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18/02/2008 No. 60
he Guardian G2 Poker Column
Victoria Coren
Monday Feb 04, 2008

When you put somebody on a hand, stick with your read. If it's wrong, it's wrong, but being decisive is always more lucrative in the long run. Here is an example from the second series of PartyPoker Premier League Poker, which we have started filming for broadcast on Channel 4 in March.

Tony G raised to 8,000 with spades A, spades Q, and was called by Devilfish (diamonds Q, clubs 10) and Annie Duke (clubs K, hearts J.) The flop came hearts 6, spades K, diamonds K and everybody checked. The turn came spades 8 and Annie bet 5,000, which Tony G flat-called.

This was great play from Tony G. He avoided the trap of continuation betting on the flop, and the trap of raising on the turn (despite the huge temptation of the flush draw). Annie Duke was laying Tony G 5/1, hoping to induce that big raise. He cleverly dodged a bullet with the smooth call. His price was slightly incorrect, but he had big "implied odds": if it came a small spade, Duke would have to pay him off.

In fact, the river came diamonds J and Tony G failed to get away cheaply. First, Duke checked her full house. I love this check as I would love a kitten on a Sunday morning. So few players would be able to resist value betting her hand on the river, but Duke was playing the man, not the cards. Sure enough, Tony G fired out 20,000. Duke moved all in, and collected a juicy 55,000 pot.

So where did the plan go wrong for Tony G? His plays on the flop and turn are perfect if Annie Duke has a king. But if she has a king, he can't bluff her on the river. One thing you shouldn't do in the middle of a poker hand, even if you're world class, is change your mind.
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