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07/10/2007 No. 45
he Guardian G2 Poker Column
Victoria Coren
Sunday Oct 7, 2007

In the ideal poker hand, you play well and your opponents play badly. But sometimes there is a curious knock-on effect, where two contestants in a pot end up playing badly, or both play it well.

On the second day of the WSOP Europe, I raised with 77 and was reraised by Ram Vaswani holding QQ. I could afford to call, and was rewarded with a juicy flop of 247. I checked to make way for Ram's continuation bet, and he opted for a pot-sized 10,000. I called. The turn was a 9 and I checked again, but this world-class player did not fall into my trap: he checked behind. The river came a 3, and I bet 17,000 (just over half the pot), which he felt obliged to call. A lesser player than Ram would have kept betting and raising with QQ, but this guy is smart enough to deduce from the action that I held a small pair and might well have flopped a set. So he lost the minimum he could - but conversely, by giving him a chance to bet and then pricing him in on the river, I won the maximum that I could. It was good poker from both of us.

A few hands later, Vaswani, Gus Hansen and Rehne Pedersen limped on my small blind, so I "completed" with the terrible hand of spades9 and spades5. The big blind, a short-stacked German, checked, and we saw a flop of diams6 spades6 spades3. I checked, the German went all-in and the others folded. I couldn't resist calling with the flush draw, and he rolled over AA! To check his big blind with small chips, that hand and those opponents was almost suicidal. Nevertheless, it was a bad call from me. I was obviously behind, maybe drawing dead, and I ended up losing a pot that I didn't need to play in the first place.

Your can read more byAnthony Holden at his website
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