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Jason Evans: What's My Line?

Evans Faces Off Against a Seasoned Pro and a Player of the Year Candidate

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Jason EvansEvery Thursday, Card Player sits down with some of the best in the game to discuss pivotal hands from the week’s biggest tournaments on the circuit.

The World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open has always been a tour favorite, thanks to its slow-moving blind structure and deep 30,000 stacks. This year, tournament director Tab Ducheteau took it one step further by introducing even deeper stacks at 40,000 in chips. The end result was a slow day one wherein the action didn't pick up until just before the night ended.

As most of the room was bagging up their chips and exiting the tournament room, local player Jason Evans was involved in a white-knuckled, intense stare down with Card Player Player of the Year candidate Michael Binger. As an audience of nearly 40 crowded around the table, Evans induced a fold from Binger and confidently showed down a semi-bluff against the all-in short-stack Amnon Filippi, and the river card was as dramatic as a chop ever could be.

Although he doesn't play poker for a living, 31-year-old Evans is no stranger to the local cardroom of the Northeast. Predominantly a cash game player, he considers poker to be a serious hobby during his time off as an IT consultant. In addition to his time spent in the casinos, he also plays online under the name enron_exec.

Card Player spoke with Evans shortly after the hand play out, getting his reasoning for the bold decision he made to put it all on the line.

 

Event/ Blinds-Antes 2008 Borgata Poker Open 400-800 with a 75 ante  
Player Jason Evans Amnon Filippi Michael Binger
Chip Count 135,175 5,175 125,000
Hand Q 9 A K 10-10

The Hand

In one of the last hands of the night, a player raises from under the gun to 3,500. Jason Evans calls in middle position, Michael Binger calls from the hijack, and the cutoff calls, as well. Amnon Filippi then moves all in from the small blind for a total of 5,100.

The amount is not enough for a legal reraise, so everyone is forced to call or fold only. The flop comes 9 8 7, and the original raiser checks. Evans checks, and Binger bets 20,000. The cutoff and the original raiser both fold to Evans, who makes the call.

The turn is the 10, and, after a bit of deliberation, Evans moves all in for 110,000, having Binger slightly covered. After five minutes in the tank, a large crowd of about 40 people has gathered around the table. Victor Ramdin calls the clock, and Binger is given one more minute to act on his hand.

Eventually he folds, and Filippi reveals A K. Evans shocks the rail by showing Q 9 for just one pair and a gutshot-straight-flush draw. Filippi is drawing to any non-diamond ace, king, or 6 to stay alive. Without any hesitation, the dealer flips over the 6, and Filippi celebrates his chop while the rest of the stunned table speculates over Binger’s hand.


The Interview


Julio Rodriguez: That was a pretty intense hand to end the night.

Jason Evans: Well, you have to take into consideration that the floor staff had already announced that there were only five more hands left in the night. This guy who had been very aggressive opened from under the gun to 3,500. At the time, it was a pretty big preflop raise, and I knew he was raising big with his bigger hands. I was sitting in middle position with my favorite hand, and thought I could stack him with the right flop.

JR: You ended up getting a lot more action than you thought you would.

Amnon FilippiJE: Not only does Michael Binger flat-call from the hijack, but the cutoff calls, as well, creating a pretty big pot already. Amnon Filippi takes a look at his hand in the small blind. Now, Amnon has been looking for a hand to go with all night long, and he finally pushes. The only problem is that he doesn’t have enough for a legal reraise, so none of us can put more chips into the pot. We are all forced to call [or fold].

JR: That seems like an odd place for him to put his chips in, seeing as how he has no fold equity. Wouldn’t it have been better to just call, especially against four other players, and try to salvage some of his stack if he completely air-balled the flop?

JE: Well, from his perspective, he’s looking at coming back the next day with virtually no chips and grinding his way back. It’s not even a matter of him wanting to quintuple up or go home. He’s looking at getting back five times his stack in a spot where he’s likely to win much more than his fair share of the time.

JR: Well then, let’s get to the flop.

JE: The flop comes 9 8 7. I’m sitting on top pair and a couple of back-door draws. The original raiser checks, I check, and Binger fires in a bet of 20,000. The cutoff folds, the player under the gun folds, and I decide to call, creating a side pot.

The turn is the 10, and now I’ve picked up a gutshot straight-flush draw to go with my pair. I’m looking at that board, and I’m pretty confident at this point that he has an overpair. I decide to put the pressure on him and move all in. I have him covered by a bit, and he still has nearly 100,000 or so in front of him, so it’s a tough decision for his tournament life.

JR: Once he started to tank for a while, did you think that you had possibly shoved yourself into the low end of the straight, or perhaps a set?

JE: To be honest, I was still pretty confident he had an overpair, obviously not pocket jacks. I was listening earlier at the table, and I overheard them ragging on Binger for being a tight player. So, it was definitely possible that he flat-called a big pair like queens or kings and then bet the flop when it was checked to him. But the longer he took, the more I realized he had a really tough decision. Looking at the board, even if he did have a set or a 6, there’s way too much out there that beats him. I honestly thought I could take him off of his hand. If I was wrong, then at least I had redraws to take the pot. He never said what he had, but he didn’t have a jack. It could have been a set, a six, or maybe an overpair that just didn’t believe me. He must have tanked for over five minutes before Ramdin finally called the clock on him.

Note: Binger later confirmed that he turned a set with pocket tens.

Michael BingerJR: Did you do anything to induce a fold?

JE: I didn’t move a muscle. I locked it up. I even tried to avoid gulping. Eventually, he leaned in and tried to get a look at my face. I just stared back into his eyes for at least two minutes. After a while, my eyes dried out and I tried to show as much confidence in my face as I could. Basically, I tried to convey that I wanted him to call. Obviously, the truth is that I’m very relieved that he folded. The river brought the chop card and I took my share. It was unlucky that I didn’t take the whole pot, but I was satisfied to take the side pot and half of the main.

JR: You seem to have a lot of confidence in your reads and aren’t afraid of being wrong.

JE: This is just a situation of putting a guy on a hand and going with your gut, making the play that others are afraid to make. If I could offer one piece of advice, I would say you have to pay constant attention to what’s going on around you at the table. Leave the iPod at home; you can pick up so much just by listening. For instance, I had no idea who Binger was before he came to the table. But by picking up on the conversations around me, I knew that he was the type of player I could make that play against.