Poker Greats Give Visual Lessons

High Stakes Poker is one of my favorite poker television shows. Every now and then, I come across a particular hand that is a great poker lesson.
In this segment from Season 5, watch Patrick Antonius' style of play. Watch his eyes. You can see him thinking and evaluating. Regardless of the outcome, I want you to watch the way Patrick takes his time.
What do you think about the outcome of the hand?

4 thoughts on “Poker Greats Give Visual Lessons”

  1. I agree with the table, that was a sick call. I can only understand how he could make it if, as Gabe said, he read a tell. But how does he even get to that point? I would have folded pre-flop, turn and river. I probably would have raised after the flop, but it's unlikely that I would have seen it.

    1. Joanne, here is something else to think about when we watch televised poker: we see only a few of the hands that are played. In this case, what interested me most was the time it took Patrick to make his decision. He was certainly going over a multitude of things in his head in order to get to the point of making this call. Not only tells that he might have picked up on Phil Laak, but things like how long it had been since Phil took a stab at a pot and their relative chip stacks and position. It’s the questions we ask ourselves at the poker table that make the difference.

      The player you must applaud was Howard Lederer, who folded his pocket 8’s on the flop. Sure, he would have won the hand, but I think Howard looked at the flop of 4h, 3s, 2h and figured that Phil likely had an Ace and a face, that with his under pair of 8’s, it was not worth the fight with Patrick behind him.

      I think that IF Howard had been heads-up with Phil, the hand would have played out differently. Heads up, Howard would likely have raised Phil off the hand.

  2. My belief is that Phil acted too fast pre-flop and Patrick and everyone at the table knew Phil had an A with a good kicker. Also, Phil's pre-flop was not enough to force heads up action with the straddle on. Phil needed to make a pot sized bet to get heads up with somebody. I imagine Phil wanted action and information with his bet, so he is safe until the flop. Bad flop for Phil. It is a good drawing hand, but he has already shown that he most likely had A, and a face card. Since Patrick hit part of the flop, he called. When the K hit the turn Patrick improved unless Phil has the AK. Here is where Patrick had the biggest decision in my opinion because if he has read Phil correctly, the king may have helped Phil. I think Patrick called because of the many cards that could improve his hand, and Phil had built a large pot. When the Q hit the river, Phil knew he couldn't win without a bet but he bet too much. If Phil really had a hand he would want to get paid, so he would have bet smaller to get paid off. Phil should have been wary of AQ, PP, or trips. Instead he bluffed and Patrick sniffed it out. I'm sure it would be harder to see if I was in on the hand, but I think these are some of the things Patrick was thinking throughout the hand.
    What do you think, of my evaluation Donna. If I'm full of it let me know. I am enjoying your tips and strategies.

    1. Danny, I think that you did your job. You analyzed the hand and went through the what-if’s.

      The point I’m making is that regardless of the outcome of the hand, Patrick took his time and evaluated the hand. Mind you, preflop, Patrick’s call was loose, however, there is a case to be made for his call since he did close the action and there are two other players in the pot.

      On the flop, there reason for Patrick to check raise Phil. Frankly, I’m surprised Patrick did not do just that.

      I’m all for continuation bets post flop and on the turn, however, Phil’s bet on the river just did not feel right. It was too big and too fast. Patrick took his time, ran through the possibilities, and made a Big Dawg call!

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