Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Strange televised hand

Thanks to a Tweet from PokerListings for alerting me to this post on twoplustwo.com, which in turn points to this page, where you can watch a video of one of the strangest hands ever on televised poker. It starts at about the 2:20 mark.

I don't recognize any of these players, but the one identified as Vicente open-raises with A-J. When he thinks that everybody has folded, he shows his cards--but he has missed the fact that the big blind, identified as Alfredo, has not yet acted. Alfredo, with 9-9, gets to play the hand knowing what Vicente holds. He calls.

Alfredo flops great: 9-2-J. He bets out, gets raised, reraises, and gets called again. J on the turn gives Alfredo a full house, Vicente trip jacks with ace kicker--a seemingly ideal situation for both players getting all the chips in. Instead it's just bet and call.

The river is where it gets astonishingly weird. It's another 2, double-pairing the board and counterfeiting Alfredo's boat. Understandably, he checks. Also understandably, Vicente bets. But then comes the inexplicable:

1. Alfredo check-raises all in.
2. Vicente calls. (OK, that part is not inexplicable.)
3. The hands are revealed, and, though it's hard to be sure, it seems from the reactions that both players think Alfredo is the winner!

So did Alfredo really believe that he had the best hand when he bet his last chips? If so, how did he misread the board and his opponent's hand so badly? If not, did he really think that the top full house would fold for fear of having run into the only hand that could beat him (quad deuces)?

Did Vicente really believe that he had lost the hand when Alfredo's 9-9 was opened? If so, how? I mean, before you call an all-in bet, don't you explicitly list in your head all the hands that might have you beat? In this case, it was only 2-2. Nothing else. So how could he think he had lost to 9-9 there?

I seriously don't understand either player.

Isn't poker supposed to be easy if you're looking at your opponent's cards?

(For extra fun, have Google translate the page and try to follow the action. You get, e.g., this: "It all begins when Vicente, one of the online classified hand opens up with garlic." This in itself is a small comedy of errors. First, the web reporter got the hand wrong. It was Ac-Jc, but he wrote it as "AJo" (ace-jack offsuit). Because the Spanish word for garlic is ajo, that's how Google translates it.)


Anonymous said...

In times like that, I REALLY wished I learned how to speak Spanish.

taximike44 said...

You twice state that 22 is the only hand that would beat AJ, but J9 would also do the trick.

Rakewell said...

Right you are. Sorry. Wrote and published too hastily.

Drizztdj said...

Maybe they play Omaha too much?

Doubtful if they can't read a hold em' board though.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, they thought they were playing PLO.


-JP from Philadelphia

on+ilt said...

I hate when that happens....

Interesting that in the hand before that, Vicente had Jack Deuce.

Anonymous said...

I havent seen the video yet, but if you need a translator just let me know

Mark T said...

The announcer is clear about what is going on, which is why he's so animated - he's even saying "What's Vincente worried about? Does he think Alfredo has quad deuces, or J-9?"

It's hard to hear either player, but it seems clear that Alfredo misread the board, believing Vincente had deuces full of Jacks, not the reverse (and he could beat deuces full, he knew!).

The weird situation in general just broke Vincente's brain. He figured there was no way he could be checkraised all-in there by a worse hand, and it couldn't be a bluff given his holding, - so it had to be either the final Jack for a tie, or J-9 or 2-2 for a loss for him (and he's covered). He's praying to see Alfredo turn over a Jack when he calls. When he sees 9-9 instead, his first thought is "Oh my God, that one too - he has quad nines!" Then he pauses for just a second when he checks his brain and goes "wait, that isn't one of the hands I was scared of." Then he throws his hands to his face in relief when he realizes he won and Alfredo has misread the board.

It was a weird situation all around.

Anonymous said...

ok why does Vincente bet the river? his hand is exposed so he shouldn't expect to be called by a worse hand? was he trying to induce a bluff check raise? and if so does he really think his opponent is going to bluff check raise and represent quad 2's or J9? which i guess he was. so it could be genius EXCEPT he thinks he lost to pocket 9s, which makes me doubt his genuis. dumb and dumber heads up.