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Poker Hand of the Week: 2/19/16

You Decide What's The Best Play


Give us your opinion in the comments section below for your chance at winning a six-month Card Player magazine digital subscription.

Ask any group of poker players how you played your hand and they’ll come up with dozens of different opinions. That’s just the nature of the game.

Each week, Card Player will select a hand from the high-stakes, big buy-in poker world, break it down and show that there’s more than one way to get the job done.

The Scenario

There are three players remaining in big buy-in, international poker tournament. You are guaranteed at least €234,100 for third place, but second and first place pay €360,150 and €501,640, respectively.

Villain no. 1, the chip leader, is holding a huge chip lead with 12,080,000. Villain no. 2 has 2,770,000 and you are the shortest stack holding 2,270,000. The blinds are currently 80,000-160,000 with a 20,000 ante, giving you 14 big blinds to work with.

Villain no. 1, who has been aggressive with his big stack, raises to 325,000 on the button. Villain no. 2 then shoves all in for his last 2,750,000 from the small blind. You look down at ADiamond Suit9Spade Suit in the big blind.

The Questions

Do you fold or call off the rest of your stack? What are some good arguments for folding? What are some good arguments for calling? What are the Independent Chip Model (ICM) implications of this hand?

What Actually Happened

Mustapha KanitFacing a raise, and an all-in in front of him at the EPT Dublin €25,000 high roller event, American poker pro Chance Kornuth opted to call off holding ADiamond Suit9Spade Suit.

The chip leader, Mustapha Kanit, immediately called with KHeart SuitKClub Suit and the original all-in player, Charlie Carrel, turned over 5Spade Suit5Heart Suit. The flop of QClub Suit4Heart Suit3Heart Suit kept Kanit in the lead, but the 5Diamond Suit on the turn put Carrel out in front.

The river, however, was the 2Club Suit, giving Kornuth a wheel. Kornuth tripled up and Carrel won a small side pot, but was left extremely short. Carrel was eliminated shortly afterwards in third place. Kornuth finished runner-up, and Kanit took down the title.

What would you have done and why? Let us know in the comments section below and try not to be results oriented. The best answer will receive a six-month Card Player magazine digital subscription.



almost 2 years ago

That's an immediate fold to me. I think it's around 65/35 you're either marginally ahead or crushed. Unless, of course, you know you can get super lucky like he did.


almost 2 years ago

Easy fold. In third place but close to second in chips, with only 100,000 invested, let it go. The chip leader might take him out, guaranteeing you second place money. While opponent's range is likely wide, A9 won't be favored over much he would shove with, and the chip leader might have you beat as well.


almost 2 years ago

Seems like an obvious fold, especially with the pay jump. A9 can't really be in a great spot there. Unless you have a great backer that puts you into multiple high-roller events, then by all means get it in with the ace high.


almost 2 years ago

The hand definitely played out with luck, which will in the long run fall short of skill. This is an obvious fold, and in my book, poker 101. The chance to watch 3rd place eliminated while sitting on the sidelines, and if not, only being a 2.2 to 1 dog to the second in chips, is still a winning play majority of the time, though this scenario did play out differently.