Here’s a beauty of a hand – excruciating to play, even more excruciating to watch.
I don’t even know what one player even had! But that won’t spoilt it for you. This is live poker in all its glory
This hand occurred last Sunday in the WPT World Championship at the Bellagio between Daniel Buzgon and Vanessa Rousso and it was an abnormally long hand with abnormally high levels of suffering – for both players as it turned out.
Daniel Buzgon bet 1300 preflop, Vanessa Rousso raised to 3,800 and Buzgon called. (At this point Buzgon had about 100k behind and Rousso had him covered with approximately 120k.)
The flop was the sort of thing you expect to see when you are holding two red aces: Q♣-T♣-9♣.
Rousso carried on the aggression with a 5,500 chip bet and Buzgon called.
The turn was the A♦. (Now if you are holding two red aces, I imagine this is not the card you want to see. It either means you are in the middle of a bad dream or someone’s been interfering with the deck)
This time Rousso checked and Buzgon bet 9,750. Rousso slipped in a cheeky little check raise to 25,000 and Buzgon called after some serious thought. (I wonder if he was actually “thinking” here or just acting? He’s drawing to the virtual nuts and it is 16k more out of his 90k odd stack to win a pot of 69k so far with more betting to come. Also, she’s absolutely priced him in there so I’m guessing she had the straight to the ace with the K♣ perhaps?)
The river was the T♠ and the whole board looked like this: Q♣-T♣-9♣-A♦-T♠ .
Rousso had a long think and eventually fired off a pot sized 70,000 chip bet, which put Buzgon all-in if he called.
And Buzgon took five minutes over his decision. He hemmed and hawed and got upset and even said “This sucks so much”. With the previous decision making added in this hand took a grand total of 17 minutes!
Finally he called. And to the astonishment of the table he had A♣-T♥ for a full house.
The website I discovered this hand on reported that “The rest of the players at the table seemed to be quite surprised that Buzgon took so long to make the call with such a strong hand.“
OK, I’ll be kind to Buzgon here. This was a $25,000 buy in event after all and with the aggressive manner Vanessa Rousso played it he’s entitled to fear AA or QQ for a better full house. Often you “know” in poker when your very strong hands aren’t quite good enough and this looks a lot like one of those situations. I remember hearing about a hand where Praz Bansi had K-10 and the flop was K-10-10 and somehow, (somehow???), he managed to get away from it. He was indeed losing to KK.
I suspect when Bugzon called the turn he was drawing to a club or an ace with the intention of folding to an all in bet if any other card came. But then a ten hit and he figured he was getting 2-1.
When you review the betting again though, there was a little clue which suggested that he wasn’t up against AA or QQ. The check raise to 25,000 on the turn was no way big enough for QQ or AA. A player with AA or QQ would have either check raised a lot more to discourage draws, or just check called for pot control hoping to hit their own full house. This 25k check raise was a “suck-em-in” bet to milk more chips and that’s why I think Vanessa had the straight to the ace.
Rousso mucked her cards so we don’t know what she had. I tried looking on Twitter to find out because I thought she’s definitely the sort of person to be on Twitter all day long – which she is – but alas, there was no information about her hand. So I guess I’ll never know.
For what it’s worth I reckon she had a straight, possibly with the K♣. She had to have a straight right? To make that check raise to 25k on the turn that just begged for a call. But then again, this would mean she was raising with KJ offsuit out of position. Hmmmm. Oh I don’t know – who knows what goes through Vanessa Rousso’s mind when she parts her lovely blonde hair and looks down at two picture cards?