In the most recent edition of the Tom Dwan Million Dollar Challenge, a $140,000 pot took place between Dwan and Patrik Antonius. In it, Dwan raised pre-flop to $1,200, Antonius re-raised to $3,600, and Dwan called. The flop came Q-J-7 rainbow and Antonius led out for $5,200. Dwan called and the turn revealed a harmless four that didn’t match any suit on the board. Antonius put out a bet of $15,600, Dwan pushed all-in, and Antonius called with his stack on the line.
The river came a king. Dwan flipped over Q-J-6-6 for top two pair. Antonius showed J-J-5-5 for trip jacks, scooping the $140,000 pot. We sat down with poker pro Chris “Fox” Wallace to talk about the thought process of our two combatants during the hand.
DurrrrChallenge.com: Talk about what Dwan and Antonius were thinking prior to the all-in.
Wallace: When Antonius re-raises, Dwan is going to put him on a top 30% hand. It’s very possible that it could mean he has a big pair. With a Q-J-7 flop, Dwan believes that top two is a pretty good hand. Top two is a hand that, if you’re going to fold, you’re going to get run over. It’s going to be tough to get away from it in such an aggressive game.
DC: The rag on the turn, the four of hearts, initiated the all-in. Why?
Wallace: The fact that a rag came on the turn is the reason this pot got so big. The four could not have given anyone anything. That’s pretty rare in Omaha.
DC: What if Dwan or Antonius had a wired pair of fours?
Wallace: The likelihood of that is very low. It’s low not only mathematically because there’s a four on the board, but also because they both expressed interest pre-flop and on the flop. Someone would have to hold a hand like J-Q-4-4. None of those hands are going to be in pre-flop. Dwan can discount a set of fours immediately.
DC: What went through Dwan’s mind when he saw the king come on the turn?
Wallace: The king is a worrisome card for Dwan because it completes a reasonable straight draw. Antonius could have also held a king, making a better two pair.
DC: What makes Omaha such an aggressive game?
Wallace: The draws are so big in Omaha and you don’t want to let your opponents catch up. The hands are also closer together pre-flop. If you took a hand like 3-5-9-J and ran it against A-A-K-K, it’s not that big of an underdog. If you ran similar cards in Hold’em, you’d be a big underdog.