Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Phil Hellmuth moves All-In

Here is an article from Cardplayer magazine that I thought would interest you. It's all about the Poker Brat; Mr. Phil Hellmuth

Cardplayer magazine
by. Phil Hellmuth

I’ll tell you the truth, right here and right now: I’m not sleeping well these days. I keep having nightmares about a guy who raised me or reraised me 14 times on the second day of the championship event of the World Poker Finals at Foxwoods, and won them all. What happened to the “three strikes, you’re out” rule?

Of course, I continued to smoothly run my stack up to $840,000 and second place in chips, and knew that I would get my opponent soon for a big number. Hoyt Corkins was acting out the role of “Mr. Move All In” during this tournament, and he was doing it rather well.

If it had stopped there, I wouldn’t have minded; after all, I did have $840,000 in chips, and I knew I would nail Hoyt for all or most of chips soon. Didn’t he know that I knew what he was doing? Didn’t he know that I knew he was making moves on me with weak hands?

Normally, I would say to someone using that strategy against me, “You keep messing with me, and I’ll bust you.” But that had happened so often in the past — I have busted so many players who overplayed their hands against me — that I didn’t want to tip Hoyt off to it. I would let him run me over, and then, “Bam,” it would be over for him and he would leave the tournament wondering what the heck had happened to him.

Protect his chips? Hoyt apparently didn’t know you were supposed to do that. This was OK with me, as sooner or later I was going to catch him; and then Mike Matusow would say, “Phil, why do they always give you their chips?! It’s so sick, dude … ”

How about this scenario: Hoyt raises Phil the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th time, and wins them all. Still, I didn’t mind. I knew what was coming, and Hoyt apparently didn’t know or care. Protect your chips? Ha!

I sat back and watched Hoyt reraise “Mo” Ibrahim with 3-3, making it $180,000 to go, and then watched as the flop came down A-J-9 and Hoyt announced, “I’m all in.” Mo almost fell off his chair while calling the $300,000-plus bet with his A-K. “Now it is over for Hoyt,” I thought.

I was calmly watching the hand end when I thought, “Hoyt will raise a bunch of pots in a row, and maybe give all of his chips away quickly.” Hoyt then raised the next three pots in a row, and I let him go. He was down to less than $900,000 and I was up to about $1.1 million when I looked down at a 9 in the small blind, and made up the $6,000 to complete the blind.

The flop came down 9-6-2 offsuit, and I thought, “I have looked at only one card, but I have a feeling of strength (I did have at least top pair, so far). I’ll bet out, and he will raise me, as usual, with nothing.”

I bet out $25,000, and Hoyt raised it $45,000 more. I then looked back at a jack kicker, and thought, “Now is the time for him to give me all of those chips.” So, I just called to trap him further. The next card was a 7, and I thought, “I’ll check this time and bet big on the last card.”

The last card was another 7, and I bet out $80,000, feeling like there was no way to lose for me here. He could have had a straight draw and made three sevens, but I didn’t think so. Hoyt then raised me $80,000, and I quickly called him. I had set him up, and now I was reaping the rewards.

He then flipped up J-7, and I shouted, “No!” I got up from the table in total shock and wandered over to the TV commentating booth. Did this hand really just happen? Did he just raise me when drawing dead to runner-runner sevens to make any money? (How much would he have won if it had come 8 and another straight card? Not much.) And what if merely one jack had hit the board instead of 7-7? How much would he have given me then?

What if, for example, a random card hit on the end, like a queen? I was betting $80,000 unless a straight card came off, and believe you me, he was calling with a pair of sevens.

He was supposed to go below $700,000 and I was supposed to go above $1.3 million. “Fine,” I tried to tell myself, “he hit the miracle, but he will still give you all of his chips, eventually.”

A little while later, I raised with the Khearts 9hearts, and Hoyt called me. This was a first; Hoyt just called me — with the Aclubs Jclubs. The flop was all his, Aspades Kclubs 10clubs. I checked, and he bet $80,000. I quickly called, and the turn card was the Kdiamonds. I checked, and then Hoyt checked. He did have some outs with an ace, the deuce through 8 of clubs, or a queen. The river was an ace, I checked, he bet $130,000, and I quickly called.

I do like the way Hoyt played this hand. He bet every street that he had the best hand, and checked when I hit the three kings. Still, it was pretty unlucky for me that a king and then an ace came up. Meanwhile, Hoyt had raised me close to 35 hands, and I’d won one stinking pot!

With the blinds at $15,000-$30,000, I watched Hoyt move all in on at least 50 percent of the hands, and Mo and I kept giving it up to him, folding until we could nail him once. Both Mo and I knew what Hoyt was doing, and I limped three consecutive times from the small blind, followed by Hoyt saying, “I’m all in.” Didn’t he know that I would limp in with any big hand I had and would call him soon?

Protecting chips? Ha! It is scary to watch someone get away with playing like this for 30 minutes, much less seven to eight hours. Finally, Hoyt had moved in on me 40-plus times, and the blinds were $25,000-$50,000. I took the first $50,000 big blind (three hours and one minute into the thing), and then Mo moved all in on me. I smelled weakness as I looked down at A-6. I asked for a chip count to get a feel for what I had to do and the strength of Mo’s hand.

Mo had raised $285,000, and I had only $265,000. If I folded, I’d need to make a move within the next two hands, or I could play what I believed was the best hand now. I announced, “I need to call you here, Mo,” and Mo flipped up J-10 offsuit. Here it was; I was a 3-to-2 favorite to get back in the ballgame — a 3-to-2 favorite to receive at least $560,000 for second place versus $280,000 for third.

Mo would have $20,000 left if I won, but this pot was effectively for third-place prize money. The flop came K-Q-4, and I was thinking, “Pair the board.” But the next card off was an ace, and Mo made the straight and I headed home with $280,000.

A week later, I was still feeling good about the way I played, which is rare for me. But I was having nightmares about what Hoyt got away with. How did he hit runner-runner sevens, or an ace after I hit three kings? How did he move in on me that many times and survive? Was he that good at reading me?

I believe the style he used won’t work very often — although I do see players accumulate chips when using this style — and it is very rare for it to win a big three-day event. Am I still bitter? Honestly, yes; when I play at this level, I expect to win. After all, I don’t play at this level very often.

Why couldn’t I have picked up one hand in all the time I waited for him to implode? Bitter, yes, but get over it, Philly boy — that’s poker!

I hope you enjoyed this Hand of the Week. Good luck playing your hands this week.

Do you see this type of action when you play online poker at partypoker.com

If you found "Phil Hellmuth moves All-In" interesting, please share it with others by bookmarking it at the following sites:

Bookmark Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at del.icio.us Digg Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at Digg.com Bookmark Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at Spurl.net Bookmark Phil Hellmuth moves All-In with wists Bookmark Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at Simpy.com Bookmark Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at NewsVine Blink this Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at blinklist.com Bookmark Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at Furl.net Bookmark Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at reddit.com Fark Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at Fark.com Bookmark Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at blogmarks Bookmark Phil Hellmuth moves All-In at YahooMyWeb


Post a Comment

<< Home