High-Stakes Hand of the Week: Ziigmund Rope-a-Dopes, Gets Clocked

Ilari Sahamies
No chance of knowing how far he is behind.

Finnish player Ilari "Ziigmund" Sahamies is one of the most experienced and most interesting players in high-stakes poker online – and he's not exactly faint of heart when it comes to big moves.

Sahamies is an expert in PLO and he’s known to make exceptional plays.

In our Hand of the Week this week, though, he goes down an unusual path but unfortunately his opponent AckmaJin is in total control.

The Hand

The stakes are $100/$200 Pot-Limit Omaha and effective stacks are $58,000, which corresponds to 290 big blinds.

AckmaJin opens from the button to $434. Sahamies has

       

He re-raises to $1422. AckmaJin calls and the flop comes

     

There's now $2,844 in the pot. Sahamies checks, AckmaJin bets pot and gets a call. The pot is now $8528.

The turn is the  

Sahamies checks again and AckmaJin makes another pot-size bet. Sahamies calls again and the pot has now grown to $25,580.

The river comes  

Now Sahamies takes the lead and bets the pot. AckmaJin raises him all-in and he calls.

AckmaJin shows         for the nuts. He wins a $115k pot.

Ilari Sahamies
$115k pot goes the other way.
 

Analysis

Pre-flop AckmaJin raises with what is a very nice hand for heads-up PLO. His best-case scenario is to flop a set with the nut-flush draw (which is exactly what happens).

Sahamies in the big blind also holds a very strong hand. He has a pair of kings, an ace, and a nine that is the same suit as one of the kings and could make him the second nut flush.

As both players are very deep, position is paramount in this situation. Still, Sahamies’ re-raise is nothing to sneeze at.

After the flop Sahamies is interestingly playing rope-a-dope. With an overpair and a draw to the second nuts most players would follow suit here with a continuation bet. Sahamies doesn’t have position and instead goes for pot control.

For his opponent AckmaJin, of course, the hand pretty much plays itself. He finds the perfect flop – set plus nut-flush draw – and he bets pot on the flop and turn.

Sahamies has no chance of knowing how far he is behind. Actually, his equity is only 9% and 5% on the flop and turn, respectively.

His play, however, would make a lot of weaker hands bluff. He's also drawing to the second nuts, which is very valuable in a heads-up match.

Maximum Punishment on the River

On the river, Sahamies receives maximum punishment. Thanks to his smart pot-control play out of position, he has invested less than a third of his stack and is not pot-committed.

Ilari Sahamies
On the river, Sahamies receives maximum punishment.
 

If the river is a blank he would have either called another pot bet or maybe even folded to keep his losses to a minimum.

However, the flush comes in and now Sahamies takes over the initiative with a big pot bet.

When AckmaJin goes all-in Sahamies gets 5-1 pot odds which means he only has to make the correct decision one in five times to make it profitable.

Of course, AckmaJin’s play smells like the nuts but the pot odds are so good that Ilari can hardly fold.

Classic Case of Bad Luck

Basically Ilari Sahamies does everything right in this hand and shows he's very capable of mixing up his play with a less-aggressive style.

He just got very unlucky because his opponent completely dominated his hand from the flop onwards and a lot of Sahamies’ outs were poisoned.

The draw came in, the Finn made the infamous second best hand and it cost him dearly.

A classic case of bad luck!

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