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Tourbillon-Omega Charity, Interesting Hand with Durr and Markholt

by Roy Winston |  Published: Nov 13, '09


I have an event on Tuesday November 17th being held at the Toubillon watch boutique, 45 Wall St. in New York City. They feature brands such as Omega, Breguet, Blancpain, Glashütte Original, Jaquet Droz, and many more, many of their time pieces are limited edition and they are displayed in a museum like elegant atmosphere. There are several things that I really like about this event. To begin with the charity we are supporting: is a worthy cause, building a children’s hospital in Africa. Unlike most “charity” poker events, every penny raised goes to the charity. I have found that many of the so called charity events have very high overhead and the donations go to pay the expenses of those involved, with the left over scraps going to the charity. In this case the sponsor, Omega Watches, is paying all the expenses so that every dollar raised from donations reaches the charity.

What has also made this a fun event to be involved with is that my brother Michael runs this watch boutique, so doing this with him has been a good time for the two of us. It will be a small event with 40-50 players and a suggested donation of $500 per attendee, but there are good prizes, again being provided by Omega watches and not from the collected donations. If you would like more information feel free to contact me at

Another kind of cool feature of this event is that Omega watches was involved with the James Bond movie, Casino Royale, which as you remember, had a prominent poker scene. The tables, chips and cards were designed for that and are the same ones we will be using. Being a huge Bond fan since I was a kid it really appeals to me.

I was going through some old hands and came across this one from last year which caught my attention:

This hand comes from Festa Al Lago WPT main event at Bellagio in October 2008. This is a battle between two of the most gifted players in the game. Their styles are quite different, Markholt being more tight solid and Tom “Durr” Dwan plays more of a, well for lack of a better term, “Durr” style.

Facts of the Hand:

The Game or Event: WPT Main Event
Number of Players Remaining: 195
Blinds and Ante: 800/1600 200
Lee Markholt’s hand, and His Stack Size: 3s 3h 70,000
Tom Dwan’s hand, and His Stack Size: Kc Jd 101,000
Average Stack at the Table: 89,000

Breakout Section of Hand:

Pre flop action: Durr raises to 4,000 and it is folded around to Markholt in the big blind who calls.

The flop comes Qs 10s 9h Markholt and Durr both check.

The turn brings the 3c Markholt opens for 7,000 into a 10,600 pot. Durr smooth calls.

The river card is the As and Markholt checks, Durr bets 25,000 which is a full pot sized bet. Markholt calls.

The pre-flop play is fairly standard, Durr raising with a somewhat marginal hand in mid-position and Markholt in the big blind with a small pair is at least calling 100% of the time and could make a case for an occasional re-raise against an aggressive player like Durr. For a modest 1.5 big blinds and with a little luck, Markholt could get a double up here. If you think about the hands that make you the most money, it’s usually the small pairs when you flop a set, or the hands when a two card straight gives you the nuts.

On the flop, Durr is continuation betting just about anything, and Markholt with only his pocket 3’s would have either insta-folded and Durr would have won the minimum or knowing Durr’s aggressive style he could think 33 is the best hand. It is also possible that Markholt, who is a specialist in post flop play, calls the flop to float Durr and take the pot away by leading on the turn. For any player, flopping the nuts feels like you just scored, but it can be a challenge deciding how to extract the maximum amount of chips from your opponent and avoid getting your nuts busted, if you will pardon the pun. In this case against Durr’s, flop check, had to look like two pair, a set, or a straight. The reason here, is that I’m sure Durr continuation bets the flop with top pair, a mid pair, or nothing at all. For the most part, the only hand Durr is checking on the flop is an absolute monster. Markholt has to realize that the only hand he can put Durr on which he beats on the turn, is two pair, so getting away from bottom set is possible, but it’s still very tough to fold a set on that board.

I talked with Markholt about this hand and here’s what he had to say: “This is one of those hands that the universe has to align against you. When Durr checked the flop I was suspicious because he always makes a continuation bet. I was done with the hand at this point and was prepared to check fold unless something happened to change that. The 3 on the turn giving me a set of threes, which made me think I was ahead, although his smooth call gave me reason to be concerned. I still felt I was ahead but was beginning to have doubts so I check called the river because I knew I couldn’t handle a raise. Of course when I saw the nut straight it all made perfect sense.”

Many an inexperienced player would lose a much bigger pot here. You must be able to play your opponent in addition to your hand, and although he lost the hand, Lee Markholt demonstrates why he is among the best in the game. Also, if Durr bets the flop and Markholt calls, there is a reasonable chance Markholt goes broke here or he folds and he loses almost nothing, I guess we will never know.

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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