How to Win $200,000

On the final day of May in the Tom Dwan Million Dollar Challenge, the youngster scooped a massive $200,000 pot. His rival, Patrik Antonius, mucked in the hand in question. So how did Dwan win $200,000? enlisted the help of instructor Chris “Fox” Wallace to find out.

Pre-flop, Dwan made it $1,200, Antonius raised to $3,600, and Dwan called. The flop came 8-10-8 and Antonius put out a bet of $5,200. Dwan popped the action to $15,900 and Antonius called the remaining $10,700. An ace fell on the turn, prompting Antonius to check-call a healthy $27,600 bet from Dwan. The river came a queen. Antonius checked, Dwan shoved for just over $53,000, and Antonius called. When the cards were flipped up, Dwan showed 9-10-10-A for a flopped boat and Antonius mucked. What does Antonius’ pre-flop betting tell you about his hand?

Wallace: There is no way that Antonius has a big starting hand. They are way too deep for that. Antonius’ re-raise doesn’t mean a whole lot because they’re so deep. If they only had $20,000 behind them, it’d be suicide to raise to $3,600. Here, it’s okay to re-raise to $3,600 with a wide range of hands. What are some conceivable hands that Antonius could have?

Wallace: I think he has a straight. There are a lot of hands he could put Durrrr on that he could call on the river with. An A-10, another straight, A-Q, and Q-10 are all hands that might play this way. If Antonius has 9-J in his hand and hit a straight on the river, does he also have a made hand to keep the action moving on the flop and turn?

Wallace: He has something else going on. He might have a six, which gives him a bigger straight draw. More than likely, it’s something that gives him a much bigger draw and some sort of made hand. If he has a hand like 9-10-J-Q, then he has a much bigger straight draw and two pair. He has more value than just 9-J. If he doesn’t think Dwan has a boat, then he has a lot of outs on the river. That’s the danger of chasing draws on a paired draw like Antonius does here. Even Hold’em players know that. If Antonius has a big hand and hit his draw on the river, then why check and potentially be forced into a tough decision if Dwan pushes?

Wallace: That’s what makes his play on the river odd. If Antonius is slow playing, I don’t know why he’d check to Durrrr on the river. Dwan doesn’t like to check, but he certainly can do that. Besides, every draw came in with the queen on the river. If Dwan doesn’t have a hand, then he’s checking behind. If he has a hand, then he’s going to come out betting.

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