Sunday, April 23, 2017
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    Poker Hand of the Week: Fernandez Finds a Farrell Problem

    No matter how big or expensive a poker tournament - and no matter how many pros are in it - amateurs still frequently make final tables.

    Which is great. It's why we all play, right?

    One of those amateurs to accomplish this great feat is French player Julian Fernandez, who made the final table of the 2016 French Poker Series in Monte Carlo.

    It was a wild run for him all the way to the final table. Then he played a fateful hand against Scottish pro Niall Farrell and it cost him dearly.

    Flop to River

    Amateur player Julian Fernandez has had a great run in the €1,100 FPS main event. He made it to the final three of the field and was already sure to win €90,000.

    His last two opponents in the battle for €218,000 up top were experienced pros Stephane Dossetto and Niall Farrell.

    This hand was at blind levels 100,000/200,000/25,000 with stacks at 13m (65 bb) for Farrell, 12m (60 bb) for Dossetto and 5m (25 bb) for Fernandez.

    The next pay jump is worth €40,000 but it doesn’t look too good for Fernandez when he finds     in the small blind.

    Farrell raises from the button to 425,000 and Fernandez calls. Dossetto gets out of the way. With 1.125 million chips in the pot they go to an       flop.

    Fernandez checks and Farrell bets 350,000. Fernandez makes the call to bring the pot up to 1.825 million. Effective stacks are down to 4.2 million.

    Turn:   Fernandez takes the lead and bets 550,000. Farrell raises to 1.25 million. Fernandez goes all in for 4.2 million and Farrell calls.

    River:   When the players show down their hands, Farrell wins with    

    Fernandez busts and gets the minimum €90k for third place. Watch the hand in the video below from 12 mins:


    Julian Fernandez busted with top pair, his dream of becoming a tournament winner on the FPS ending in flames.

    Chips go in, don't come out.

    At first glance this might look like an amateur somehow found himself in a bad spot without it being his fault. A closer look reveals that there was a lot of room for improvement in his play.

    It starts pre-flop. Farrell might be a very aggressive player but he’s also very good.

    You should think twice, maybe three times, if you want to take a stand against him with middle suited connectors, out of position, with 25 bb in front of you.

    Of course T 9 is a pretty nice hand, but taking the tournament situation and the position Fernandez is in into consideration, it seems reasonable to fold.

    Not mandatory, but reasonable.

    He's Supposed to Fold!

    Dossetto folds and the flop is all eights. That means the hand that was ahead pre-flop is now still ahead.

    OK; there's a chance that one of the players has flopped quads. But this is so small we can neglect it.

    Fernandez standard checks to his opponent who standard c-bets. But this bet is unusually small -- just a third of the pot.

    What is Fernandez supposed to do now? Simple. He’s supposed to fold!

    Yes, it’s possible that Farrell has a worse hand than him - like 7-6 or 6-5. And that would mean he stole the pot.

    But most of the time Farrell will have either an overcard or a pair – maybe 4-4 – and be ahead.

    It’s not easy to say what made Fernandez stick with his ten high. But the lesson doesn’t end here.

    A Bad Flop Call Even Worse

    The turn brings one of the two absolute “dream cards” for Fernandez.

    Niall Farrell2
    Aggressive and good.

    As it was hardly possible to win the hand with ten high, Fernandez needed to hit and the probability of one of his six “outs” hitting the board was only 12%.

    Of course, we know that none of these cards were actually outs. Which makes his bad flop call even worse.

    Now, instead of checking to Farrell on the turn, Fernandez takes the lead and bets. What is he trying to achieve?

    Is he trying to protect his hand? Or does he think he can get two streets of value out of a worse hand?

    The right move would have been to check again and either hope for Farrell to bluff with a worse hand or slow down with a better one.

    With the way Fernandez is playing this, the only hands he can get money from are A-K, A-Q or 7-7 and similar. But he won’t get paid twice so his bet doesn’t make any sense.

    Fernandez has a Problem

    Fernandez donk-bets and Farrell goes into the tank. Apparently he was a little surprised by this bet. But then he comes back with a very strong move.

    He raises and polarizes his range. A call would have said that he just had “something."

    From bad to worse on turn.

