Sign Up For Card Player's Newsletter And Free Bi-Monthly Online Magazine

Final Table Takedown: David Peters Gets Sneaky On The Turn and Shares ICM Strategy as a Massive Chipleader

by Craig Tapscott |  Published: Dec 21, 2016


David Peters was born in Toledo, Ohio and has been playing poker for 11 years. For most of those years he has proven to be a major force in both the online and live poker scene. In 2010 he had a breakout year finishing second in a $1,000 WSOP event, first in the PokerStars NAPT Los Angeles $5,000 heads-up event, second in the EPT Monte Carlo $5,000 six-max event, fourth in the WSOP Europe $2,500 six-max, and several other final tables.

This year Peters has been nothing short of phenomenal. He won a WSOP bracelet in a $1,500 event, a $25,000 Bellagio event, the PokerStars Sunday Million, and chopped the $250,000 Aussie Millions High Roller.

Peters has also had a stellar year in high roller cashes in 2016. He began the year with a second-place finish for $2,300,000 at the WPT National-Philippines $200,000 buy-in event, then won the 2016 Asia Championship of Poker and the Aria 50K High Roller in November. Peters has more than $18 million in combined live and online career cashes.

Event: 2016 Asia Championship of Poker
Players: 71 • Entry: $32,224 • First Prize: $635,076 •  Finish: 1st

Key Concepts: Final table money bubble; Disguising the strength of your hand on the turn; Hand reading

Craig Tapscott: Share a little about your thoughts on big stack play and what kind of shifts and adjustments you make while being the chippleader.

David Peters: Being the big stack is a very nice luxury, as you can be the one putting people at risk for their tournament life. And you can take chances to aggressively accumulate chips and not be risking your tournament. Whereas the shorter stacks have to constantly put consideration into moving up pay jumps and kind of waiting people out. The chip leader can definitely take advantage of that. Very large bubbles and large pay jumps are a big factor in tournament poker, so it’s huge being able to put yourself in a position to be the one taking advantage of that, as opposed to being the one that has to try and play tight and hope other people bust. If you’re able to find yourself in a position like I was in, then it can make things much smoother when everyone has to play tight and you can constantly find yourself in very profitable situations to keep acquiring chips.

Chidwick raises to 100,000 from the hijack position. Peters raises to 280,000 from the cutoff holding JDiamond Suit JHeart Suit. Chidwick calls.

Flop: 10Diamond Suit 6Club Suit 6Spade Suit (pot: 670,000)

Chidwick checks. Peters bets 220,000. Chidwick calls.

Turn: 6Diamond Suit (pot: 1,110,000)

Chidwick checks. Peters checks.

CT: What’s up with the check?

DP: I felt a lot of good things could happen with a check here. It disguises my hand and can induce bluffs on the river from a lot of hands. In addition it controls the pot for when he does have 10-10 or a slow played overpair. It’s also going to be tough to get a turn bet and river shove from worse hands, especially given it’s the bubble. So I decided to try and get my one street of value on the river instead. This is a spot where both options are fine and this time I decided to go with a check.

River: 10Club Suit (pot: 1,110,000)

Chidwick bets 800,000.

CT: Easy call, right?

DP: Yes. Very easy.

Peters calls. Chidwick reveals 3Heart Suit 3Spade Suit. Peters wins the pot of 2,710,000.

DP: He was trying to fold me off a chop.

CT: He’s tricky. Stephen is a very accomplished player. This must have been a confidence booster for you.

DP: I agree. This was definitely one of the turning points of the tournament, especially taking the chips away from a great player like Stephen. In retrospect, I was happy with my turn decision and the check likely made me a lot of chips in the hand which extended my chip lead.

Key Concepts: Big stack play; Independent Chip Model (ICM); Pot control

CT: When you came into this final table did you have a specific game plan you were looking to follow or at least use as a guideline?

DP: Coming into the final table I had a big chip lead and there were a lot of short stacks. My plan was to apply pressure and put people in tough spots knowing that people were going to want to wait for others to bust and move up the pay jumps. I was able to maintain that chip lead, so I was playing very aggressively throughout the day.

CT: Set this hand up for us.

DP: Well I’m in the small blind and…

Peters raises to 240,000 from the small blind holding 9Spade Suit 2Spade Suit.

DP: I decided to raise into Artem’s big blind given the ICM implications of the situation.

CT: Can you break that down for me a little further in regards to the ICM.

DP: In this hand, Artem was in a position where there were two other short stacks and I had a very large lead. He’s going to have to proceed fairly cautiously. He can’t play as wide of hand ranges or call down as light postflop as he could normally; because of how important moving up the pay jumps were. The bigger my chip lead is, the less likely it is that he’s going to be able to actually win the tournament, making it more and more important to move up the pay jumps.

Hypothetically, let’s say I had 100 big blinds and he made a big river call all-in and doubled up through me. It doesn’t really mean much and only really increases his chances of getting second. But with the current stacks he was already in a good position to get to heads-up. So battling with me shouldn’t really be a very high priority while those other guys are so short. And because of this, I can have looser ranges and play more aggressively to put him in tough situations.

Metalidi calls in the big blind.

Flop: 9Diamond Suit 8Spade Suit 4Club Suit (pot: 520,000)

Peters checks. Metalidi bets 300,000.

CT: Why no continuation bet? You flopped top pair, what more could you want?

DP: (Laughs) I decided to check this flop, to pot control and disguise my hand. He’s going to have plenty of 9-X in his range and hands with good equity, so I’m not really looking to build a huge pot.

CT: So you checked top pair. What do I know?

DP: (Laughs) You’re going to want to have some top pairs and other good hands in your checking range, as you don’t want to be too predictable, so this is a good candidate.
Peters calls.

Turn: 5Diamond Suit (pot: 1,120,000)

Peters checks. Metalidi checks.

River: 7Heart Suit (pot: 1,120,000)

Peters checks. Metalidi bets 700,000.

CT: What hands can he be betting for value on the river?

DP: On the river it’s a clear check on my end. Now I have to think about what hands I think he’d take this line with. He doesn’t need to have a straight to value bet here, but I think he’d basically always bet the turn with all sets and two pairs. He is also unlikely to bet 300,000 on the flop with 8-7 too often. So the only non-straight hand it could be is 9-7 and even that I think would check flop a decent amount in this situation.

CT: But could he actually have hit the straight?

DP: Well I have to think of what straights he could have. I would expect 7-6 to almost always bet turn, especially given all the possible semi-bluffs he can have. I don’t think a bare six like K-6 is betting the flop very often. It could be 9-6. But I have a nine and he would sometimes check the flop and might not have the offset combos preflop. The same thing if he is holding 10-6. I would think J-10 is going to bet turn with a high frequency. But if we are going to say he checks turn with J-10 a good amount, then that means he checks the turn with Q-10 and Q-J a good amount as well. And then hands such as K-J and K-10 that have two overs and backdoor straight draws on the flop are hands that might not want to continue betting turn as it didn’t turn any equity. And now they have no showdown value on the river. So all in all, I thought he was bluffing often enough, so I…

Peters calls. Metalidi reveals QDiamond Suit JHeart Suit. Peters wins the pot of 2,520,000.

CT: Wow. Great call.

DP: Thanks. I appreciate that. ♠