Hand of the Week: Ole Schemion Shows Ali Fatehi What's What

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Ole Schemion won the €100k Super High Roller title at the EPT Grand Final in Monaco a week or so ago.

On his way to victory he showed amateur player Ali Reza Fatehi what it means to play poker on the highest level.

Fatehi had dominated the table with his big stack for a while. Then he clashed with the German pro who had been on a dry spell for quite some time - at least for him.

Flop to River

It’s the most expensive tournament in Europe – the €100,000 Super High Roller event at the EPT Grand Final in Monaco.

The tournament is down to six players. Everybody has €378,000 in the bag but the winner will get a check for €1,775,000.

As you’d expect, most of the players in this field were professionals. In the top six, however, there’s also UK businessman Paul Newey plus two hitherto unknown amateur players.

The two Brits, Newey and Stephen Chidwick, are the short stacks at the moment with about 15 big blinds or 800,000 chips. Fatehi is chipleader with more than 4m.

The blinds are 30,000/60,000/10,000 so there's 150,000 in the pot when the action starts. It’s folded around to Schemion (2.9 million chips) in the cut-off who holds    

He raises to 130,000. Newey and Igor Kurganov fold. Fatehi calls in the big blind. There's 350,000 in the pot. The flop is      

Fatehi bets 150,000 and Schemion calls. There's now 650,000 in the pot and the turn is the   Fatehi leads again, now 230,000. Schemion makes the call and the pot grows to 1,110,000. The river is the  

Fatehi barrels a third time – 340,000. Schemion takes a minute and then calls. Fatehi shows     for a missed flush draw and Schemion rakes in the pot. Watch the video to see how the hand played out:

Analysis

This is an important pot for Schemion who manages to build his stack by a third here and makes poker look very easy. Let’s see why Fatehi wasn’t able to get rid of him.

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Schemion raises pre-flop with an appropriate hand – A2o. If he can take down the blinds and antes here, he’d probably be absolutely fine with it because this hand is rarely going to hit the flop.

Also, having an ace means that it’s less likely that anyone else has an ace that would of course dominate his. When Fatehi calls, Schemion can’t really put him on a small range.

You’d think that the Iranian player would have re-raised strong hands like A-K or A-Q, but with him getting pot odds of 4-1 he would also call with a lot of A-x, K-x, Q-x, J-x, T-x hands and other suited or connected cards.

The T 8 3 flop hits Fatehi’s range more than Schemion’s as Fatehi certainly has jacks and eights in his range.

Fatehi Donk-Bets

When Fatehi takes the lead on the flop, it begs the question for Schemion what the Iranian would do this with.

Most top-class players would check every hand in this spot but the amateur can only have a certain range of hands here.

One of the options is a set, as it would try to get chips in the middle and protect itself. Further options are top pair, middle pair, and different draws like two clubs or T-9 and 7-9 for a straight draw.

Schemion is getting the right odds to continue; he has an overcard and a backdoor straight draw plus he has ace high. So, he decides to call and see what the turn brings.

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The turn card is the 5, which is a blank almost 100% of the time. Whomever was ahead on the flop should still be ahead.

Hence, Fatehi’s range doesn’t change and he bets again. Schemion, on the other hand, now has a gutshot, adding four outs to his hand.

But these aren't reason enough to call another bet with the hope of improving on the river.

With pot odds of 3.6-1, most likely seven outs (the fours and probably the aces) and 15% pot equity, he can only call if he adds draws to Fatehi’s range.

Polarized on the River

When Schemion calls again, he certainly likes the river card. The T doesn’t fill up any draw and the best hand on the flop still has to be the best hand on the river.

Fatehi bets another time and thus polarizes his range. With an eight in his hand he wouldn’t bet again but rather switch into check-call mode. The same goes for most mediocre and marginal hands with showdown value he could have.

The hands that are good enough to bet the river are basically all the monsters. Fatehi would certainly bet a ten and full houses with T-8, 8-8, or 3-3, but these are only a small part of his range.

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On the other hand, all the draws he might have played have missed and thus have no showdown value whatsoever.

Easy Call?

So, is this an easy call?

It is for a world class player like Schemion, although he might run into better bluffing hands than his like A 9, A 5, or A 3, even if we don’t know if Fatehi would bet with these.

As it’s going to be very tough for Fatehi to make a stronger hand than his fold, he should probably check here as he does have showdown value against Schemion’s draws.

Fatehi’s bet is thus both a bluff and a blocker. But neither is of any interest to Schemion.

Donk-bets on the flop often signal weakness, and as the texture of the board doesn’t change significantly on any street, the river call pretty much goes without saying.

Don’t underestimate the power of poker psychology here. If Schemion calls with ace high and is right, it shows his opponent that he’s not easily bluffed; if he loses, he still has 2m chips left.

Conclusion

Ole Schemion shows Ali Fatehi who the pro and who the amateur is in this hand. He wins a crucial hand to move into the top three on the leaderboard.

Ali Fatehi simply overlooked that there were only bluffs and monsters in his range.

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