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Joe Hachem - Blog - WSOP 2005 Final Table Hand


21 October 2011

WSOP 2005 Final Table Hand

I’d decided to take a stand against Aaron Kanter, who’d been re-raising me non-stop, all day, not necessarily because he had better cards but because he was trying to push the little guy around. If I think back to my decision to go all-in, it was part defiance and part desperation. If I didn’t do it then, he would have pushed me right out of the tournament.

All day I’d never limped in on the button, I either raised or folded. So this time, even before I had been dealt my cards I’d decided that I was going to limp in and if the pot was raised I was going to re-raise all-in, representing a monster hand. Surprise, surprise, that was exactly what happened. I limped in with Q7, Tex Barch made up the big blind and then Kanter raised as I’d half suspected. When it got back to me I moved all-in. Barch got out of the way and Kanter, after a little consideration, called 75% of his stack with only a pair of nines! I was shocked that he would make such a call holding only a medium range hand, especially after I’d limped in and re-raised from the button. I hit a Q on the flop and never looked back. My play, however, was based on several key points of observation:
I hadn’t limped on the button all day.
I hadn’t limped or re-raised all day.
Kanter was a raising machine (so I couldn’t give his raises much credit).
My all-in was going to hurt somebody’s stack if they were wrong or got caught.

From this scenario I was able to distill a useful principle: don’t predetermine anything until you have a feel for the table. Find out as much as you can about the players on your table. Watch them. Observe how they act, how they bet and when they play. These pieces of information are vital and will lead you onto more valuable decisions. Don’t act too soon. This requires firm discipline.

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