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Poker Strategy -- Jonathan Duhamel Analyzes Key WSOP Double-Up

Duhamel Explains How He Got Maximum Value From Turned Straight

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Jonathan DuhamelAt 22 years old, Jonathan Duhamel is the youngest member of the 2010 World Series of Poker main event November Nine. With nearly 66 million in chips, Duhamel is the far-and-away chip leader and the odds-on favorite to take down the title.

The Montreal, Canada, native secured most of those chips with a monster pot against Matt Affleck, but he wouldn’t have even been in a position to bust Affleck had he not doubled up earlier in the day against Robert Pisano.

Here, Duhamel breaks down how he was able to get maximum value from a turned straight against top pair.

The Hand

WSOP Main Event Blinds/Antes 60,000-120,000 with a 15,000 ante
Players Jonathan Duhamel Robert Pisano
Chip Count 8.865 million 9.125 million
Hand 5Spade Suit 4Spade Suit ASpade Suit KHeart Suit

Robert PisanoDuy Le raised to 305,000 on the button, and Jonathan Duhamel reraised to 865,000 from the small blind. Robert Pisano flat-called from the big blind, and Le called, as well.

The three players saw a flop of 7Club Suit 3Spade Suit 2Diamond Suit, and Duhamel checked. Pisano bet 1.65 million and Le folded. Duhamel called, and the AClub Suit hit the turn.

Duhamel then led for 1.875 million, and after a minute of thought, Pisano moved all in over the top for 4.72 million more. Duhamel called off his last 4.46 million with 5Spade Suit 4Spade Suit for the wheel, and Pisano was drawing dead with the ASpade Suit KHeart Suit for top pair, top kicker.

The river was the 6Heart Suit, and Duhamel doubled up to over 18.7 million. Pisano was left crippled with just 260,000.

The Interview

Julio Rodriguez: You three-bet with a small, suited connector out of the blinds. Were you just trying to pick on Le’s button raise to take it down right there?

Jonathan Duhamel: Yeah, for sure. He’s going to be raising the majority of his buttons when it is folded to him, so my initial plan was to just be able to take it down preflop.

JR: Then Robert Pisano called out of the big blind.

JD: Yeah, that concerned me. Based on that call, my first read was that he had a pocket pair, somewhere between eights and jacks.

JR: You flopped an open-ended straight draw. Why not fire out a continuation-bet, especially since you were the preflop aggressor?

JD: Well, I could continuation-bet, but there’s not a lot on that flop that they’ll give me credit for. Not only that, but if the big blind has what I think he has, then he’s not going to be folding to any of my bets. Even worse, if I bet, then he could make a big raise to push me off of my draw.

I decided to check, hoping that they would check behind me. The big blind instead decided to bet, but it was small enough that I thought I had good implied odds if I hit. My other option was to check-raise the flop, but I felt that if he had the higher end of his range, say jacks, he would definitely call. That would put me in a tough situation if I miss on the turn, since I’m out of position.

JR: The turn was an ace, giving you the wheel. Why all of a sudden did you decide to bet?

Jonathan DuhamelJD: At this point, I’m still putting him on the same type of hand as before. Even though the ace has made my straight, it might hurt my chances of getting any more value, since it could just as easily scare him from betting. If I check, then he is almost certainly going to check behind a hand like tens or jacks. So I thought my best chance for value was to make a small bet on the turn that kind of looks like a blocker bet, and then make another small bet on the river. At least, that’s what I thought would happen.

JR: Then he surprised you by moving all in. What did you think he was holding at that point?

JD: To be honest, I didn’t even have time to think about what he was pushing all in with. I guess it ran through my mind that he could have a set of sevens, but all I knew is that I had the nuts, so it didn’t matter. It was nice to see him drawing dead, though.

JR: Putting yourself in his place, what do you think went wrong with this hand?

JD: I think that his biggest mistake was not four-betting preflop, but let’s assume that he does decide to just call. I actually don’t mind that he led the flop, but on the turn, I think you have to just call. The reason I say that is because if I’m bluffing, then I’m probably going to bluff the river, as well, so he’s not losing much value when he’s ahead, but he’s minimizing his losses when he’s behind. Who knows? A scare card may hit the river and he’ll be able to make a good fold and save those chips.

 
 
 
 

Comments

VoiceOfReason
almost 11 years ago

In other words you were at it with 5 high, and got very very lucky.

