Strategy Snapshot: Macho Man Savaged

5 September 2008, Created By: Daniel Skolovy
Strategy Snapshot: Macho Man Savaged
Mystery high-stakes fish "elmariachimacho" makes an ill-advised turn bet in this edition of the snapshot and gets savaged by trex313 for a $235k pot.

(Hand history and stats from MarketPulse Biggest Pots section.)

Game: $500/$1,000 No-Limit Hold'em, RailHeaven table, Full Tilt Poker


Seat 1: Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond ($127,796)
Seat 2: elmariachimacho ($110,696)
Seat 4: Hac "trex313" Dang ($121,496.50)

trex313 has the button.

RailHeaven has been seeing a lot of action lately. With multihanded games running seemingly every night, it's starting to make people wonder where all these players are coming from.

Today's installment of the snapshot involves a three-way hand with bracelet winner Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond, online threat Hac "trex313" Dang and relative unknown elmariachimacho.


Rumors abound as to who this no-name is. When an unknown is splashing about in the highest stakes available, three things always come to mind: LOLAndyBeal, Guy Laliberté or someone playing under a new or borrowed name.

Since multi-accounting has been pretty frowned upon lately, and since elmariachimacho is the fish in the game, it probably isn't a pro playing on somebody else's account.

And since the Andy Beal one is a joke, people believe that it's Guy. I for one don't believe anything the railbirds have to say, but this guy certainly isn't a pro.

The Setup

Dang comes in for a raise off the button to $3,500. Galfond flats from the small blind and elmariachimacho three-bets from the big blind to $14,000. Dang and Galfond both make the call.

Three-handed to a 3 4 A flop. Galfond checks, elmariachimacho bets $42,000, and Dang cold-calls. Galfond folds and they are heads-up to the turn.

The turn brings the 9 and elmarichimacho bets $54,696 all-in. Dang snap-calls, and when the cards are turned over elmariachimacho shows T T - way behind Dang's A Q.

The river bricks the 9 and the $235,391 pot is shipped to Hac Dang of the infamous Dang brothers.

The Breakdown

Dang fires off a raise on the button to $3,500 with A Q. Obviously, with the game being so short-handed, it plays similar to heads-up. Dang is going to be raising an extremely wide range here off the button, especially with the fish in the big blind.

Ideally he would like to fold out the other good player (Galfond) and get heads-up with the dead money.


Phil Galfond
Difference between bracelet winners and amateurs: bracelet winners know when to get out of the way.

Galfond, however, elects to flat-call in the small blind. What he has at this point is anybody's guess. He could have anything from suited connectors to a small pocket pair to even a slow-played big pocket pair.

elmariachimacho decides to three-bet out of the big blind to $14,000 with T T. TT is a great hand three-handed and he wants to maximize the amount of money he puts in as a favorite.

Dang elects to just smooth-call on the button. Had Galfond reraised and elmariachimacho folded, this situation would be different and Dang might have four-bet.

But because Galfond flat-called and elmariachimacho three-bet, Dang chooses to flat-call with A Q.

This is probably because he sees elmariachimacho as a weak player, and weak players do not often three-bet light. Meaning he's likely doing it with a hand. Also, there is a chance Galfond is slow-playing in the small blind.

Galfond chooses to see the flop as well. This pretty much eliminates the big pocket pairs from his range, as he would not like to see a flop multiway out of position. He would have surely four-bet.

He likely has a small pocket pair or suited connectors - hands that play well multiway.

The flop comes 3 4 A. Galfond checks and elmariachimacho continuation bets $42,000. He does this because he took the lead with the three-bet pre-flop and thinks he can win the pot here with a bet.

There is one overcard and it's not a terrible play, but it isn't great either. He is out of position to the original pre-flop raiser, and has another caller in the hand. He is betting into two better players with an overcard on the board. If he is called in either spot he'll have a tough decision on almost any turn.

Dang flat-calls once again. This is a good move. He has top pair, second kicker. This hand is almost always good here. He knows elmariachimacho is a fish, and he feels he can make the most by just smooth-calling and hoping elmariachimacho continues on any turn.


chip stack
Not a good bet macho man.

Galfond folds and the turn comes 9. elmariachimacho thinks for a moment before shoving all-in for $56,696.

This is not a very good bet. Dang raised pre-flop, then called a large three-bet. The board came ace-high and he once again called a large bet. He would never do this with a hand that T T can beat.

He would also never do it with a hand that he's going to fold to elmariachimacho's turn bet. This bet serves no function other than giving Dang more money.

Dang obviously calls this turn bet with top pair, second kicker. He fades elmariachimacho's two outs on the river and finds himself a little richer, scooping the $235,391 pot.

To see more pots from their session, or more of the Top 100 biggest pots online over the last day, week, month and year, jump to the MarketPulse section.

To rail any of the action, or try out some heads-up poker yourself, hit up Full Tilt Poker here and take advantage of's exclusive bonus offers.

More Strategy Snapshots:





WSOP live blog from the tournament floor w/ poker pro interviews, photos and side action from Las

Latest Posts  
Positively Nerd Street

Positively Nerd Street

Pr0n for the poker nerd. Hardware, software, gadgets, etc; like poker, but from the future.
Latest Posts  
The Guest Blog

The Guest Blog

A menagerie of poker pros, celebrities, poker writers and industry figures.
Latest Posts  
Poker Joker

Poker Joker

PokerListings' daily dose of humor. Dont miss out! Check back Monday to Friday for your daily laugh.
Latest Posts  
Battle of Malta Blog

Battle of Malta Blog

Photo essays, player profiles, travel tips, off-the-cuff interviews and more from Battle of Malta!
Latest Posts