Hand of the Week: When Everything Goes Awry Under EPT Lights


In our ongoing Hand of the Week series you often see spectacular moves, brilliant action and extraordinary players.

Sometimes, though, you get plays like this one made by Mark Rumi.

In this hand Rumi makes some questionable decisions against French Winamax pro Gaelle Baumann and pays for it dearly.

He isn't the first player to lilt under the hot lights of the EPT cameras, and he certainly won't be the last.

Flop to River

It’s Day 1B of the EPT Barcelona main event in 2013. The tournament is still at an early stage and blinds are 200/400/50.

Oleksii Kovalchuk raises from first position to 800. UTG+2, Baumann (28k chips) calls. In the small blind Rumi wakes up with    

The Spanish player raises to 2,500. Kovalchuk folds but Baumann calls. There's 6,700 chips in the pot and effective stacks are 25,800.

The flop falls       Rumi leads out with a c-bet of 2,500, which Baumann calls. The pot has gone up to 11,700 with the players’ effective stacks at 23,300.

The turn is the   Rumi checks, Baumann now bets 5,200 and Rumi calls after little thought. There's now 22,100 chips in the pot and the effective stacks are at 18,100.

The river is the   Rumi leads out again, betting 5,700. Baumann looks at him for a few seconds and pushes all-in with her remaining 18,100. Rumi has a difficult decision but eventually makes the call.

Baumann shows     and wins a 58k pot. Rumi is left with 3,900 and he busts soon after. Watch the hand here:


In this amazing hand Mark Rumi manages to ruin his tournament completely – and this is no less than a €5,000 EPT main event.

Gaëlle Baumann
Can afford a look.

In doing this he’s committed several mistakes. Let’s take a look at the crucial ones.

Kovalchuk sits UTG and standard-raises to 2bb. Baumann just calls with A-Ko, and she’s probably not expecting this move to be that profitable.

Rumi finds pocket queens in the small blind and decides to reraise. This is certainly a good idea as he holds the third best hand in Texas Hold’em and wants to build a pot and get rid of some opponents.

His raise might be a little too low. Out of position and with two players still to act, he should make it a little more to give them worse pot odds.

Kovalchuk is sandwiched between the other two and gets rid of his cards, but Baumann comes along. She’s in position and can afford to take a look at the board.

Also, if she raised again, she would only keep hands in the pot that are better or at least on level (J-J, Q-Q) with hers.

Astray on the Flop

The A-8-4  flop with two spades is rather dry and not at all what the Spanish player was hoping for. Rumi was looking for low cards and definitely no ace.

When things go astray ...

He’s still going for a c-bet, which is a double-edged decision here. 

On the one hand Baumann can’t really call the c-bet with anything worse than his cards.

But on the other hand, checking might induce Baumann to bluff and maybe make him fold the best hand.

Imagine Rumi checks the flop. Baumann then would bet on every street with something like pocket fives, just because she thinks he doesn’t have an ace.

Rumi manages to avoid that by c-betting but Baumann calling should set off his alarm bells. It seems like that happened, as Rumi slows down and checks the turn over to his opponent.

When she bets he’s down to beating nothing but bluffs -- because what has Gaelle possibly called with on this flop except an ace, 4-4, or 8-8?

Ok, there are still some bluffs, and these bluffs might just be enough to justify Rumi’s turn-call. It would probably be too weak to fold to just one bet. But as he calls, he needs to have a plan for the river.


Sunk on the river

The river card is a meaningless six and now Rumi resorts to something like a mixture of a bluff and a blocking bet. This move is really hard to explain as there is virtually no hand that would still call and lose to pocket queens.

It would have been much smarter for Rumi to just check and see if Baumann has the courage to bluff (in case she doesn’t have anything).

Different from her, Rumi might call with a worse hand -- for example A-Q or A-J. He could even call with worse hands if he thinks that Baumann is bluffing.

Baumann plays her hand very straightforwardly but Rumi must slam on the brakes on the river. If Rumi folds the river he’s left with 16k chips, equaling 40 big blinds, which is a healthy enough stack.

Two mistakes on the river, however, cost him the tournament.


In the early stages of this tournament Gaelle Baumann plays her hand very passively, thus representing a weaker holding than she actually has.

It’s fairly obvious that Rumi couldn't put her on a range and based his moves on the result.

It was a lack of planning and strategy that caused Rumi to lose 90% of his stack in a hand that should have been a lot cheaper.

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