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World Poker Tour Tunica 2007 - Day Three

A difficult laydown

by Daniel Negreanu |  Published: May 09, 2007

On day three, I thought I had great vision and was able to read my opponents extremely well. My flow was excellent, as I was bobbing and weaving, dodging bullets, and hanging tough despite not hitting too many flops.

My stack size was suffering a bit. With the blinds at $2,000-$4,000, I was sitting on about $185,000. Since we were down to three tables, my table had just seven players at it. In early position, I was dealt the Q 10. With the amount of chips I had, a steal-raise was a little risky from that position, so I thought I'd continue to go with the flow and decided to limp in. I'd already limped in several times during the day, so it wasn't all that strange for me to make this play. My opponents had seen me do it with Q-Q, A-K, and a few weak hands, as well.

From late position, Victor Ramdin also limped in, and another tricky player, Kido Pham, limped in from the small blind. The big blind checked and four of us took the flop: A Q 6. Both blinds checked to me, and with Victor behind me, I decided to check, also. If my hand was good on the flop, it was unlikely that a free card on the turn would be one that beat me. Victor checked.

The turn was the 6. Kido quickly threw out a bet of $20,000. The big blind folded, and it was up to me. My instincts were telling me that Kido was just trying to pick up this pot. Something about the way he bet the hand made me think he was on a pure steal attempt. The thing is, I didn't exactly have a lot of chips. If I raised him, I'd be almost pot-committed. I elected to just call and see if Victor would get frisky and/or what Kido would do on the river.

Victor went into the tank for quite a while. The more he thought, the more I believed he had an ace or a queen. He finally folded, and Kido and I went to the river, which was the 5. That card completed a backdoor flush, so if Kido was on a semibluff with a flush draw, he'd now have me beat.

Kido started messing around with his chips, thinking about what he wanted to do. Now, Kido and I had some history: In a Bellagio event back in 2004, which I went on to win, Kido attempted a huge river bluff against me and I made the call. He was a little dumbfounded by my call at the time, and it appeared to me that while he was fumbling with his chips, he was thinking about that hand.

He finally asked me, "How much you have there?" I told him about $160,000. He was one of the chip leaders at the time, so while losing $160,000 in chips would put a dent in his stack, it was a risk he could take, and also one that wouldn't cripple him. He finally declared himself all in.

I looked over at him, and it appeared to me that he might be bluffing here. Now, I know he doesn't have simply an ace, so my queen is just as good as having A-K in this situation. He either was bluffing, had a 6, had made a flush, or was sitting there with a full house.

I wanted to call him so badly, but this potentially could be an extremely foolish call. With $160,000 in chips and the blinds at just $2,000-$4,000, I could still make a comeback and win this tournament. Besides, maybe Kido was doing the reverse on me, trying to make it look like a bluff, but actually having the nuts.

I finally decided that I just couldn't risk being wrong here, despite a strong urge to make the call. I folded, and Kido showed me 3-3! Wow, what a gutsy bet from Kido. He's extremely difficult to play against because of that one character trait: guts. He keeps you guessing all the time, and has the moxie to go with a read and stick with it. It was a great play on his part, but the situation was just a little too extreme for me to make what would have been an unbelievable call.

Despite losing that pot, I was still able to make it down to the final 18 in decent chip position. In fact, with just 18 players remaining, I was sitting in fifth place.