Mail from Barry Greenstein

16. August 2005 | Category: 50outs

I got an email from Barry Greenstein regarding a hand we played together in the WSOP this year and which I won very luckily. If you can’t remember, find it here. The hand got a lot of attention and was analyzed and discussed in quite a few places. There is a full thread about it in Daniel Negrenau’s poker forum and I found one very well written review of the play written by John from “For a better tomorrow”.

Barry’s wrote in his email that he thinks I am wrong in some details about the hand. Let me share his view:


You will probably be disappointed to find out that you misremembered the hand. Here is what actually happened:

You raised in, in first position, and I reraised and you made it four bets. The cap in the limit games at the World Series was five bets (a bet and four raises), and I decided not to cap it. At this point, I was the clear leader at the table. I assumed you had Queens or better, or Ace-King suited. I thought Aces was the most likely hand for you, since you weren’t in nearly as good shape as I was, and you would be crippled if you lost this hand.

The flop came K-7-3. I check and called, waiting for the turn to raise.

The turn was ugly for me, an Ace. I suspected I might already be beat. I could have raised, but decided to play it conservatively. If you had Aces, calling (or actually folding) is the best. If you had Ace-King I will lose a bet, but I still might regain that bet if I read you for some concern on the river. In case you have neither of these and are out on a limb, a call may get me another bet on the river.

The river was a truly disgusting second Ace. I was sure I was beat and I checked. I wanted to show you my hand before I decided whether to call, but the WSOP rules forbid that. I said, “You might had thought you had me, but you got very lucky here.” Then I said, “Call,” before showing it. I didn’t put any chips in to the pot yet as I showed my Kings. I only put chips in the pot after you showed your Ace-King. I felt I lost the minimum. If I would have won that pot, I would have had more than 40% of the chips at the table with six players still remaining.


Now, who am I to disagree with Barry Greenstein. My guess is he plays successfully for a reason and having door-like holes in his memory may not be the kind of weakness this guy has. So I admit he is right and my memory does not serve me to well these days; in my memory the action took place slighly different, he said “I hit my hand on the flop also pretty well” before folding and no chips from him went into the pot on the river. In that regard I just saw a study in TV about eye-wittnesses on traffic accidents: they tested a group of “normal” people (are those really out there?) and a group of police officers (that those are not “normal” I can confirm) thru presenting accident situations to them for a limited time like 60 seconds. The goal was to find out a) how different the situation details would be remembered by each person and b) if the professional education of the officers would make any difference. Well, the results were horrible for both groups almost to the point that a judge says he could not use eye witnesses anymore in his trials and in combined results the police officers -trained ground abutments of our society- were much worse (by over 10%). Wrong memories on important details like gender of the person driving etc. What makes you even more thinking is that over 70% of the officers were ready to swear an oath on there (wrong) testimony! Ok, enough of these disturbing sidenotes and back to Barry. Now Barry himself admits that there was no “great laydown” and that he called my final bet on the river. If he really had put any chips into the pot after the showdown itself it totally passed me. I am sorry to any reader of our little blog here in case you took part in one the various discussion of the hand and either defended Barry for wrong (about his “ridicoulous” laydown as some have stated) or attacked him for the very same thing. In any case, attack me. Send me your flames or just sit down at any table I am playing, I might pay you off with AK vs. your KK. Proven and confirmed.


Sundays pokerstars $500,000 guaranteed ($215 buyin) saw me reaching the money, place 299th out of nearly 3,200 players. I got a whooping 300something dollar payout that makes us losing only about $100 on this tournament as Katja played there also. I choosed the wrong strategy there when deciding after an ugly beat with about 380 players left (324 on the money) that reaching the money would not be a bad idea and so I missed some good opportunities to steal myself some chips.

In a monday $109-R NLHE tournament on stars I got far as 16th out of 90 (9 paid) and that even without taking any rebuy and losing 3 good sized pots in a row to all-in players in the middle/late stage with about 35 players left. Two of them with over 70% favorites like AKs vs. A9o or 77 vs. 55 and one with JJ (me) against AKs. I could have reached the money by just holding myself but having my mistake from the sunday nights tourney fresh in memory I decided to defend my BB against a guy that had raised me 10+ times on the button and I always folded to him when he raised me one more time and I found A8s I went all-in with an about average sized stack. He called in a split-second with his AA… outch. My move was questionable and I talked quite some time with Katja about it.


Saturday Katja and I went to a live 10/20 limit holdem game after we went to a birthday party. The evening was fun but uneventfull. Katja won about €10 and I made a little over €200, mostly thanks to the various sidebets I did with our friend Kai. They were fun and even better, they created the “illusion of action” for me, which is seldom neccessary for me but was this night as I played maybe 3 hands – in one I lost AQo on a AQ6 flop to a river K which made JTo win and in another I lost top pair aces to a turned trips. Did I really won a pot that night? Oh yes, when 77 tried to bluff me with QQ on a ace high flop but failed to look me into the eyes. Great read against a 20 years old new player… lol.

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