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Poker Strategy -- Robert Pisano Breaks Down Key Hand During WSOP Main Event Run

Pisano Makes Great Call Against Edward Ochana


Robert PisanoRobert Pisano stormed through the 2010 World Series of Poker main event before a major confrontation with November Nine chip leader Jonathan Duhamel help end his tournament run in 23rd place.

The 26-year-old pro scored a payday of $317,161 for his finish — not bad for a $10,000 investment.

Originally from New York, Pisano has lived in Las Vegas for the last two years, concentrating on live cash games with the occasional tournament appearance.

In this interview, Pisano breaks down a key hand that occurred against Edward Ochana with about 50 players remaining.

Blinds/Antes WSOP Main Event 40,000-80,000 with a 10,000 ante
Player Robert Pisano Edward Ochana
Chip Count 3.4 million 5.1 million
Hand 9Spade Suit 9Heart Suit 6Spade Suit 6Club Suit

The Hand

Robert Pisano raised to 180,000 from under the gun, and Edward Ochana made the call behind him.

The flop came down KSpade Suit 7Heart Suit 4Club Suit, and Pisano continued with a bet of 270,000. Ochana called, and the turn was the 2Club Suit.

Pisano checked, and Ochana bet 430,000. Pisano made the call, and the river was the 8Spade Suit.

Pisano checked, and Ochana fired in a bet of 720,000. Pisano made the call, and Ochana revealed 6Spade Suit 6Club Suit. Pisano then turned over the superior 9Spade Suit 9Heart Suit for a better pocket pair and took the pot.

After the hand, Pisano moved up to 5.2 million, while Ochana suffered a setback to 3.5 million.

The Interview

Julio Rodriguez: What did you know about Edward Ochana before the hand played out?

Robert Pisano: I had just gotten moved to that table, so I didn’t really have a firm handle on how he was playing. From what little I saw, he seemed to be relatively loose and aggressive.

JR: You raised preflop and then made a continuation-bet. What kind of a hand did you put him on once he made the call on the flop?

Robert PisanoRP: When he called my continuation-bet on the flop, I sensed some weakness. It was a pretty dry flop, so at the time I thought he was calling me with a small pocket pair or maybe even floating me with a hand like A-Q or A-J.

JR: The turn is a deuce, a relatively safe card for your hand. You decided to check, and he then bet. Did that change your read at all?

RP: Not at all. If he did have a king, then he’d probably check behind for pot control and in order to induce a bluff from me on the river. When he bet, that pretty much solidified my read that he was holding a small pocket pair, which basically turned my hand into a bluff-catcher.

Of course, the 8 on the river could have given him a set, but once I make the call on the turn, I’m pretty much committed to calling a reasonable bet on the river.

JR: On the river, he took a long time to count out his bet. He started with one stack of chips and then slowly added to it before sliding it out in front of him. What does that say about the strength of his hand?

RP: If someone starts taking chips away from a bet, then it usually means that they are trying to figure out how much you are willing to call. They might figure that your range is pretty weak and that they’d better make a smaller bet in order to get some kind of value.

The opposite is true when someone is bluffing. They may start with a stack to the side and add to it until they feel you are uncomfortable. Of course, if they are trying to make you uncomfortable, then they most likely don’t want to be called.

JR: Were you ever afraid that he was perhaps bluffing you with a better hand. Maybe pocket tens?

RP: Tens or better have too much showdown value. He might bet the turn with a hand like tens, but not the river. Any hand that has nines beat there would have to check behind on the end. Of course, this isn’t 100 percent, but that’s what I feel the standard play would be.

Robert PisanoJR: Your line was to check and call him down. Are you ever worried that your opponent will sense that and make a huge overbet in order to blow you off your hand?

RP: Think of it this way. He can’t possibly think I have that strong of a hand. I certainly can’t be holding K-Q or A-K. So if he decides to try to blow me off my hand with a really big bet, then it’s going to look even fishier, since he should be trying to extract value.

That’s the main reason why you are told to bet the same amount for a bluff that you would for value. The better players will just read right through it otherwise.



over 10 years ago

nh, wp sir :)
- see you when you get back from KC