i'm sure he must've been at least once or twice through earlier stages of the tournament. But, that was never shown.

To have two guys shove with air into him at the final table after he hits a set (Phillips) and boat (Schwartz) tells you he's playing well.

BTW, Demidov had 2-4 on the final hand not 3-2.


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