Game of skill they say ....

You must be this year's Cada 2/3 outer luckbox .....

 
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Thajokeman
almost 11 years ago

2 or 3 outer? You know after the flop it's a coinflip right?

Change your sn to voiceofmorons and criqtique the person who lost the hand from the beginning, Pisano.

 
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VoiceOfReason
almost 11 years ago

Reraised out of position with 5 high with BB still to act ....

You clearly haven't watched last year's FT, that's what the obvious 2/3 outer reference is ....

Change your sn to ThaMORONman .....

 
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MDaBoy14
almost 11 years ago

You dont make it to 9 million chips in a one week tourny by getting lucky in one hand. Sweet he won a pot with 5,4. He thought the button was bluffing, he raised trying to pick up some easy chips he gets a good flop. big deal? I forgot the best way to win a tourny was to only play aces and kings.

 
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L2K4FC
almost 11 years ago

I liked it. Chalk it up to hand misplayed by the opponent just like he said. He would've folded to a big re-raise preflop. Every main event winner that I can recall seeing interviewed has said you have to get win races at times to win a field this big and they are right. That does NOT mean someone isn't skilled or that poker is a game of luck. Poker is a game of probability and risk management. If you lose at poker then you are putting yourself on the wrong side of probability more often than not. Or you can just cry bad luck and make yourself feel better.

 
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jfdfred44
almost 11 years ago

Any final table chipleader of any tournament will have a similar story to tell. Being aggressive and getting lucky is the recipe for chip accumulation. There are probably 4000 other players sitting on the rail who make similar plays, its high-risk/high-reward. If the flop comes A-2-5, Duhamels out and Affleck is probably the final table chipleader.

 
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creg
almost 11 years ago

As many people are learning year after year, tournament poker is more about luck then skill. There is a video here at CardPlayer via the "Under the Gun" series titled "Under The Gun -- Norman Chad and Lon McEachern". Norman Chad is asked at one point about what it takes to win it, based on his access to hundreds of hours of video.. I don't recall word for word the question and answer, but within the video Norman comes out and says that the skill is in the cash game, but luck clearly shines in tournament. Do we need to discuss Joe Cada and his final table run?!

 
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jbage007
almost 11 years ago

I agree that luck plays a big factor, but at the same time, some players are clearly better than others, even when no luck is to be found in the building

 
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Truck Yaeger
almost 11 years ago

Reraised out of position with 5 high with BB still to act ....

You clearly haven't watched last year's FT, that's what the obvious 2/3 outer reference is ....

Change your sn to ThaMORONman .....

Clearly 'voiceofreason' is a donk!
Can't have players rerasing with just 5 high. Aces and Kings only people.
You obviously are missing one of the fundamental rules with poker, 'you can raise with any hand but you can't call with any hand'.

Also, last year cada played quite well, not perfect, and definitely not bad. The 22 and 33 he played were obviously bluffs with high fold equity. Obviously he didn't want calls.
That said, it would have been nice for poker if the best hand had won more often.

 
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a2cwd
almost 11 years ago

Y'all go read the post where that donk put a dude on a hand while holding Jacks with a gut shot and called a 44mil pot, turned out the other guy had Aces, but he completed the gut shot. Yeah, real skills there.

Trying to steal from a Button how fold to raised... okay, that's observance,

Try to play a draw for cheap... okay, that's basic poker

Hitting an open ended straight on the turn... no skill required.

And obviously, that donk has super reading skill with putting his opponents on Jacks through 8s.

I hope that donk make a fool out of himself at the final table and end up in 9th place... being so arrogant and ignorant to how lucky he is running

 
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Chzzzz
almost 11 years ago

JD's analysis is correct...saying # 1. Opponent not reraising preflop was a mistake. 2. Just calling the turn is more correct. But, hard to put him on 54s there.
I do not understand the harsh criticism. He is a great player who for sure got lucky.

 
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tullymox
almost 11 years ago

I think one can disagree about how to play the 54s out of the SB, but it's a matter of style and comfort with post-flop, out of position play. Duhamel made a nice play by reading the button raise as an attempt to steal and then got rewarded when Pisano chose not to re-raise with AKo. After the flop, Pisano played extremely poorly, and Duhamel got extremely lucky to double up when he overplayed TPTK. I think it's pretty weak to attack Duhamel, because he rightly understood the implied odds were there for him to call on the flop.

 
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