The Hand That Played Itself

In the most recent 82 minute installment of the Tom Dwan Million Dollar Challenge, Patrik Antonius pulled ahead of the young poker phenom on the strength of a $102,000 pot that saw Antonius’ boat trump Dwan’s nut flush. Holding 8c-4h-3s-Ac, Dwan made it $1,200 pre-flop and was called by Antonius, who held 9d-9h-Jd-As.

The flop came 7-3-9, all clubs. Antonius checked top set, Dwan bet $1,750 with the nuts, Antonius bet pot to $7,650, Dwan raised to $16,900, Antonius made it $53,100, and Dwan called off the rest of his stack. The $102,000 pot escalated quickly on the flop, one of the most aggressive series of back and forth raises we’ve seen so far. The turn came the three of hearts, pairing the board and giving Antonius a boat, which proved to be the winner. sat down with PokerXFactor instructor Chris “Fox” Wallace to talk about the hand. We’d be amiss if we didn’t discuss why there was so much action on the flop.

Wallace: With his pot-sized raise, Antonius is going to get a lot of information. He’s doing it with a monster hand or he’s doing it with nothing. If he has a set, he wants to get the money in now because he’s not that far behind a flush. When Dwan re-raises, Antonius has to fold or push.

Dwan’s raise is not full-sized because he wants to get Antonius committed. Dwan flops the nuts, so these guys are both happy to get it all-in on the flop, but that’s why the variance is so high. Durrrr flops the nuts and is only a 2:1 favorite. This hand basically plays itself. Is the aggression shown by Dwan and Antonius pre-flop indicative of high-stakes Omaha games?

Wallace: When I play $5/$10 or $10/$20, no one limps. Your opponents play so well that you can’t let them see the nuts. No matter how strong your hand is in Omaha, you want your opponents to fold. In Hold’em, you want people to call you. Talk about Antonius being up $23,000 after 7,000 hands.

Wallace: He’s up $3 per hand and they’re playing $200/$400. Antonius is up less than 1% of one big bet. If this were a good player against a bad player, you’d see half a big bet per hand or a full big bet per hand. As aggressive as these guys are, the pots are going to be huge.

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