Doug Polk is a great heads-up master, but how does he look at a full table? With the help of PokerGO, let's see how Doug, with a 350 bb stack, chooses between GTO and exploits on the second day of the WSOP Main Event. I wonder whose game you will like more: his or Hellmuth?
Polk got a good table, but the most famous of his opponents, professional Aditya Prasetyo, had a stack of 110bb and was sitting directly on his left. However, this should not greatly affect the chances of our hero – in the early stages of the best tournament of the year, professionals usually do not want to cut each other up.
Doug finds himself in the small blind with J4s and everyone folds to him...
Prasetyo thinks for a moment, but decides not to 3-bet and calls.
The flop comes out . Both check. The dealer is about to hit the turn, but finds that it's already open – somehow the next card is face up in the deck.
After a little hesitation, the girl decides to put the ace on the turn. Both players are confused and ask to call the floor.
An experienced floor makes a decision instantly – the ace goes to the muck, and the next card takes its place – .
Satisfied with the substitution, both players check again.
River – .
Doug bets 2,300 into a pot of 6,800. His opponent thinks seriously but folds anyway.
The next hand, Doug opens A3o from the button. Prasetyo calls again with a nice suited connector, and the BB player does the same.
The flop is checked to Doug.
And he willingly checks after them.
Turn – . Everyone checks.
River – . Aditya bets 3,000 at 8,000. The BB folds.
“Great price,” Doug says with a smile. – I have two pair. Okay, I call.
Seeing the opponent's cards, he scoops up the chips and takes a couple of sips of Red Bull.
From the hijack, he opens JTs with a raise to 1,800. None of the opponents have any decent hands, everyone folds.
– Good hand! Jack-ten of clubs... – Doug says sadly, showing the cards before sending them to the dealer.
Microbreweries are discussed around the table. Doug also has a favorite beer – Live Oak. He repeats this name several times, after which he begins to ask about the beer of the player from the Czech Republic. He suggests the Pilsner.
In the next hand, one of the cards returns to Doug, and from third position he decides to open JTo. Vlastimil Pustina, a professional player who rarely plays live MTTs, defends the BB with 75s. He has one of the shortest stacks at the table, just over 30 blinds.
With top pair and open-ended, Doug bets 2,400. Pustina calls and catches the best card in the deck.
Doug pays for the opponent's tiny lead fairly quickly. The good news for the Czech does not end there.
Pustina bets 4,100. Doug checks his cards, thinks seriously, checks twice more, frowns, and finally folds, then adds:
– If I didn't have a jack, I would call.
The next hand he is in second position and again dealt a playable hand – T9s. Raise to 1,800. Karo Davtyan, an amateur who usually plays $300-$400 tournaments, decides to enter from the CO with A2s.
Doug bets 1,800. Davtyan quickly folds. Doug rewards himself with an invigorating drink again.
A couple of hands later, he defends the big blind with A7o while debating (and condemning) Martin Kabrhel.
On the flop, the preflop raiser c-bets 2,300.
Lang with nines calls.
“By the way, he is a genius,” the Czech reg says confidently about Kabrhel. He has an insanely high IQ.
Doug nods ironically and folds his cards. On the next street, Okrah check-folds to a small bet.
In the cutoff, Polk tries to choose between calling and 3-betting, scrutinizing Kabrhel's fellow countryman's stack size before re-raising to 5,800. Pustina hesitates but then says the price is fair and calls.
On the flop Doug bets 4,200 into 13,600. Pustina calls.
Turn – , allows Polk to bet the second barrel. Pausing, Polk bets 10,000 into the pot of 22,000. The opponent does not fold immediately but eventually does.
“I had a good hand,” Doug reassures him. – Ace-queen of clubs.
From middle position, Polk attacks the older gentlemen's blinds, who call to see the flop.
Davtyan checks, Owens bets 6,500. Doug calmly folds – everything is clear to him. Davtyan calls both the flop and on the turn. River – , Davtyan checks, and Owens checks his flush back.
Soon a non-trivial hand is played: Prasetyo opens with early AKo, the older player who checks flushes, min-3-bets with ATs (he either learned from Rigby, or it's standard for him), and Liang calls from the small blind.
Aditya takes a long look at all the action and just pushes all-in for 77,000. Opponents give up.
“See my hand in 30 minutes,” Aditya says.
“I liked my hand,” Owens says sadly. – But all-in? No.
Once heads up in the blinds, the pros play friendly poker: Doug limps, Aditya checks, and then both check to showdown.
An hour has passed.
“This table is definitely not like the one I had on the first day,” Doug says. – Calm game.
