Any Two Cards Warrant an All-In

In the most recent mini-session of the Tom Dwan Million Dollar Challenge, the young poker prodigy squared off against Patrik Antonius in a $139,000 pot, the largest of the 165 hands played. In it, Antonius made it $1,200 pre-flop, Dwan raised to $3,600, and Antonius called. The flop came K-4-10 rainbow. The action quickly escalated, with Dwan check-raising Antonius for $19,200, Antonius re-raising to $64,800, and Dwan pushing for an extra $1,300. The turn came a jack and the river came a three. When the cards were exposed, Dwan showed A-K-10-J for two pair, while Antoinus turned over 8-Q-A-J for Broadway and scooped the pot. sat down with PokerXFactor pro Chris “Fox” Wallace to understand this action-packed hand. Antonius has nothing more than a straight draw on the flop, yet nearly puts Dwan all-in despite being check-raised. Tell us what went through his head.

Wallace: Antonius flops a good hand. Any A, Q, J, or 9 makes him a straight. There is $30,000 in the pot, so Antonius is going to call $13,000 to win $30,000, which he has to do or shove. If there’s any chance Durrrr would fold, it’s a good shove. You don’t want to call Durrrr’s bet and then come up empty on the turn. He probably reads Durrrr for two pair, a set, or the same wrap draw. Antonius doesn’t want to brick on the turn and then have Durrrr shove.

DC: Even though he only has to call an extra $1,300, is Antonius concerned when Dwan shoves all-in?

Wallace: He’s not that worried. His hand isn’t in that bad of shape. When he sees the shove, he sees two pair, a set, or a wrap draw. If it’s a set, he hopes Dwan doesn’t have a lot of his outs. He’s not unhappy about it when this happens.

There are times in Omaha when a drawing hand is a big favorite. Let’s say the flop is 9-10-A with two spades and a diamond and you have 8-K-Q-K with two spades and two diamonds. You have a monster hand and you’re a favorite over a set. They’re making the pots so big that it’s not surprising they can’t get away from a draw.

DC: Antonius was on the button in this hand and therefore in position. Could he have just called Dwan’s check-raise on the flop and then waited for the turn?

Wallace: Since Antonius is on the button, he could have just called the $19,200 bet. If the turn bricks, he’s in position. If it hits him, he can decide whether to slow play to the river or shove it on the turn.

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