Every month PokerListings looks back at poker hands that stand out from all over the world.
Poker hands that have become modern classics. Hands that might have been overlooked. Hands that have been played particularly good or bad.
And hands that are just weird.
This month we've found four great poker hands worth watching again including a Viktor Blom golden moment, a man called Crocodile, girl power and Gus Hansen.
Yes, the Gus Hansen.
1) Return of the Je-Dane
How the mighty fall! Gus Hansen was one of the pioneers of the feared hyper-aggressive Scandinavian playing style that dominated poker in the early 2000s.
He did it so well that out of the first 12 international cashes in his career, 10 are final-table appearances and five are tournament wins.
Hansen conquered the EPT and the WSOP, he won the Aussie Millions and happened to record all his hands on a Dictaphone, which led to one of the bestselling poker books ever.
He was on so many WPT final tables that one of the seats should have had his name on it. Hansen was on the top of the poker world. But the game developed and the sharks ganged up on him. At some point, “The Great Dane” wasn’t able to keep up.
A few years later Hansen was in the books being $20 million down in online poker. Then he pulled the plug and quit.
However, the mighty wouldn’t be mighty if they didn’t get up again. Quite recently Gus Hansen showed up on the scene again and it comes as no surprise that the stage for his comeback performance was the King’s Casino in Rozvadov.
It’s not known exactly if he was persuaded to come and play or if he just felt like going there, but it is known that King’s Casino owner Leon Tsoukernik has very good instincts and high power of persuasion when it comes to bringing big-name players to his tables.
The high-stakes cash games at King's have established themselves as some of the best in Europe with Sam Trickett, Ronny Kaiser, Dan Cates, Max Altergott, Theo Jorgensen, Tony G and Patrik Antonius frequently seen at the tables.
Now, Hansen celebrated his comeback there, too, and for three days King’s was brimming with €100/€100 PLO and NLHE action. Hansen shared a large part of responsibility for some explosive action during the PLO sessions, and this is where we join the table.
€200,000 pot? No problem!
There is a concept to King’s Cash Game shows. They try to up the stakes from episode to episode to raise the tension and the size of the pots.
Not this time, though. This time the sessions began at full speed and never slowed down.
For you as a poker enthusiast we recommend watching the whole episodes. There are plenty of interesting pots to be seen and a lot of entertainment waiting.
But if there’s one hand not to be missed it’s the one at 4:38 in Session 1 when over €200,000 goes into the middle. They run the turn and river four times and in the end we’re even presented with a proper straight flush.
Have fun; you’ll see that Gus certainly did!
2) Andersen Lets $18k Pot Go In Style
Poker Night in America is a travelling poker show and this episode was filmed at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Florida, home of this year’s Hard Rock Poker Showdown that concluded season XV of the WPT.
One of the most popular editions of the show is the now-recurring Ladies Night, featuring fantastic players like Vanessa Rousso, Sam Abernathy, Natasha Mercier, Danielle Andersen, Esther Taylor-Brady, Jamie Kerstetter, Cate Hall, Abbey Daniels, Marsha Wolak and Stacey Sullivan.
In this episode from Season 4 Rousso, Wolak and Andersen get into a very intriguing hand.
It’s a long way to the river
Rousso’s call with A-Ts after a 3-bet might be questionable but without it we would have missed the rest of the hand. Andersen has the rockets and needs to defend them against two attackers, which she does very well.
The flop has only low cards and she can’t get rid of anyone, so she has to go for it again on the turn. Andersen’s bet is perfectly sized so Rousso can't make a mathematically correct call because she doesn’t have enough equity.
But Rousso doesn’t realize that – and there are always implied odds. On the river Andersen shows again how well she’s in control. She acknowledges she’s either been playing versus a monster all the time – or has since the river card hit.
She has to let go off a juicy $18k pot and does so in style.
3) The Crocodile Sinks His Teeth In
Big money often leads to serious faces at the poker table. That’s why poker fans love to see players that are a little different.
Players, for example, who do crazy stuff. Players who are extroverted instead of being ice-cold mathematicians – or players who don’t really know the rules.
Introducing The Crocodile -- a player who isn’t ashamed to show his feelings.
We’re at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov. Gus Hansen, who recently resurfaced (see above), Ronny Kaiser, Tony G and Niki Jedlicka are battling it out with Leon Tsoukernik and a couple of affluent amateurs in a game of €100/€100 PLO plus straddles.
One of the businessmen at the table is a Czech gentleman who goes by the nickname Crocodile. Apparently, he believes that it’s possible to stay anonymous on an internet live stream.
The Crocodile is new to PLO. Things don’t go well for him and his chip stack is continuously shrinking. But the tides always turn eventually and so the Crocodile gets to learn what PLO success feels like.
With his rather mediocre starting hand Q♦ T♠ 8♥ 4♥, he raises it up to €3,000. Then, of course, he won’t fold because Ronny Kaiser, one of the best PLO players on the planet, makes it just €15,000 to see a flop.
That flop is K-Q-6 – not exactly what you want to see if you’re the Crocodile – and it doesn’t help that his opponent bets €21,000 into the €69,000 pot. So the crucial question is, can anyone fold this hand now?
After a couple of minutes of tanking the Crocodile concludes that he can’t. He has second pair. But watch what happens. The Crocodile finds a hand on the turn and river and sinks his teeth into a big, fat piece of loot. And he doesn’t hold back either.
Shout-out to Joe Ingram, APA winner for his podcast, who does a great job commenting on this PLO cash game.
4) Time for Something Spectacular
What happens if a player never bluffs? He becomes exploitable, and whenever he bets or raises you just fold.
On the other hand, the opposite happens when someone is infamous for bluffing all the time. Take Viktor Blom, for example, as today we look back at a legendary hand that entails a big move and a big sweat.
There was a time when Isildur1 was just a young player who was breaking out into the poker world. In a very short time that player stormed the nosebleed limits and set all the records for biggest pots ever played online.
Not only did he play half of Full tilt Poker’s pro team, he played them simultaneously heads-up!
At some point it turned out that the man behind the pseudonym was a shy, young man from Sweden named Viktor Blom, who shortly after went to play live at the WSOPE in London. where he was living at the time.
Blom immediately finds a lot action at a table with Antonio Esfandiari, Sam Trickett and other world-class players. It’s still rather early in the tournament and not much has happened yet, so Blom decides it’s time for something spectacular.
Rebel Without a Cause
Blom opens with a standard raise and then several strange things happen. English player Ian Munns decides to go for a rather dubious re-raise with A-7o but Blom, holding the “monster” K-2, is obviously not going away.
He’s going to see a flop and that’s where things get really out of line. Munns follows up with a c-bet but Blom check-raises. Then Munns comes over the top with a 4-bet that say he’s not going to fold anymore.
But let’s be honest, what can Munns beat except a bluff? On TV you’ll hear Norman Chad say that Munns just “turned his hand into a bluff”, and if you keep that in mind Blom’s subsequent all-in isn’t really a bad move after all.
His opponent doesn’t appreciate it, however, and although he clearly has a tough decision he eventually just shrugs and calls. It’s really a wild battle, this hand, and it ends with our hero going bust and silently leaving the stage.