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Hand of the Week: Blom Dooms Rafael in Biggest Pot of Year
If there's action in online high stakes poker, there is usually one player involved – Viktor “Isildur1” Blom.
It’s no surprise that Blom was part of the largest hand played out on PokerStars in 2015 so far.
The Swedish phenomenon doesn’t shy away from any variant or any limit.
Today we’ll examine just how Blom took down the massive $365k pot.
Flop to River
The stakes at the table are $200/$400 and the effective stacks are at $183,000, which means a tidy 457 big blinds. The players are extremely deep.
In this heads-up hand Sean 'WithColor' Rafael raises from the button/small blind to $1,360. Isildur1 re-raises to $4,240.
Rafael calls and there's now $8,480 in the pot. The flop falls
Blom bets $5,200. Rafael raises to $15,800. Blom re-raises to $56,000. Rafael 4-bets to $176,000 and Blom moves all-in. Rafael calls, which means there's now over $365,000 in the pot.
Blom shows for top set with a flush draw.
Rafael has for second set. Turn and river are dealt twice.
Blom wins the first draw with a flush and the second with his set so he collects the whole pot.
The action in this, the biggest online poker pot of the year to date, is short and fierce. It seems apparent that neither of the players really had any other option than to play the hand the way they did.
Rafael raises pre-flop with a hand that has both strengths and weaknesses. With two spades he can potentially make the second nut flush. He has a pair for a set and he has 8-7 for a possible straight draw.
Rafael’s raise is primarily a position raise. He’s going to play like this with many hands but this one is not at the top of his range.
With Blom’s hand things are a little different. J♠ 9♣ 8♣ 8♥ is pretty well connected and all the cards are related to each other, which is always desirable in PLO.
The Swede generally likes to take the initiative with hands that are ahead of his opponent’s range.
The flop couldn’t have been devised any better by a Hollywood producer.
Blom hits it perfectly. Not only does he hit top set he also finds a club flush draw – it’s a dream flop for him.
But it’s just as important to see that his opponent also hits big. Second set is almost always the best hand in a heads-up game.
Plus he holds another eight, which makes it extremely unlikely that Blom has both the other eights for the only better set.
There is pretty much no alternative to both players going all-in on this flop. However the pot equity shows in just how bad a spot Rafael actually is.
He’s left with only nine per cent equity corresponding to $32,850 out of the $365,000 in the pot.
Could Rafael have avoided disaster here? No. He didn’t have a chance to do anything.
He was doomed on that board and he was bound to get stacked.
It’s the largest online poker hand so far this year and Viktor Isildur1 Blom is the beneficiary.
He finds the best possible hand on the flop while his opponent hits the second-best hand at the same time – a hand he cannot possibly fold.
At the end of the hand 457 big blinds -- equaling $365,000 -- move across the table and into the bankroll of the Swedish high roller.