Last night ESPN aired two more episodes on the road to this year's Main Event final table, getting us officially up to mid-way through Day 6. With just under 150 players left, it's now just a 15-table sit-and-go to the bracelet.
Today's snapshot features a a blind vs. blind hand involving CardPlayer's Jeff Shulman and the infamous Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier
With the blinds $6,000/$12,000, the hand kicks off with a raise to $35,000 in the small blind from Shulman.
ElkY makes the call in the big blind and they see a flop of J♠ J♥ T♥. Shulman c-bets $25,000 and ElkY makes the call.
The turn comes K♣ and Shulman again bets $25,000. ElkY again makes the call. The river comes down 8♥ and Shulman fires $30,000 into $218,000.
ElkY mucks and Shulman shows 9♦ 4♦ for nine high.
When it's folded to Shulman in the small blind, he makes a steal-raise to $35,000 with the 9♦ 4♦. Ideally he wants to win the pot immediately by having ElkY fold - forfeiting his big blind and the antes.
ElkY looks down at A♠ 3♠ and, knowing Shulman can be making a steal in the small blind, makes the call with a suited ace in position.
When the flop comes J♠ J♥ T♥, Shulman makes a very small c-bet of $25,000 into $88,000.
This very small c-bet is designed to get total air to fold. Generally, it's probably not a good habit to bet so little because it gives your opponents great odds.
Shulman probably thinks a small bet will sometimes get more credit than a larger bet.
ElkY makes the call getting almost 4:1 with his ace high. Ace high beats a very wide range of small blind steals and he also has the backdoor flush draw to go along with it. Since the bet is so small, he calls.
The turn comes K♣ and again Shulman fires $25,000.
An overcard on the turn always makes for a good double-barrel card. It's a scare card for anyone holding an underpair and it'll often make them fold.
But again Shulman elects to bet very small. He may be trying to represent a jack or even bigger, saying "my hand is so big I can bet as little as I want because you just aren't ever going to draw out on me."
ElkY, though, isn't convinced and calls again with his ace high. He does have a gutshot and an overcard, and his ace high may even be good.
When the river comes 8♥, Shulman bets $30,000 into $218,000. This bet is the best bet of all his weird tiny bets.
When you bet the river so small you look like you're begging for a call. It's a great level. Your opponent is thinking, "Why the hell is he betting so small? He must really want me to call?"
ElkY does eventually make the fold. He realizes he only has ace high and it just doesn't make much sense for Shulman to bet $30k into $218k with a bluff unless he really wants a call.
So ElkY folds and Shulman shows his 9♦ 4♦ for the sick value-bet bluff.
Sometimes a small bet will get more credit than a larger one will. And sometimes your opponent will go, "WTF is going on here? Oh well, I'm getting two million to one. I call."
Beware and use the value-bet bluff sparingly and only against a real thinking opponent. But this time it works and Shulman looks like genius.
I guess that's why he final tables the badboy.