    Also, Farrell is assuming that Fernandez must have hit there and, as he beats everything except an eight and 9-9, which would hardly bet the turn, he would be very happy about an all-in push.

    Fernandez, on the other hand, has a problem with letting his hand go. An aggressive player like Farrell could actually bluff here.

    In addition to that the Frenchman has already invested more than a quarter of his stack. If he folds now he’d have to carry on with 3.65 million chips – an idea he’s not really interested in.

    But a call would have been the better move. If Farrell was on a bluff, he folds to the all-in. A turn-call and river-check by Fernandez might have induced Farrell to bluff all-in.

    In this scenario Fernandez wins a lot more chips by just calling the turn. But in the real world he finds himself all-in with just two outs to win and another “out” that is being "out" of the tournament.

    The Moral of the Story

    Like a chain reaction, Julian Fernandez makes things worse street by street and betting round by betting round until there’s no way out.

    So that's what that feels like.

    Players like Niall Farrell bluff often and have weak ranges, but they get monsters, too. Fernandez never even gave that a thought.

    If the Frenchman was really going to challenge the Brit, he would have had him bet all the way to the river, realize that he lost to kings, shrug, and leave.

    The best way to play the hand would have been to get rid of it on the flop, though.

    PS: Farrell busted Fernandez in third place but still couldn’t secure the title. That went to Stephane Dossetto.


    Read More »
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    Pete Chen Goes Wire-to-Wire to Win First WPT Beijing for $299k

    Taiwan’s Pete Chen was the ultimate victor in the World Poker Tour’s first-ever Main Event held in Beijing.

    Chen outlasted 400 entries and outlasted a final table that included noted pro Bryan Huang to scoop a $299k haul and a ticket into the $15,000 WPT Tournament of Champions next year.

    The Taiwanese native now has over $1m in lifetime live tournament earnings, the majority of which are from Macau, but he has made trips to play in LA and Las Vegas so the TOC trip shouldn’t be too difficult.

    WPT Beijing was also the very first tournament for Season 16 so Chen grabbed an early lead in the Player of the Year race.

    Haung Hits Rail in Sixth

    Long-time poker pro Bryan Huang, who dominated a huge portion of WPT Beijing, was surprisingly the first player to be eliminated from the six-player final table.

    bryan huang

    Huang started the table with short stack of 16 big blinds so he was actively shoving from the start of play.

    Unfortunately for Huang he shoved pocket deuces into Zhang Wenbin’s pocket jacks and that was it for the Singaporean pro. Huang added $54k to his $1.1 million in lifetime live tournament earnings.

    Beijing was a unique event for the WPT because a portion of the field were Chinese locals who qualified through Ourgame’s social poker game while the rest were made up of international players who bought in directly.

    Next up for the WPT is a high-profile stop in Amsterdam starting on May 5.

    The WPT has teamed up with PokerStars a promotion they’re calling “The MonteDam Swing” where players who take part in both WPT Amsterdam and PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo have a chance to win some extra cash.

    Here are the complete final-table payouts (*First place also includes $15k TOC seat) for WPT Beijing:

    1st place: Pete Yanhan Chen – CNY 2,063,454* (US $299,485*)
    2nd place: Chen Ke – CNY 1,373,026 (US $199,278)
    3rd place: Lu Yingqi – CNY 882,619 (US $128,101)
    4th place: Zhang Wenben – CNY 585,468 (US $84,974)
    5th place: Tan Yancheng – CNY 450,616 (US $65,401)
    6th place: Bryan Huang – CNY 373,218 (US $54,168)


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    Win 1 of 100 WSOP Packages Worth $12k Each on partypoker

    Is there anything more appealing for a poker player than an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas to play the World Series of Poker?

    How about if it includes parties, golf and a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon in your spare time?

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    Nothing like it.

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    Depending on the field size, anywhere from 5-25 x $109 tickets are guaranteed in these and they play like a 'phased' tournament.

    That means they'll run for exactly 18 10-minute levels. If you have chips left at the end, you'll move on to the final qualifier with the chips in your stack.

    That final qualifier is the Las Vegas Poker Party Final, which has a $1,050 direct buy-in that you've now skipped. If you do need to buy in, you’ll start with 100,000 chips.

