BLOG – the coolest hands in TV poker history

BLOG – the coolest hands in TV poker history

Monday, 22 November 2010

Jason Mercier has just left the table $200,000 lighter after attempting to run a bluff that would have worked on any player except Phil Ivey. Unfortunately he was playing Phil Ivey at the time, who promptly picked him off with just a pair of nines. This means the table is six-handed at the conclusion of the second session of High Stakes Poker season six.

Phil Laak, in his first hand at the table, opens under the gun for $3,900 with As-9d. Eli Elezra calls and Phil Ivey calls on the button with Ad-6d. Negreanu completes the small blind with a suited jack and as the action goes to Tom Dwan’s big blind Antonio laughs: “here comes the forty-ball.”
Not quite – Dwan squeezes to $28,900 with 9s-8s and folds out everyone except Phil Ivey on the button. The pot is $70,700 on a Kd-Qc-Td flop that gives Ivey a gutshot and the nut flush draw and Dwan sweet F.A.

Nevertheless, durrrr continues his pre-flop aggression and bets $45,800. Ivey considers, toying between a call and a raise and asking how much Dwan had at the start of the hand before calling.

The dealer blanks out the turn with the three of spades. The pot is $162,300 and Tom Dwan continues to represent two pair or better by betting $123,200. Ivey this time calls quite quickly and the river is an almost-blank; the six of clubs gives Ivey fourth pair. This actually becomes relevant.

On the river the board is Td-Qc-Kd-3s-6c and Dwan fires the fourth barrel, betting $268,200 into the pot of $408,700. At this point the entire table is deathly silent – even Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari, sitting next to each other, are completely quiet.

Instantly, Ivey asks “how much is that and how much have you got left?” Dwan answers and Ivey ponders for a couple of minutes, possibly thinking “oh for fuck’s sake why can’t we just check the river and I can win with fourth pair?” Then he begins to think; dragging a chair over and putting his feet up in the manner he sat when facing Andy Beal and playing for millions. The table is still quiet until Ivey breaks the silence by saying that “this would be the sickest call of all time”.

Daniel Negreanu, evidently thinking Ivey has a hand like K-T or A-Q, says “I think I know what you have” to which Ivey laughs: “No, you really don’t.”

In the end Ivey lets the hand go despite the fact that Dwan is genuinely pale, tearing and gulping after the eight-time bracelet-winner had been in the think tank for a reported twelve minutes on the river. During this time, no one calls the clock or complains about the pace. On the contrary, when Ivey apologises for taking so long to decide the table are practically crawling over each other to tell him it’s OK.

It makes my coolest TV hands list because every time I watch it, not just the first time I saw, I’m there just BEGGING Ivey to call. Each time I watch it and he finally looks at his cards and pushes them over the line I’m internally giving a cheesy “NOOOOOOO” because just how cool would it have been?

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