Patrik Antonius Receives a Saving Grace

The June 11th edition of the Tom Dwan Million Dollar Challenge could have been a lot worse for Patrik Antonius had it not been for a turned flush in a $106,000 pot. With the contest almost back to even, caught up with PokerXFactor instructor and resident Omaha expert Chris “Fox” Wallace to talk about the only thing that went right for Antonius last week.

Starting with a 3:1 chip lead pre-flop, Dwan raised to $3,600 over the top of a bet of $1,200 by Antonius. Then, Antonius made it $6,000 to go, Dwan bumped the action to $18,000, and Antonius called $12,000. The flop came 9-J-Q with two clubs. Dwan bet pot, $36,000, and Antonius called for his remaining stack. The turn brought a third club to the board, while the river was the ace of hearts. In the end, Dwan flipped over Q-10-5-A with two diamonds for two pair, while Antonius showed 10-6-7-Q with two clubs for a flush. Why does the pre-flop action in this hand escalate so quickly? Walk us through each bet.

Wallace: Antonius’ initial bet is standard for these guys. Durrrr’s re-raise is standard because he has a couple of big cards. Antonius’ raise to $6,000 might be a little much. Because the first two raises don’t mean much, Antonius is raising for information since he has a decent hand. There’s some deception in his raise and he is also trying to find out if Durrrr actually has a hand. When Durrrr makes it $18,000, he s indicating that he has a stronger hand he really does. I think he was out of line there. If Antonius had a better hand, he’s going to shove and Durrrr is going to be forced to call. Does Dwan overplay his hand because he has a suited ace, then?

Wallace: Pre-flop, Dwan has three big cards and a suited ace. However, he’s still overestimating his hand. Three big cards have strength in Omaha. They’re a big favorite against a hand like K-J-10-9. When you’re playing at a six-max or four-max table, the speculative value of a hand is worth more than it is heads-up. When you’re just playing heads-up, A-J-10 is a strong favorite, probably 60-40 pre-flop. Talk about Dwan’s all-in on the flop. Is the move justified in that situation?

Wallace: Durrrr has to make that play. He has top pair and a big draw. He can’t let Antonius take a free card. He gets the money in when Antonius has a club draw instead of waiting until the clubs come in. Once the flop comes in this hand, the money is going into the middle. The more I see Durrrr’s play, though, the more I see mistakes. I think he’s going too far and being overly aggressive and pushy.

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