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PostSubject: Poker: A game of skill   Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:48 am


Poker: A game of skill
Folding a full house? An astonishing play from Neil Channing

Victoria Coren

Victoria Coren The Guardian, Wednesday 23 February 2011

In the £1,500 high roller event at the UKIPT Nottingham, I watched an astonishing play from Neil Channing, MD of BlackBelt Poker. If you ever bump into one of those sceptics who still refuse to believe that poker is a game of skill, tell them about this hand.

The blinds were 150-300, we all had around 30k. Somebody limped early and Owen Robinson raised to 750. Channing called from the button. I called from the big blind with 6♥ 7♥. What the hell; I was priced in to play a multiway pot. The limper folded.

The flop came A♦ A♥ 9♠. No good for me, obviously, but they both checked behind so I saw the turn card: 5♣. I checked, Robinson checked and Channing bet 1,800. I folded immediately; this was no time to be drawing to an inside straight. Robinson called.

The river was 10♣. Robinson checked and Channing bet 3,300. Robinson raised to 10,000. Channing thought. He thought and thought. He thought some more. Then he folded . . . face up . . . A♠ 5♠!

Folding a full house? The third nuts? Who does that? Channing told me later: "I knew Owen had a lot of backers from the internet, scrutinising his every move. He wouldn't let himself lose half his stack with a massively funky bluff. He had a hand. When he checks the flop, I know he doesn't have a pocket pair – he has an ace or he's missed. When he flat calls the turn, I know he definitely has an ace, and it's not A9. He now knows I have an ace, he'd check-raise with his own house. But suddenly he's ready to check-raise the river? A10. It can only be A10."

People talk a lot about putting opponents on "ranges". Sometimes it's about putting them on hands. Robinson flashed the A10, and we all went to the break.


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