Online Poker News » July 2009 » July 17, 2009.

Recounting Two Key Hands And Monster Pots Continued - Pro Poker Strategy By Mark Seif.

Mark Seif

We would like to present a new poker strategy article by poker Pro Mark Seif, thanks to the Absolute Poker newsletter.

"At my starting table was easily the wildest man in the tournament. His name is Robert Alexander. Alexander is rumored to have owned the company that developed the wildly successful and even more controversial video game, Grand Theft Auto. Alexander is not really a poker player, but he loves to gamble, and I mean gamble big. I know this because Alexander and I played at the Bellagio together a few times. We are talking about a guy who can win or lose several million dollars in one session. Not just in poker....."

"True to form, Alexander wasted no time mixing it up early on. His biggest strength is his lack of fear. He moved in on one guy with a draw and on another when he flopped bottom two pair. Neither scenario warranted such huge bets in light of the pot size, but this is Robert Alexander. He's smart. He knows this tournament means less to him than anyone else. This afforded him a big advantage and he used it like a sledge hammer."

"Just a few minutes into Day One, despite my plans to avoid this type of situation, I found myself in the position of having to make a tournamentlife decision against who else but Robert Alexander. I didn't want to. Not with that hand in that spot."

"I normally try not to have any distractions on game day, but the morning of the main event was a bit unusual. I received a series of calls I had to take. Each of them was important and required some follow-up. By the time I arrived at the Bellagio, I knew that my focus and preparation were lacking. But as a pro, I had to suck it up and perform anyway or else I'd join the NFL. This acronym does not stand for National Football League. No. It stands for Not For Long."

"Alexander had pushed in a couple of times already 30 minutes into the day's play. He showed his hands. On one occasion, he had a strong but vulnerable hand (2-4, on a flop of 6-4-2.) On another, he was on a big draw. Both times he moved in on the flop. Whenever he had a real big hand he value bet quite effectively. On this particular hand, he opened-raised for 600 with blinds at 50/100. There was one limper in seat three and then it came to me in the big blind. I looked down at two red kings. I wanted to isolate, and knew Alexander would likely make a bad call here with a range of inferior and even dominated hands. I also wanted to get some chips in the middle. So I made it 3,000 to go. Alexander called and seat three folded. The flop came down J-9-8 with two spades."

"I did not like this flop but knew it could be just enough to have hit Alexander in a way that he could get married to it and make a big mistake. I also didn't want to let him draw cheaply, so I bet 5,000. He immediately moved all-in!"

"With the pot laying me 6,650 plus 10,000, I had to call another 18,000 or so. I was getting nearly 2:1, which would make it an automatic call in most circumstances. But again, this was the WPT main event $25,000 buy-in with over 600 players, and with a significant overlay for a good pro, especially with the deep stack format."

"This made my decision considerably more difficult. It began to look like a fold situation, until I factored in the pure bluff equity, the dominated hand situation where he might hold K-J etc., and finally the multitude of other things I had floating around in my head as a result of those early morning phone calls. I could get a lot done today at home if I was wrong."

"I called. He turned over one of the worst hands for me: K-10 of spades. He had fifteen outs twice. I was now an underdog to win this hand - yikes! The turn paired the board (9) and the river was a red 3."

"I now had over 100,000 and was the chip leader. Oh man, what a rush!"

Source: Absolute Poker

Tags: Mark Seif, Poker Strategy, Poker Pro, Hands.

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