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Poker Strategy -- Poker After Dark Cash Game Hand Analysis

Tom Dwan Discusses Two Hands on Director’s Cut Episode


Poker After DarkLast week, Poker After Dark on NBC showcased what they referred to as the toughest cash-game lineup ever assembled for television. From Tuesday to Saturday, viewers tuned in at 2:05 a.m. ET to watch an hour of high-speed action which was all recapped in a special Director’s Cut episode shown on Sunday at 1 a.m. ET in which the players gave their insight on the biggest hands of the week.

For high-stakes gamblers, sometimes playing poker for the money on the table just isn’t enough, and they decide to integrate prop bets into the game. With such high-level thinking players at the table, one must always be aware of how any situation is affecting play. On this week’s Director’s Cut episode, Tom Dwan discussed a couple hands in which the prop bets were influential in his decision making.

Review of the Hands:

Hand No. 1

Line up:

Tom Dwan
Patrik Antonius
Howard Lederer — Small blind $200
Eli Elezra — Big blind $400
Ilari Sahamies — Straddle $800
Phil Ivey

Preflop Action: Ivey raises to $3,000 with JHeart Suit 6Heart Suit. Dwan calls with KDiamond Suit 2Diamond Suit, Antonius calls with ASpade Suit JSpade Suit, Lederer folds, Elezra calls with ADiamond Suit QClub Suit, and Sahamies calls from the straddle with JDiamond Suit 7Diamond Suit. The pot is now $15,800.

Tom Dwan: There was some side-betting going on, and I won money if diamonds came on the flop, so because of that, if I had two diamonds in my hand, usually, I would either fold and hope everyone else folded, or reraise and hope everyone folded. Generally, it’d be slightly disadvantageous to see a flop with two diamonds in my hand. Partly because of this, I called, hoping that Phil would be smart enough to realize that thought process was going through my head and would not realize that this early on in the props, I’d call two diamonds for trick value, so I made a call preflop that was a little speculative.

Flop Action Begins: The flop comes 9Spade Suit 4Diamond Suit 3Diamond Suit. Elezra and Sahamies check. Ivey bets $11,000.

TD: That’s an extremely good flop for my hand. Here [after Ivey bet], I could raise, but then I could put myself in a really tough spot because the prospect of ever folding king-high on that board when you also have a flush draw actually isn’t that good, because king-high is going to be good at least 10 percent of the time when all the chips get in because there are so many straight draws and other flush draws available, so I didn’t want to raise and have Phil go all in with like 6-5 of diamonds and have to fold a hand that has huge equity and could also be the best hand. So I called.

Flop Action Continues: After Dwan calls Ivey’s bet of $11,000, Antonius and Elezra fold. Sahamies reraises to $41,000. Ivey folds, and Dwan goes all in. Sahamies calls. The pot is now $238,400.

TD: I have a pretty easy shove here. If I had 10-2 of diamonds, it’d be really close, and sometimes I’d fold, sometimes I’d shove. It’d be really close, but with king-high, it’s pretty easy to just get all of the chips in and hope that he has queen-high diamonds or 6-5 or something like that and just pray he doesn’t have ace-high diamonds, because if he has any other hand, even if he flips over a set, I’m not in very bad shape. I’m only losing a little money, and the times that he flips over 6-5, or even a hand like A-9 or something, more than make up for it, because there is already so much money in the pot. Plus the fact that I really would expect to be ahead a fairly decent amount — 10 or 15 percent of the time — with just king-high. And if I’m ahead, he doesn’t have that many outs to hit, because any diamond wins the hand for me.

Result: The turn is the 8Club Suit and the river is the QDiamond Suit. Dwan wins with a king-high flush.

Hand No. 2

Line up:

Tom Dwan
Patrik Antonius — Small blind $200
Howard Lederer (sitting out)
Eli Elezra — Big blind $400
Ilari Sahamies
Phil Ivey

Preflop Action: Sahamies limps under the gun with 9Club Suit 3Club Suit. Dwan raises to $4,000 with QSpade Suit 9Spade Suit. Patrik calls with ADiamond Suit 10Diamond Suit, Elezra calls with 5Heart Suit 3Heart Suit, and Sahamies called. The pot is now $16,600.

TD: Phil and Ilari were betting $50,000 on the color of the flop, and Ilari had black cards and Phil had red cards, so when he [Sahamies] limped under the gun there, his range includes a lot more red cards than normal. I made it $4,000, and Patrik called out of the small blind, and I think he’s got to have a pretty strong hand there a huge amount of the time because he’s calling $3,800 more out of position. And we’re pretty deep-stacked, so he can’t really expect to make a lot of money unless he has some pretty decent holdings. I mean, that could be 9-8 suited, but I don’t expect him to be calling A-9 offsuit or that kind of hand. Ilari also called from under the gun.

Flop Action: The flop comes 10Club Suit 10Spade Suit 2Spade Suit, and the action checks around. The pot remains $16,600.

Patrik Antonius: I could have bet the flop there when it came 10-10-2. Instead, I went for the check-raise, and no one bet the flop. Tom Dwan had the button, and he just checked his flush draw. It was kind of a goofy play for me.

TD: I’m very happy with my hand on the flop, but Patrik and I were pretty deep. It seemed like a good spot to be a little bit tricky and possibly avoid a small percentage chance of getting in a bit of trouble later in the hand by checking behind. I did that, and the turn was one of the best cards in the deck for me— an offsuit queen.

Turn Action: The turn is the QHeart Suit. The board now reads 10Club Suit 10Spade Suit 2Spade Suit QHeart Suit. Antonius bets $11,000, and Dwan calls. The pot is now $38,600.

TD: I have a really easy call with top pair, which is probably good, and if it’s not, I can always hope to hit my flush.

River Action: The river is the 5Spade Suit. The board now reads 110Club Suit 10Spade Suit 2Spade Suit QHeart Suit 5Spade Suit. Antonius bets $32,000. Dwan raises to $96,300, and Antonius calls. Dwan wins the pot of $231,200.

TD: I could just call there, but I feel like I’d be missing some value. If I raise and Patrik shoves, I’m in a terrible spot, because he can’t have me beat too often. He knows I can’t have a full house too often, but he’s still shoving almost $300,000, so it’s not like I’m going to be very happy to call, because he is going to have me beat a large amount of the time. So, I was definitely a little worried about that prospect, because it would just be such an uncomfortable spot if he went all in. But that said, I still thought there was a decent amount of value to raise just because it looks like I can’t have a flush after checking on the flop and just calling the turn.

PA: Not too many people would raise with a small flush, but he had a queen-high flush. It was just one of those hands. I made a bad decision on the river. I’m just a little bit too curious sometimes.

After redrawing seats, the same six players have returned for another week of cash games on Poker After Dark. These episodes are airing every night at 2:05 a.m. ET through Saturday. Another Director’s Cut episode will are on Sunday at 1 a.m. ET on NBC.



over 13 years ago

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