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16/07/2007 No. 34
he Guardian G2 Poker Column
Victoria Coren
Monday July 16, 2007

At the World Series of Poker in Vegas, not all the talk is of bracelets and championship events. One of the most talked-about hands of the entire series was played in a private cash game at the Venetian Hotel. The lineup included top TV players Phil Laak and Antonio Esfandiari, as well as Jamie Gold (winner of the 2007 series, who will remain world champion until the title changes hands in the early hours of Wednesday). The contestants in this pot were John Duthie (creator of the European Poker Tour, widely known as European poker's "Mr Big" - a much-loved and highly artistic player who dances along the line between genius and insanity), and a top local pro known as Viff.

I am often advising readers to play conservatively and aim primarily to make the most money with the best cards. The following is a hand worth noting for its incredible flair, its disregard of premium hands, and the excellent strong play of both parties. But be warned: do not try this at home.

With blinds of $50-$100 (no limit hold 'em), Duthie raises to $650 with ?Q?8. Viff calls on the button with ?J?4. The flop comes ?A?9?2. Duthie checks. Viff bets $1,600. Duthie raises $6,000 more. Viff calls. The turn pairs the ace. Duthie checks. Viff moves all-in for $18,000. Duthie calls immediately. The river card is ?3.

"Jack high," announces Viff.

"Queen high," replies Duthie, scraping in a pot of over $50,000.

Later, Duthie explained: "With a pair, he would have reraised pre-flop. I sensed he didn't have an ace. I put him on 4-5, 6-7, maybe 10-J. My only real fear was king high. But I decided he wouldn't move all-in on the turn with king high - because that hand is just far too strong."

Your can read more byAnthony Holden at his website

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