Friday, May 15, 2015

Comedy, Poker, and the “Call Back”

Easily the most interesting hand from the final table of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final Main Event that finished up last Friday was the one in which eventual winner Adrian Mateos successfully bluffed Johnny Lodden when the tournament was down to just four players.

If you watched the final table or followed the coverage on PokerNews, you know the hand. It began as a family pot, then after both Mateos and Lodden missed the flop both players made plays to knock out the other two (one of whom had to fold what was then the best hand).

The gamesmanship continued to the river where Mateos -- then the chip leader -- pushed all in with jack-high and Lodden thought seriously about calling with pocket fives (with a couple of aces and a nine on board). Finally Lodden folded, though, and Mateos showed his bluff afterwards.

I wrote something about the hand today over on PokerNews, not necessarily trying to analyze it fully but rather just looking at hands preceding that one in which Mateos similarly just called preflop raises -- kind of guessing that might have been one (of a few) factors Lodden was considering when trying to decide about Mateos’s range of hands at the end.

In the article I also talk some about the sitcom Cheers -- a favorite of mine that I’ve written about here before -- connecting the idea of a comedy “call back” with what happens in poker when a player’s action in one hand recalls something from an earlier hand. You can check it out here: “The ‘Call Back’: On That Epic Adrian Mateos-Johnny Lodden EPT Grand Final Hand.”

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