Despite the fast rising blinds and antes we appear to have come to the calm before the storm. Players seem to be tightening up as Day1A nears its conclusion and we are in the tournament doldrums at present, with the majority of pots being won pre-flop via a combination of raises and re-raises. It is however, merely a matter of time until we see some car crash poker, of that you can be assured.
While some players like to take their time over a decision, in tournament poker time is money. With blinds and antes continually rising to force the action any player taking too long over a decision may well find themselves put on the clock. That’s exactly what happened to Japan’s Susumo Toge in the following hand.
Sitting under-the-gun Toge makes it 2,200 to go, finding a caller in the form of Jordan’s Shafiq Taleb Barqawi before a short-stacked player in the lowjack opts to move all-in for 6,900 in total.
Whilst it is only 4,700 more to call Toge doesn’t seem to like it and tanks for a good five minutes before an impatient Barqawi calls for a clock. Toge doesn’t seem to like this either and waits for the full minute before grudgingly making the call, as does Barqawi.
Toge checks the A♠ 5♣ 4♠ flop, and Barqawi wastes no time in moving all-in for his remaining 20,000 in chips. Toge doesn’t take anywhere near as long as he did pre-flop in finding the fold and we are heads-up, Barqawi’s two pair A♦ 4♣ leading his opponent’s Pocket Jacks. With no Jack forthcoming Barqawi scoops in the 23,100 pot to move him up to 43,000 in chips as the short stack heads for the exit.
From the cutoff, Kwok Ho Tam bets 2400 but Susumu Toge, sitting on the button, three-bets to 6000. Tam is in no mood for position plays from his opponent and moves all in. However, he is snap-called and Toge rolls over A♦ A♣ to have Tam’s Q♠ Q♦ on the ropes.The board runs out 5♥ 7♠ 9♥ 8♣ 5♦ and Toge rakes in a double up to around 60,000.
The very next hand, Tam again wakes up with Pocket Queens and calls the all in of a short stacked opponent. They pushed with 6♠ 6♣ and couldn’t muster a suckout against Tam. It’s just a shame the pot was only worth 12,000 but at least not all of Tam’s women treat him badly.
In James Bond films players bet Aston Martins, but in the Red Dragon Gab Yong Kim is betting the house, quite literally in this case. After a player in the lowjack raises to 2,000 and the Cut-off calls, Kim makes the call from the small blind and the Big Blind decides to come along for the ride.
Both Kim and the Big Blind check the 6♥ 6♠ 4♥ flop before the original raiser c-bets 4,000 into the 8,675 pot. After the Cut-off folds Kim check raises to 10,000 in total and once the Big Blind gets out of the way the original raiser immediately announces all-in. Kim snap calls, flipping over 6♦ 4♦ for the flopped full house, which is well in front of his opponents A♦ Q♦.
The turn and river are merely a formality and Kim is now up to the 70,000 mark whilst his opponent heads for the rail.
Korean Yujung Choi has just taken a small nibble out of Mariakis’ stack. From UTG, Mariakis bets 1900 preflop and is called by Choi in the cutoff and by the big blind player.
The flop comes K♠ A♣ 4♥ and Mariakis c-bets 3300. Choi pumps it up to 6600 and the big blind gets out of the way. In his typical hand-over-mouth pose, Mariakis makes the call delivering the 9♦ on the turn. Mariakis checks to the aggressor and Choi fires another 10,000 into the middle. Mariakis folds and shows a K♦ face-up. Choi then shows she had the goods over him and turns over the A♠.
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Japan’s Takuya Suzuki has narrowly avoided crashing and burning in a hand against Hong Kong’s Jae Hyuck Shim. After short-stacked Suzuki moved all-in holding 7♣ 10♠ Shim opted to make the call from the small blind with J♣ 9♦.
The A♣ 2♠ 4♣ flop gave Suzuki no help, nor did the 6♦ turn, but it seemed the poker gods were feeling generous and gifted him a 10♣ on the river to keep his tournament hopes alive. While Suzuki is now up to 19,000 he is not out of the danger zone yet and there’s still plenty of time for the wheels to come off.