    Each of these finals offers 10 x $12,000 packages to go to Vegas to live the dream. Check the schedule below:


    Note: You can progress into the finals more than once but you'll only take your largest chip stack through with you. You can also win more than one $12,000 package but you'll only get one (plus one) invite to the Party activities.

    $12,000 Cash in Your Account

    Join in the party.

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    Not coming to Vegas would be crazy though, right?

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    Should you join the party a ton of fun awaits with a nightclub party, pool party, golf outing and a scenic trip to the Grand Canyon. The first 10 package winners also win a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon.

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    Karamalikis Wins Whale, Talbot Bubbles on 888poker Weekend

    Spring has come but the online tables were still buzzing over the weekend on 888poker.

    The ongoing 2017 WSOP satellites were stacked with entrants and so were the Sunday Majors.

    Australian pro Jonathan Karamalikis took home the biggest prize on 888poker this weekend as he swept to a win in the $600 buy-in Whale.

    888poker pro Parker Talbot, meanwhile, just missed qualifying for the WSOP while fellow pro Chris Moorman won The Monsoon for the secont time in 2 months.

    Whale Rider Jonathan Karamalikis

    Australian poker pro Jonathan monster_dong Karamalikis took home the largest prize of the weekend after winning the $600 buy-in Whale.

    Jonathan Karamalikis

    Karamalikis, who already has over $2.5 million in live and over $600k in online winnings, got the best of the 215 players in the tournament and added over $26k to his bankroll.

    It was quite a good weekend for monster_dong overall as he also cashed in the $80k guaranteed Sunday Challenge and the $40k guaranteed Turbo Mega Deep.

    888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche also made a deep run in the event but busted just three spots off the money. It wasn’t the German’s best weekend as he couldn’t cash in the Crocodile or in both Mega Deeps, either.

    The second largest winner’s check went to jareth3542 from Britain, who triumphed in the 647-player, $120k guaranteed Mega Deep and turned his $600 buy-in into $24,400.

    Talbot Misses, Moorman cruises

    As the exclusive online provider of World Series of Poker satellites, if you want to get to Vegas on the cheap your path has to run through 888poker.

    As you might expect, then, the poker players out angling for a $12k package via 888 satellite are plentiful.

    That includes the pros themselves, including newly signed Parker 888tonkaaaaP Talbot.

    chris moorman 888 high roller 2
    2x in 2 months.

    He played a $1k direct satellite to the WSOP main event – and bubbled. 39 players played for four tickets and Talbot finished 5th.

    Chris Moorman didn’t pay a visit to the tables on the weekend as he was busy playing in the 888poker Easter Edition live event at the Aspers Casino in London, where he was joined by Talbot and Sofia Lövgren.

    However, Moorman did fire up The Monsoon last Thursday and – you guessed it – went all the way. We’ve lost count as to how many tournaments he’s won but this one turned $55 into $3.3k.

    It was the second time Moorman has won The Monsoon in two months.

    Watch Your Weiner-Bacon

    Pimmelspeck from Germany, whose name roughly translates as Weiner-bacon (you decide if that’s funny), made the final table of The Whale for $10.6k.

    He’s already made more than $20k on 888poker this year. Do you know who Pimmelspeck is? Drop us a line in the comments. We’ll try to find out in Las Vegas this summer.

    XL inferno eclipse blizzard
    The Inferno is coming.

    As he’s already secured himself a ticket for the ME on 888poker he’s bound to be there, too.

    Further up on the salary scale DrMikee from Uruguay is cruising at around $100k profit this year. DrMikee started out with three Top 4 finishes in the XL series back in January – good for $100k in winnings – and hasn’t had any real drawbacks since.

    Last week he came close to the big money again, finishing 20th in The Whale. He also played 13 $500 heads-ups on Friday, winning eight of them for a quick profit of $1,500.

    Watch out for DrMikee during the $7.5m XL Inferno; he’s bound to go deep again.

    197 Events Beginning May 7

    The XL Inferno kicks off on May 7. It’s the largest tournament series on 888poker yet and satellites are running 24/7.

    This incredible 197-tournament series has events for every taste, bankroll and playing style imaginable.

    Get your 888poker account through PokerListings now and join in with an $888 bonus!


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