Jonathan Little on how Phil Ivey crashed in € 100K poker tournament
Nowadays, Phil Ivey is still one of the most feared players at the poker table, and this hand highlights exactly why. He floats on a flop with no real backdoor equity then goes for the river bluff against Orpen Kisacikoglu in a € 100,000 poker tournament.
Most players, myself included, would have folded on the flop, but Ivey has proven time and time again that he always thinks ahead and has plans for whatever he does.
The hand was held in a 100,000 € No-Limit Hold’em Triton Super High Roller with the blinds at 500/1000/1000. Ivey (334000) rose to 3000 from the threshold of and Kisacikoglu (121,000) three bet at 11,000 from the button holding the .
Why so big? When playing deep stack with a wager, you should use larger bets and size increases. Both blinds folded and Ivey chose to call. If your opponent aggressively bets on three, which Kisacikoglu is known to do, they’ll have a wide range that the suited King-Ten will do well against.
On the flop, Ivey checked and Kisacikoglu continued his 8,000 straight bet. To me that seemed like a fairly easy fold, but Ivey had something else in mind. He checked-called and the took off at the turn.
Ivey checked a second time and it was on Kisacikoglu. What would you do in this scenario? Do you check and give up? Are you going to bluff, and if you do, would you bet small (15,000) or big (35,000)? This is risky because it is quite easy for Ivey to have a really wide range when he hits the turn due to the small bet size of the flop and the coordination of the board.
I would bet for a size small with all my strong spades, and a small bet will often unfold a lot of hands to a pair Ivey might have. Also, if Kisacikoglu checked the turn, he would most likely face a bet on the Ivey River and would have to fold even if he won. Kisacikoglu won’t win the pot very often if he checks the turn, but a bet could win him the pot even against marginal hands he loses to as they would fold often.
For these reasons, I like a little bet from Kisacikoglu. However, in this hand, Turkey’s all-time money leader has verified and the finished the plank on the river.
With 40,500 in the pot, it seemed like a good place for Ivey to bluff. He doesn’t need to bet too big as Kisacikoglu will probably fold all hands that don’t contain spades. If Kisacikoglu were to have a strong spade, he will always call a big bet, which is why it doesn’t make sense to go for a big size.
Ivey bet 20,000 and it got the job done as Kisacikoglu fell back. It’s Phil Ivey, he does, fights hard and picks up a lot of pots that other players don’t.
For a more detailed description of this hand, check out my thoughts in the following video used with permission from partypoker:
Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $ 7,000,000 in live tournament winnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. Sign up to learn poker with Jonathan for free at PokerCoaching.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.