Eli Elezra Vs Gus Hansen in High Stakes Poker

By Tamas Sziladi

In High Stakes Poker it is possible to observe such a Multi-level Thinking (MLT) that only the best of the best are capable of doing. In High Stakes Poker many great players play and it is a perfect opportunity to learn from Ivey, Dwan, Negreanu, Brunson, Hansen, Antonius or Farha. It is really amazing what goes through their mind during a given hand. In this article there is a little theory about MLT thinking and then comes a very interesting hand played between Eli Elezra and Gus Hansen in High Stakes Poker Season 6.

It is time to check out the memorable hand between Eli Elezra and Gus Hansen.

There are eight players at the table, the blinds are $400/$800 with a $200 ante. The stacks are extremely deep, most of the players bought in with $200 000 but Dwan and Ivey with $500 000 each. Gus Hansen raises to $4 200 in the fourth position with a speculative hand: 4s6s. Tom Dwan does not need too much of a hand for such a call but this time he even has a hand and makes the call (6cAc). Eli Elezra finds 8hKh in his big blind and decides to make the additional $3 400 to play the hand. The pot is $14 600 and three of them see the flop.

Elezra says: “I check in the dark.” This is an interesting play and has happened already a few times in High Stakes Poker to mislead the opponent and not give away kind of information about the hand. However he says right away: “No, no, no, wait! I did not check down there!” The following cards hit the table: Ks9h3d. And then the king hits and Elezra still checks his hand. Hansen as the original aggressor makes a $9 900 continuation bet (c-bet). Dwan folds quickly and Elezra makes a fast call. As you can observe the c-bet did not mean much to Elezra. He knew Hansen would make that bet with any kind of a flop, no matter if he hits or completely misses. There are no draws on the flop so Elezra decides to call and see how the hand further develops. The call seems reasonable because with a weak kicker (the eight) Elezra is probably worried that Hansen also has a king with a better kicker therefore he does not reraise. It is also interesting to mention Dwan’s play. He usually does not give up his hands so quickly and makes a call with nothing so he can bluff his opponent out at a later point of the hand. However with Elezra sitting behind him, he does not know what comes next so he makes a quick fold.

The pot is $34 400 and the turn card is 3c. This card has not changed much. Most likely the player who was on front on the flop is still on the front now. Hansen decides to shoot his second barrel and go on with his bluff with a $25 500 bet. Elezra thinks for a bit and decides to call. The pot is $85 400. When he made his decision he probably also thought: “If Hansen was bluffing then I am still ahead with the pair of kings and threes. If Hansen also has a king then I am most likely behind now, but with a call I can have the pot under control and see what the river card brings.”

The river is the As. Elezra checks, Hansen counts his chips and bets $62 200. Now this is the interesting part. This is where MLT comes into play. Elezra knows Hansen very well and they have played many times together. He knows that Hansen is capable of shooting three barrels with nothing.

Knowing that there is $147 600 in the middle, Elezra gets very good odds on his money. If he puts on Hansen on the four hand types as I have done and he thinks he would only win 1.5 times out of 4, it still makes sense to make the call. What I do not know is how Elezra gives the percentages of the four possible hands to Hansen. When I say the odds I consider the fact that there is a 25% chance for all four possibilities. Elezra knows Hansen a lot better so he might think the chance of a bluff is 40% and the other three possibilities are equaled at 20%. In this case the call makes even more sense. If he thinks Hansen has a 40% chance of having a monster and the other three possibilities have 20% then the call does not make so much sense. Elezra actually does not even think long, makes a fast call and wins $209 800. Hansen said after the hand that he had already decided before the river card that he would use the third barrel to chase Elezra away, but he did not want to see an ace. He pulled the trigger anyway (as Gabe Kaplan said). He did all the thinking and possible reactions of Elezra even before the last card hit. However Elezra is also a world class player and he read Hansen perfectly.

What can I say at the end of such a wonderful hand? It was very interesting to see it on TV and analyze it later on. For sure for me it would have been a lot harder to make a $62 200 call on the river with a king. There must be a reason why those players are sitting at the High Stakes Poker table. Their way of MLT makes them special players who can make great reads on their opponents.

If you would like to see deeper analysis with the concrete numbers and chances, please visit our website and take an active part in the analyzing process.

Tamas

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tamas_Sziladi/839644

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