Friday, April 13, 2012

Big Fun with The Big Game

The Big Game VIHave been very much enjoying the live stream and commentary of PartyPoker’s Big Game VI from Vienna, Austria over the last couple of days. Looks like they have about four or five more hours left to go in what has become a more-than-48-hour cash game.

I’ve been watching the feed via the PokerNews page, where one can also follow and participate in moderated chat over to the right. The picture and sound have been clear and without any glitches whatsoever. Commentary has been useful and entertaining, with Jesse May among those having contributed. And the chat has even been a nice add, too, thanks in part to the fact that it has been moderated with some of the PokerNews folks serving as hosts along the way.

I watched for a few hours yesterday, and have it on again today as I write. The game has been highly compelling to watch. During the hours I’ve seen, Tony G has been present throughout with lots of table talk and relatively loose play. Dan “Jungleman” Cates has been struggling, down nearly €100K at the moment. And iron man Phil Laak has of course been there, too, the only player to play the entire session.

By the time I picked up the feed yesterday, Laak was already up the most of anyone, nearly €150K ahead. The most amazing hand to watch by far came last night, sometime after midnight Vienna time, one involving Laak and Andy Moseley.

From the live feedThey were playing six-handed at the time. Not sure what the situation was with straddles and so on, but there was €500 in the middle to start the hand. Laak was dealt Ac6h and opened with a raise to €700. Tony G called from the small blind with 7d3d, then Andy Moseley reraised to €3,400 from the BB with AhKh.

The action back on Laak, he made a loosey-goosey four-bet to €10,200, forcing out Tony G. Moseley then shipped for €31,425 total and after thinking for a while Laak decided to call.

Laak didn’t turn over his hand, following a fairly common practice in cash games. You could hear him explaining to the others that those watching the live feed could already see his hand, and he thus didn’t feel obligated to show his ace-rag to the table. He also sounded a little like he was unhappy with himself about getting into such a spot.

“Look, when a guy’s melting off his money, you don’t have the right to see his hand,” Laak said with a grin. “That’s the way it is in a poker room.”

The flop came 2cTs2d, then the turn brought the 6d to pair Laak, who didn’t react at all to the card. When asked, Moseley said “I feel like 6 out of 10 comfortable” regarding his prospects at that point with ace-king -- without, of course, knowing that Laak had just binked his six.

Meanwhile, adding to the fun, it was at that moment Tony G offered to bet €3,000 that Laak had the best hand, with both Alec Torelli and Scott Seiver taking him up on it and taking Moseley’s hand.

Laak mucks a winner!The river then brought the Jh, and all waited for Laak to signal whether he’d won or lost. But rather than turn over the winner, Laak just grimaced and mucked his cards!

The dealer pushed the pot to Moseley -- like €64K or thereabouts -- and Torelli, Seiver, and Tony G made lots of noise off to the side as a reaction to their side bets.

“What’s happened?!” asked Jesse May. “A 60,000 Euro mistake! Oh my God!” said Scott Baumstein, his commentating partner at the time. “That means officially he’s been playing the game too long!”

They went on to explain excitedly how usually in such situations if a player made a mistake by mucking a winner, he’d never know. But with the televised presentation of this game, Laak would find out -- a half-hour later, that is, when the delayed feed aired the hand and showed he’d mucked the winner.

Wild stuff, that. Kind of recalls that time Phil Ivey mucked a winning flush when they were down to three tables in the 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event. Remember that?

Tuning back in today, it appears Laak recovered well enough from his mistake, having built back up to almost a €180K profit at the moment. We’ll see how well he holds up during this final stretch run. Me, too, although I’m plenty rested. Oh, and I don’t have thousands of Euros at risk.

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