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Poker Hand Matchup: Rayan Chamas vs. Dan Shak

Swords J 5 4 J K

Rayan Chamas

Win Pre-Flop Win Post-Flop Win Post-Turn

Starting Stack: 28,535,655


58.1 %

46.67 %

65.91 %

Dan Shak

Win Pre-Flop Win Post-Flop Win Post-Turn

Starting Stack: 37,120,626


41.41 %

53.33 %

34.09 %


Posted On: Feb 16, 2021


Preflop, with eight players remaining and blinds of 200,000-400,000 with an ante of 50,000, Rayan Chamas raised to 800,000 from early position. Dan Shak called from the big blind. On the flop Shak checked, and Chamas bet 730,400. Shak called. On the turn Shak checked, and Chamas checked. On the river Shak checked, and Chamas checked behind.


Live stream commentator Kristen Bicknell noted that, in her experience, Rayan Chamas was tough to play against, and indicated that he was skilled at putting opponents in tough positions. While his more aggressive tendencies were definitely on display throughout the final table, this hand is evidence that he also possesses a good sense of when to ease off the gas. The hand began with Chamas min-raising with A-10 suited from early position as the third-largest stack at the table. Chip leader and high-stakes tournament regular Dan Shak made the call from the big blind with K© Q© and flopped a flush draw and two overcards on a J-5-4 board. Shak checked, and Chamas made a continuation bet of about one-third of the size of the pot. Shak called and the turn put a pair of jacks on the board. Shak checked a second time and Chamas checked behind. The K™ on the river gave Shak kings and jacks with a queen kicker and he opted to check a third time. Chamas made it to the river with just ace high and had to decide if his hand was good enough to just take to showdown, or if it would be better to turn his holding into a bluff. When debating making a bet in this situation, Chamas must assess how likely he is to fold out better hands with a bet, and also if any inferior hands might call. While there is a small chance that Shak could make a hero call with an inferior ace-high holding, that likely makes up the entirety of his bluff-catching hands that Chamas could beat. When it comes to better hands that might fold to a bluff, there are limited possibilities there as well. Chamas might be able to draw folds from Shak’s 5-X and 4-X holdings, and perhaps some of his smaller pocket pairs. In the end, Chamas elected to just take his ace high to showdown and minimized his losses in this showdown against a fellow big stack at the table.

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