We all like to tell stories about our heroic, Negreanu-esque home-game folds, don't we?
Kings before the flop. A straight on the turn. A full house on the river.
Hands we "just had a feeling" about and somehow, miraculously, we managed to be right. Or, of course, painfully wrong.
As part of our love and fascination with the psychic fold we've put together (with the help of our friends at Poker Olymp) six remarkable folds from poker history -- some actually heroic and others, well ... a bit less so.
1. Gary Paterson Accidentally Folds Fours Full
The first fold on our list comes from Gary Paterson and is more in the "Huh?" category,
Mostly it shows just how important it is to remember your cards right - which must be the case here. Otherwise he just folds a full house on the turn for no reason.
Any time someone says "I'll limp," though, you might expect something a little unorthodox.
2. Roberto Romanello Folds Jacks Full on the River
You might remember this phenomenal laydown from the 2008 Main Event, and it still astounds us to this day.
Mike Matusow, of course, freaks out when Roberto Romanello shows he folded his full house - and is right! Although looking back Geller made such a clear show of strength Romanello could be pretty sure he was beat. Still ...
3. Phil Hellmuth Puts on Absurd Show, Makes Absurd Fold
Take a normal player, put him on a televised poker show, give him 15 big blinds and queens (with a raise before him) and 99% of the time he'll (quite correctly) move in.
Now exchange "normal player" with "Phil Hellmuth," who somehow thinks he has the gift of second sight, and it becomes a whole different ball game (and an absurd show):
4. Mikhail Smirnov Folds Quads in Big One
So far in poker history the Big One for One Drop at the World Series of Poker in 2012 is without equal. At least until the second edition happens this summer.
With a $1,111,111 buy-in it was the richest poker tournament of all time and Russian businessman Mikhail Smirnov, who joined poker's elite at the tables, essentially made the most "remarkable" fold in poker history.
What happened? Unfortunately there's no video evidence but as it was recounted Smirnov had 8♦ 8♥, raised and got one caller in businessman John Morgan.
Flop: J♠ 8♣ 7♠. Smirnov continued with his set and got a call. Turn: 8♠. Again Smirnov bets, again a call.
River: K♠. One last time Smirnov bets and Morgan shoves. What did Smirnov do with quads and the second-best possible hand on this board with only T♠ 9♠ that could beat him?
He open-folds his quads, of course. Accordingly players at the table, including Tom Dwan and Phil Galfond, fell off their chairs.
5. Sandra Naujoks Mucks Rivered Straight
Not a fold in the "technical" sense, but a head-scratcher just the same. Sandra Naujoks rivers a straight, misses a value bet and mucks her hand against Tony G's trips.
"Too early in the day," is her explanation:
6. Loose Cannon Folds Aces (and Kings) Pre-Flop
The PokerStars Big Game was a well-known poker TV show before Black Friday that offered up a shot for an amateur "Loose Cannon" to play a cash game with some big-name pros.
A very real $100,000 was given to the lucky player and he or she was allowed to keep any profit made over 150 hands.
In this now-infamous episode Loose Cannon David Fishman built up a stack of $230,000 and, with $130k on the line (three times his annual income), he decided that was enough.
Consequently he folded everything that came his way - including kings, then aces. Aces! Before the flop!
While this may seem "technically" wrong, we can't argue with his risk aversion. Especially given that Phil Laak happened to flop quads on one of the hands (not that that makes it right, but still). The fold with the aces: