Really good poker players are able to fold even very strong holdings. And when they’re right, they always look like stars.
When they're wrong, though ... they don’t make you look that smart.
As our Video of the Week this week shows, even inexperienced players shouldn't give up that easily.
Between a Champ and a TV Star
For this hand we go back all the way to the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event. It’s still early in the tournament with the blinds at 300/600 and nobody’s even thinking about the money spots.
One of the players at the table is Greg Raymer (aka “Fossilman” because of his fossil card protector and reptile glasses), the former attorney who won the whole thing in 2004.
Thanks to his adventurous style Raymer has already managed to accumulate a lot of chips. He’s sitting behind more than 100,000 -- over 3x the starting stack of 30,000.
Raymer raises and gets called by TV star Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame. And then there is Dennis Baltz.
25 Seconds to Eternity
Baltz hasn’t had a tournament as good as Raymer's so far but now things could turn for the good. He’s in the small blind, looks at his cards and sees they’re both kings.
Consequently he decides to do the right thing and announces a re-raise. The big blind quickly goes out of the way but Raymer isn’t that easy to get rid of.
Raymer 4-bets to 20,000, making it very clear that he’s willing to play for his whole stack. What follows is 25 seconds that belong to the most mysterious in WSOP history.
Alexander folds but now Baltz begins to tank, which makes the commentators talk about a nice piece of Hollywooding. It turns out it isn’t.
Half a minute later Baltz demonstrates that he’s clearly very unhappy about Raymer’s move and, incredibly, he mucks his cards when he should have happily moved them all into the middle.
Surely, Norman Chad wasn’t the only one who couldn’t believe his eyes. While there are arguably spots where a pre-flop fold with kings can be correct, when you're 4-bet and potentially squeezed, that’s clearly not one of them. Watch for yourself in the video below.
ps. Although Baltz sports some Full Tilt Poker merchandise here, we don’t know if he ever took part in a big tournament again. We couldn’t find any results, either.