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Daniel Negreanu vs Eugene Katchalov - Great Hand.

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  • Daniel Negreanu vs Eugene Katchalov - Great Hand.

    Watch the video of this great hand from the PCA in January 2011, Nassau. Play the hand from the perspective of Daniel Negreanu (Canada) as he takes on fellow Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov (USA) at the Super High Roller Final Table.

    Watch Video Here.

    Would you have acted the same way? What would you have done differently? Share your thoughts and feedback via this forum discussion about this hand.

    Last edited by PSO Admin; Wed Jun 01, 2011, 06:50 PM.
    Team PokerSchoolOnline - Administration

  • #2
    Interesting hand. Heads-up, aces are pretty strong, so Daniel's open seems quite normal. Given how incredibly dry the board was, the c-bet was probably for value, since Katchalov would have needed to flop two pair (186/1225 possible hands, or 15.2% of possible holdings, some of which are unlikely because Katchalov would have raised or folded them preflop), trips (84/1225 possible hands, or 6.9% of possible holdings, also some of which are unlikely because Katchalov would have folded some of them preflop), or a full house or quads (7/1225 possible holdings) in order to have flopped better than Daniel. Against a flush draw, Daniel was even money to win on the flop. In short, Daniel was ahead of, or even money with, 77.4% of Katchalov's range, assuming Katchalov was playing any two cards. On this board, if Katchalov was playing tighter than that, then he would have been even more likely to have whiffed. So to summarize, Daniel had big equity to win versus Katchalov's range, so betting the flop for value makes total sense to me.

    The flat call from Katchalov on the flop should probably have sounded some warning bells, because I don't think he would have done that with air. I also think he would be pretty likely to raise a flush draw, since his implied odds from calling to hit it were probably bad against Daniel. I think that Daniel would be unlikely to pay off big to a flush draw, so the worst hand I think Katchalov is calling the flop with is one that chops with Daniel, but Katchalov might also be calling on a draw to as many as eighteen outs.

    On the turn, checking with the intent to fold makes a lot of sense to me. On the river, I understand that Eugene would be bluffing here a ton with busted flush draws that he did choose to call with on the flop, and I also understand that he'll show up with aces up a lot as well. But because of the action on the flop, I think Daniel should have folded the river, because I really don't think Eugene would lose to/chop with Daniel enough to make that call good. But that's my impression, and I might be wrong.

    As an interesting side-note to this hand, Eugene flat called a raise preflop with a hand that's roughly in the top 65% of hands by hand strength. That means that Eugene thought that playing at least two-thirds of all hands dealt to him on the button would be profitable to him. I think that's interesting.

    As another side-note, PSO Admin really seems to like watching Ax make losing river calls.
    Last edited by PanickyPoker; Wed Jun 01, 2011, 06:34 AM.


    • #3
      I like Daniel's continuation bet on the flop. The call should put Katchalov on either an A too, or possibly 2 pair or trips.
      With Katchalov calling the flop bet, I can see the check from Daniel on the turn (he may be ahead, but may also be behind).
      With the check on the turn, I'd have led out like Katchalov did with anything but air. With the A on the river, the only thing that should be beating Daniel is a 4... I'd have called it if I were in Daniel's shoes too, especially with a decent stack of chips in front of me.

      6 Time Bracelet Winner


      • #4
        Interesting hand, it played out like a common cash game scenario.

        I think the river is a fold, and it sounded like DN even reasoned it should be a fold but then called anyway. Normally when you check back the turn it may induce bluffs and you should call the river with bluff catchers, but I'll explain why I think this situation is different.

        First off when EK check/calls the flop, he's not likely to be floating air out of position very often, so his range is largely 4x, 8x, pocket pairs, and draws. On the river he's not betting marginal made hands for a pot sized bet when the ace comes, so his range is polarized to busted draws and 4x+ (or maybe A8 two pair+). There are several reasons I don't think this is a bluff however:

        -Bet sizing. The larger bet (almost pot sized) is more in line with value bets than bluffs. If Daniel's going to fold, 260K would have been plenty to get the job done, no need to bet 460K.

        -Ranging. When DN checks back the turn, his range consists of a lot of big ace combos. Which means that river card hits DN's range frequently and makes him a hand that won't fold... this should lean EK towards expecting a call.

        -Daniel's reputation. DN's a bit known for making light calls in spots like this, EK knows he's never folding an ace if he hit it. Hence a pot sized value bet, and a bluff in this spot would be bad.

        -Recent history. This one was really easy to miss, but the announcer does give us past action at this final table with the following comment at the very end: "A Daniel Negreanu river call FINALLY backfires on him!" If, true to his reputation, DN has been making light river calls at this final table, then EK is even more likely to expect a call here.

        Everything points to this being a value bet, and since EK can reasonably put Daniel on a big ace given how the hand played, then EK's value bet must be able to beat AK. Since DN has worse than this, he should let it go.

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        • #5
          Personally I think a hand like this should never be considered out of context ... it's the sort of play almost nobody would make in a full ring game, checking the set on the flop, but of course in heads up raising DN would just have incited a fold. The turn check is interesting though. He's giving DN another chance to improve, making it more likely that he'll call a river bet, but this sort of play goes down a hundred times in a heads up match, and only knowledge of the opponent and of previous similar encounters can really inform your play here.
          That said, I would tend to fold. If he's got an Ace DN's 6 is as likely to be good as not; if he's got a 4 DN is out, and the strong bet on the river so resembles an amateurish steal that it doesn't really make sense to me to assume anything but the opposite.


          • #6

            I think- and this is why DN is at the top-imo- getting max value when you have it - and losing the least when you dont - is key--when EK calls quickly- DN slows down- and got to shodown relatively cheaply- compared to throwing out a big turn bet- and then committing himself to a even bigger call/bet on river-- these guys have a ton of info on each other- and Dn pretty much new he was either crushed or takin the pot down down- he said so much- yet paid off to see- All the numbers aside- human curiosity plays a huge part of poker-- imho-- and using the info you gain at one place- can pay off later-- call it ----------- life EV-------..



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