Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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I was reading some of the coverage of the 1st level of the $40k NLHE WSOP event yesterday. The starting chip count was T120,000 and the blinds were 200/400/w 50 ante. There were several players that got all-in with AA in the 1st level. I will put in the caveat that I wasn't there so I may not know all the cirucmstances surrounding the hands/player's histories with each other, etc, etc, but on the surface and from the pokernews descriptions it just seems like horrible play.

First Example:

Jim Bechtel Eliminated by David Chiu

We already have a man down only thirty minutes into this event and unfortunately, it was 1993 Main Event Champion Jim Bechtel.

Bechtel, David Chiu, and Per Ummer saw a flop of {9-Diamonds} {2-Spades} {2-Hearts}. Bechtel checked, Chiu bet 6,000, Ummer folded and Bechtel called. The {6-Diamonds} cameon the turn and Bechtel checked again. Chiu fired out 9,200 only to be met with a shove from Bechtel for his entire 119,000 stack.

Chiu made the call and flipped over {9-Hearts} {9-Clubs} for a flopped full house, cracking Bechtel's {A-Clubs} {A-Spades} . The river was the {3-Spades} and Bechtel's tournament was over while Chiu doubled up to 245,000.

No real explanation needed on why this was horrible. What was he thinking? Is worse hand ever calling?

Phil Laak (mr uber-tight on High Stakes Poker) was involved in the 2nd one:

After a flop of {J-Clubs} {8-Diamonds} {2-Clubs} Phil Laak announces to the entire tournament floor that he is all in. Camera crews rush over to see Laak turn over {8-Clubs} {8-Hearts} for middle set against the pocket aces of his James Calderaro. The turn and river are blanks and Laak doubles up to 245,000. Calderaro drops all the way down to 7,900.

The Laak showmanship plus his ultra-tight early tourney play makes this seem very bad by his opponent. Maybe there was more to the hand since the description doesn't have how the action went down, but it just seems bad, bad, bad.

Not too sure about Tony G's getting all in with Aces either - even though we won:

With the board showing {5-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}, Tony G just got it all in with {A-Clubs}{A-Spades} versus Erik Cajelais' {8-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}. The turn was the {A-Hearts}, further improving Tony G's hand. And the river was the {8-Hearts}, giving Tony G the large pot.

Tony G is quickly up to 248,000, while Cajelais falls to 3,800.
I think we need to know more information on how this hand went down.

As LJ pointed out to me - Brian Townsend also posted on his blog that he couldn't believe how horrid the play was, especially considering players had to shell out $40,000 to play the event.


Short Stack Shamus at Hard Boiled Poker (which happens to be one of the many places I am following the WSOP) pointed out Tony G's interview about the hand. It makes it seem a little more reasonable. The other two still seem horrible, especially the first one.

PokerNews Video

2 responses to "It is OK to fold AA"

  1. Tony G did do a short video interview talking about his AA hand, FWIW...

    Short-Stacked Shamus

  2. 1st hand by bechtel is embarrassingly bad, 2nd one might be fine it doesnt say how much went in pre