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Joe Hachem - Blog - A story from WSOP 2006


30 August 2011

A story from WSOP 2006

The blinds were $50/$100 with a $25 ante. The players were Antonio Esfandiari, Kevin O’Donnell, Daniel Alaei, myself and a few other tough players. There wasn’t any easy money at this table.
Let me set the scene. The game was fairly tight and we each had about $50,000 in front of us. On several occasions Daniel had raised the pot after there had been some limpers and had taken the pot uncontested. I knew what he was doing. Limping into the pot indicates weakness and Danny’s thinking: “Well, if you guys are too weak to raise then I’ll just take the pot. Plus if you do call my raise, I have position”.
I wasn’t going to take this laying down. In middle position I call $100 after two limpers with K J (I know it seems I play KJ a lot but it really is not a good hand) and true to form Danny raises to $800. The other limpers fold. As I was sitting there, my Australian and Lebanese stubbornness decides that I should re-raise him but my weak little heart decided just to call.
The flop comes A J 3 . I check and Daniel bets $1850 into a pot of $2750. I decide I have the best hand and again instead of raising, I decide to call and see what he does on the turn. The turn brings the eight of spades, so there’s now a flush possibility on the board. I check cautiously and so does he after a moment of thought. The river brings another spade, the seven. Wow! Any spade is a winner.
At this stage I decided that I probably still had the best hand unless he had a nasty spade in his hand.
I checked to him and he bet $4000, which at first glance would seem like a value bet, screaming for a call. However, I knew Danny well enough to know that he’d more likely over-bet rather than under-bet. He was attempting a double reverse manoeuvre, making it look like he was trying to steal the pot. I definitely know he doesn’t have Kings and most likely has no spade at all, with no pair to boot. So I raise him to $10,000. He thinks for about five minutes, which is a good sign, then re-raises me another $6,000 to a total of $16,000. Arghhhhhhhhhhh! Don’t tell me he has the nuts? He couldn’t have the Kings could he? It’s the only card in the deck that can inflict that re-raise.
I think for a long time and decide he must have it and fold my hand. In a heartbeat Danny flips over his cards to reveal 9 2 … no flush, no pair, nothing. What a great play. Nice hand Danny. I see now what was happening, logic and gut instinct told me I was right but nerves convinced me (with a little help from Danny) I was wrong.
OK, now for the best part of this story. Danny later tells me that while he was thinking for five minutes he had worked out that I knew he had nothing and that I was trying to take the pot away from him. So, he deducted that the only way to win the pot was to come back over the top of me and re-raise. And you know what? It worked a treat.

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