As amateur poker players we sometimes feel like successful, seasoned pros never make a mistake.
The truth, though, is that even they misplay a hand from time to time.
Chris Klodnicki has been playing professionally for a decade and accumulated over $8.6 million in tournament winnings. He's even finished 12th (!) in the Main Event before.
Despite all that success his Day 6 performance at the WSOP 2016 Main Event, so to speak, flopped.
One Among Many
We’re down to 50 players in the most important tournament of the year.
There are still plenty of high-profile players left in the field including Dan Colman, Paul Volpe, Jason Les, James Obst, Tom Marchese, Jonas Lauck and Klodnicki.
Apart from a bracelet, Klodnicki has won pretty much every poker trophy there is. His biggest score was 2nd at the 2013 Big One for One Drop for almost $3 million.
In this hand Klodnicki’s opponent is British player Matthew Moss, who’s not unknown in the industry but has no major international tournament results. He is, however, a cash-game specialist who lives in Macau.
Playing With Fire
Klodnicki has 4.5 million chips, which is one of the smaller stacks, but he still has enough room for a couple of moves to build his stack and go for the big money.
Sitting in the cut-off he decides to raise with a mediocre hand. Moss, himself a rather loose player, makes the call.
The flop seems standard. The Brit checks to the raiser who tries to buy the flop with a c-bet although he hasn’t actually hit the flop – as opposed to his opponent.
The Fatal Hero Call
'So far, so good,' you’d think as a fond watcher of TV poker. Klodnicki took a risk pre-flop, he failed with the follow-up move, and now he has to give it up.
We feel confirmed when both players check the turn and when Moss bets big on the river, we’re expecting a quick fold. Klodnicki would still be left with 3m chips, enough to continue the tournament and climb back up.
Instead, Klodnicki goes into the tank and then takes relatively little time to hero-call. And he does it with a hand that couldn’t even beat bluffs with A-Q or A-J.
Klodnicki ends up losing 74% of his stack and busts soon after in 45th place. Well, he was a kid with a dream …