The action has been hot and heavy at the nosebleed stakes on Full Tilt Poker as of late. In this edition of the strategy snapshot we check out a hand in which Phil Ivey looks very human, donating a $401,919 pot to Finnish pro Sami "LarsLuzak" Kelopuro.
It's entirely possible that Ivey's play is motivated by superhuman strategic powers, but he seems to have made a slight misstep here.
Phil Ivey - $200,960
Sami "LarsLuzak" Kelopuro - $318,625
Game: $500/$1,000 No-Limit Hold'em, GusHeaven, Full Tilt Poker
The hand kicks off with LarsLuzak raising from the button/small blind to $3,000.
Phil Ivey then three-bets to $9,000 and LarsLuzak four-bets to $27,000.
Ivey makes the call and they take a flop heads-up of J♦ 2♥ 5♥. Ivey checks and LarsLuzak checks through.
The turn comes A♠; Ivey bets $40,000, and LarsLuzak calls.
The river comes T♠ and Ivey ships all-in for $133,960. LarsLuzak makes the call. Ivey shows 6♣ 6♠ for a pair of sixes and LarsLuzak shows A♦ K♦ for top pair, top kicker.
LarsLuzak's aces with a king kicker are good for the $401,919 pot.
Lars raises off the button to $3,000 with A♦ K♦, a monster hand heads-up.
Ivey chooses to three-bet with 6♣ 6♠. He has a pocket pair against an aggressive opponent; his opponent is completely capable of raising any two cards off the button, and pocket sixes are ahead of that range.
Lars elects to four-bet with A♦ K♦. The stacks are deep, and a suited ace-king is going to be ahead of even Ivey's four-bet calling range - thus he four-bets for value.
Ivey makes the call with 6♠ 6♣ and the flop comes J♦ 2♥ 5♥. Ivey checks and Lars checks behind.
Ivey checks because his opponent four-bet preflop.
Lars chooses to check behind because he missed the flop completely and the pot is already huge. If he were to bet, Ivey is very likely not going to fold any pair or call any worse hands. A bet would accomplish nothing.
The turn hits the A♠ and Ivey bets out $40,000 as a bluff. Obviously Lars is never calling with a worse hand so Ivey's bet is designed to get a fold out of a hand like 88 or 99 or TT.
Lars decides to just flat-call with his top pair, top kicker. Once he bangs off the ace he is only a dog to sets, and chooses to flat-call in hopes that Ivey hangs himself on the river.
The river comes the T♠ and Ivey ships all-in for $133,960 - a move I can't really get behind.
Now obviously, I'm no Phil Ivey and it's entirely possible that he is on some totally different level that we mortals can't even imagine, but I really can't see any hands that call the turn and then fold the river.
The only hands you may get a fold out of are something like 88 or 99, but those hands have to be discounted because they would normally be bet on the flop as would any flushdraws.
Lars of course has the easy call to make. Because he knows Ivey is very capable of running up huge bluffs, TPTK in this scenario, in a four-bet pot preflop, is basically the nuts.
He snaps off Ivey's bluff and finds himself $401,919 richer for it.
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