Mikhail Smirnov Mucks Quads In $1 Million Event
Phil Galfond Says He's Never Seen Anything Like It
Phil Galfond just witnessed the unthinkable.
“I’ve never seen a fold like that, absolutely not,” the cash game pro said.
At around 5 p.m. local time during the fourth blind level, Galfond was present to see his table mate in the $1 million buy-in WSOP event, Russian semi-pro Mikhail Smirnov, fold quads on the river to an all-in bet.
According to Smirnov, the action started with Tom Dwan opening to 32,000. Smirnov called from the small blind with the 8 8, and businessman John Morgan called from the big blind.
The flop fell J 8 7. Smirnov bet 50,000, Morgan called quickly, and Dwan folded.
The 8 hit the turn. Smirnov bet 200,000. Morgan called instantly.
Smirnov said Morgan looked very excited on the turn.
The K landed on the river, and Smirnov bet 700,000, which was more than the pot of 600,000. Morgan thought about it briefly and then shoved for about 3.4 million total, which was about the size of Smirnov’s stack. Smirnov folded the quads face up.
“For me, it was a very easy fold,” Smirnov said. “If he had two kings before the flop he would have re-raised Dwan, because he’s been active and raising a lot. So, two kings was impossible. Two jacks, in theory, was possible.”
Smirnov said that he thought jacks full of eights wouldn’t have been such a confident shove on the river. “He was like all-in, no problem. Before he had been playing very carefully and tight.”
According to his logic, Morgan would have the 10 9.
The size of the buy-in was not a factor in the decision, Smirnov said. He added that Morgan seemed visibly upset after the hand, giving more validity to the fold.
“I personally couldn’t have done it,” Galfond said. “I’d lose sleep. But, I think it was a reasonable fold actually. There are definitely very few hands John could have had that weren’t a straight flush. Jacks full was probably the one that made the most sense, other than a straight flush.”
According to Galfond, the table erupted once the quads were shown. Dwan left the table in disbelief.
Smirnov, who has a Ph.D in economics, is a regular in huge cash games in Russia.
On Tuesday, more than $18 million will go to the last man standing in the 48-player field.
Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus
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