Coming back from the WSOP, the Great Dane took on his Swedish counterpart Viktor Blom in the second biggest hand of the week.
Let’s look at the hand from Gus Hansen’s perspective.
From the Flop to the River
We are looking at a Mixed Game table, and the current game is $300/$600 PLO. Both players have effective stacks of more than $143,000, corresponding to over 240 big blinds.
Blom is sitting on the button, and he raises it up to $1,800. Hansen is the big blind, and his hand is the
Hansen calls and the pot is now $3600. The flop is
Hansen hits two pair with a flush draw. He checks. Blom bets $3000, Hansen raises to $12,600, Bloom re-raises to $41,400, Hansen pops it up to $127.800, and Blom moves all-in.
Hansen calls and sees Blom’s hand
The players have agreed to deal it twice, and this is how the boards run down.
First board second board
Analysis and Evaluation
It was a spectacular clash between one of the most iconic tournament players ever and one of the most feared cash games players in the world. Gus Hansen meets Viktor Blom, and it turns into a disaster for the Dane.
Blom raises with connectors headed by a pair. Two cards are suited, and there are a couple of flops that can turn his hand into a monster.
Hansen’s hand is a littler weaker. It isn’t as well connected, but it is still single suited. Even without position it is a hand definitely worth calling with against such a hyper-aggressive player like Blom.
The flop sets the situation up for a collision. Hansen flops two pair plus a flush draw, while Blom finds top set and an open-ended straight draw.
For Hansen, this board is a real cooler, because there are only a few hands that really dominate him.
- a set of nines (one possible hand)
- a set of sevens (one possible hand)
- a set of threes (three possible hands)
All in all, there are only five possible hands against which Hansen is a 2:1 underdog. Against strong hands like A♠ A♣ K♥ J♠, which are definitely in Blom’s range, Hansen would even be a slight favourite on this flop.
The advantage becomes even bigger if we look at hands in Blom’s range that didn’t catch a draw or a set. Overpairs and combo draws would be way behind Hansen’s hand.
A typical, strong hand in Blom’s range would be 9♣ 8♥ 6♥ 5♣ with several straight draws. This would still be a 2:1 dog against Hansen’s double hit plus redraw.
So, no matter how we look at it, there is no escape for Gus Hansen in this hand. Versus an aggressive player like Viktor Blom, Hansen must try to get all his money in on a flop like this. The fact that Blom hits the upper rim of his range is simply tough luck for the Dane.
Even if the opponent had been someone else, Hansen would still have pushed his money in. His hand is just way too strong, particularly in a heads-up situation.
Two monster hands and two big stacks clash on an action flop.
Hansen’s monster is a little weaker, and he doesn’t get lucky on any of the two draws. Thus, he can’t even get half his money back.
Even so Blom often makes money on his hyper-aggressive image, this not the case here. Even a tight player would have paid off his top set. It is difficult to imagine that anyone could have found a fold there.