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Hand 2 Hand Combat: Telling Tales With Anton Wigg

by Rebecca McAdam |  Published: Apr 01, 2012

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Anton WiggAnton Wigg: It’s day 2 against Patrik Kaltrud, a very aggressive, Norwegian player. He has about 150,000 in chips and I’m sitting with about 120,000 at 800-1,600 with a 200 ante. I make it 4,500 from the SB [small blind] and he calls in the BB [big blind].

Rebecca McAdam: Did you have an idea of what kind of range he had at this point?

AW: It’s really wide. We are very deep and he has position and a bigger stack. Not any two cards but a very wide range of combos at this point. Something like all decent connected hands and all high semi-connected hands and some Kx and Qx suited. I think he’s three-betting all of his really strong hands here.

Heads-up to the flop: QDiamond Suit 7Spade Suit 6Club Suit

Wigg checks, Kaltrud bets 5,200, and Wigg calls.

RM: What are your thoughts behind your check?

AW: I check for several reasons. First I don’t like to build a huge pot with a decent top pair. On that dry a board I don’t think he will go completely crazy, so if a lot of money goes in I’m probably behind. But by checking to an opponent who’s this aggressive I’ll manage to control the size of the pot and get him to put money in with bluffs.

RM: Surely if he had a monster he wouldn’t put a lot of money in anyway?

AW: Well most of his monsters are fairly vulnerable two pairs like 7-6, Q-7 suited and Q-6 suited. With those I’m sure he would like to raise to protect his hand and build a bigger pot.

RM: Do you think that your opponent should also be wary of your check with a flop like that and your raise preflop?

AW: Well I think his perception of me is that I’m very aggressive, but I don’t think he knows that I sometimes make what I like to call an aggressive check like this.

RM: What are you thinking he has here?

AW: He still has the same range. I think he’s betting most of his missed hands here, all gutshots, open enders, top pairs+ and maybe some second pairs, but I think he’s more likely to check back weak pairs.

RM: So you call. Have you a plan for the turn?

AW: To evaluate and make a new decision based on what comes.

Turn: 4Diamond Suit

Wigg checks, Kaltrud checks.

RM: What does his check here say to you? In your mind do you think he is slowing down because you check-called the flop and he doesn’t know where he stands… or because of the flush draw…?

AW: I’m now very confident I have the best hand. He would bet everything that had me beat on this turn and check back all his weaker one-pair hands and a lot of bluffs that are giving up at this point.

River: AHeart Suit

AW: I bet for value, I decided to go fairly small to induce him to go crazy. So I bet 8,900.

RM: Do you think he will still try to bluff and buy the pot… or were you afraid at all that he would just fold because he slowed down so much on the turn?

AW: Some of the time. My line is almost never a very strong hand but also almost never a complete bluff the way the hand has played out. It’s hard for me to get to the river without having at least a weak pair or an Ax type hand, and my small bet is also a value bet against 7x and 6x hands. But the biggest reason I bet small is because at this point, with how I perceive him, a raise from his side just doesn’t make sense. He would three-bet A-J+ and only raise A-J+ or two pairs on the river, and he would bet all two pairs on the turn. So if he raises he’s only representing Ax two pairs and I don’t think he would bet A-6 or A-4 on the flop. So what we are left with is A-7. And the occasional A-4 and A-6. Those are the hands he can go for value with.

I intend to call very fast, not to disrespect him, but if I’m right it sends a very clear message to the table and gives me a very good image for the rest of the day.

RM: Ok good, these are pivotal moments!

AW: Indeed, I’m just happy I was zoned in thinking about all this as the hand plays out.

RM: Was there anything he could do to make you fold here or is it too late?

AW: That ship sailed. Like I said, if he raises here he’s representing a very slim range, and a big range of last minute bluffs.

Kalturd thinks and then makes it 27,000. Wigg snap calls.

AW: He shows J-8 off-suit, and I can see the table raising some eyebrows and giving me some surprised looks. But when you have the information I had the hand makes a lot more sense. It’s just a very good way of making a statement that will enable me to get some free chips later on.

RM: He must have really thought you didn’t have anything.

AW: That or he thought he could get me off a decent hand like Qx or even Ax but he missed to see the hand from my perspective.

RM: I don’t know how he didn’t stop to think about what you could possibly have, especially as he had nothing at all.

AW: I’m guilty of doing this from time to time too. You just really want to win the pot with any means necessary, so you miss the fact that against a thinking player you need to tell a story that makes sense in the end.

RM: Well how did play go after this… obviously well…

AW: Yeah, this hand enabled me to steal a bit more and get in less complicated spots since people didn’t try to bluff me as much. So I could comfortably steal a lot of small pots and build my stack up. It’s an interesting hand, but I chose to discuss it because it really shows how important momentum and a good image is in live tourneys.

RM: Definitely! Who knows, if you didn’t play the hand this way you never know what might have happened.

AW: I’ve always been fascinated by the butterfly-effect in tournaments.

RM: And in life.

AW: Even more so in life. It’s just easier to break it down in tournaments [smiles].

RM: Was there any struggle from this point to the top?

AW: I got really short just before the bubble, but managed to fight back. And those extra 27,000 chips kept me alive.

RM: By the way do you know what happened Patrik Kaltrud?

AW: Yeah, I checked — he cashed for DKK 60,000 for 45th.

RM: Not bad, so you didn’t put him on total tilt.

AW: [Laughs] No, he could take it. ♠

Anton Wigg went on to take down the European Poker Tour Copenhagen for his first EPT main event title, the trophy, the glory, and a nice payday of €493,754. The fun-loving, young Swede has more than $2.4 million in lifetime winnings and is a dangerous opponent whether in cash games, at the virtual felt, or as seen here, in live tournaments.