“It’s because of the stream: no one wants to look like an idiot,” Pustina says.
“Yes, the stream changes the game a lot,” Polk agrees. “Without cameras, you can go all out and no one will ever know that you played like a psycho. But recordings for television will be watched, discussed, and commented on. Therefore, people usually try not to do obviously stupid things.
During this dialogue, a beautiful hand took place, in which Okrah 3-bet Gonzalez. He called, then called two barrels, and checked on the river.
Since the beginning of the day, Doug has made some money, is in a good mood, and is ready to share wisdom:
– Poker is not about money. Poker is the story of how a strong hand gets a bad beat. Yes, that's what real poker is all about. No one will stop you to tell you how they hit a great flop and won.
He plays the next hand again from the small blind, raising to 2,400 with A4s and taking the pot – Praseto had 95o. Having received a fold, Doug decides to show the cards.
On the button, he comes in with a speculative raise-call hand and takes the 8,000 pot with a bet of 2,700.
The opponents give up without a fight, and Doug's stack crosses the 300,000 mark.
Hollenberg, who didn't play hands at all, apparently decides that 3-betting Polk is too much, and just calls with queens in the BB.
The flop is checked, but on the turn, we see both a bet and a raise.
Hollenberg calls. River – , both check. Seeing the opponent's cards, Doug nods sternly – yours, yours ... And asks to bring him more Red Bull.
Polk's second 3-bet on this stream wins the pot before the flop. On the next hand, he is dealt two jacks UTG. Only the player in the BB calls the min-raise.
On the flop, Doug checks next. Turn – and river – four more quick checks.
Gonzalez tries to limp in the flop from the small blind, but Polk makes an iso-raise and wins.
Through the hand, Gonzalez gets a stronger hand but plays it too aggressively.
Okrah (pre-flop he cold-called a 3-bet) thinks for about a minute, but does not make a fatal mistake and knocks out his opponent.
At the new level 500/1,000/1,000 Polk has 297,000 chips.
He calls the Czech's push but doesn't improve.
Blind vs blind with Prasetyo, who called a three bb raise pre-flop. On the flop, Doug bets 2,300 and gets called.
Turn – , check – check. River – . Doug checks. Aditya also checks quickly. "Peace, friendship! It's his own fault for not believing on the flop!"
In place of Gonzalez comes a young player with a big stack and a masseuse. This is Clyde Maliauka, a $400 daily deep stack regular.
From third position, Doug opens a small pair, gets called and...
Squeeze sizing is too small – Doug calls, Okrah calls too. Note that Prasetyo threw 62o into the muck.
Hollenberg decides not to take any risks and simply goes all-in. Doug calls, Okrah folds. The turn and river do not bring any miracles.
On the next hand, Polk opens KQo from second position. Everyone folds.
Maliauka vs Polk. Limp – check preflop. Flop : check, bet one blind from Doug, fold.
In one of the following hands, Owens decides to call a 3-bet with a pocket pair.
Doug is allowed to open from the button, he has A6o: a raise – and two folds.
Polk won his first two 3-bets, but it couldn't go on like that for long, and he seemed to have a lot of questions about the actively playing Maliauka. However, there was a third player in the small blind.
An all-in gives the short stack a quick win.
A few minutes later Maliauka puts the first light 4-bet on this table...
...and suddenly gets called!
On the flop, the young player bets all-in. Davtyan thinks for a couple of minutes and calls. Turn and river are empty – doubling up Davtyan.
On the next hand, Okrah opens J9s from early position. Everyone folds before Polk, he defends T8o in the BB and c-bets a third of the pot on the flop .
Next hand, Doug opens from the button with a hand that definitely had a nine (the second card wasn't read) and takes the blinds and antes.
And a few minutes later he made a disciplined fold with to a raise from early position by the most active player at the table.
Maliauka got aggressive with eights, calling preflop, leading flop and turn, and on the river, which, according to the commentators, would help him save money, he goes all-in!
Pustina takes a surprisingly long time thinking about calling.
After the showdown, Doug stares at the table for about a minute, and then says that he approves of this line – the best medicine after an unsuccessful bluff!
Pustina, who has a five-figure stack for the first time, tries to build on the success with a light 3-bet.
Doug 4-bets 28,200 and wins the hand preflop.
In the blinds with Prasetyo, Doug raises 3,000 with , opponent pays with . Flop is checked, on the turn Doug check-calls a bet just under half the pot. The river is checked by Doug. Prasetyo bets 5,500, a smart bet against a smart opponent who doesn't like to overfold.
This is the last hand with Doug Polk included in the free four hours of the stream. His stack during this time has grown to 335,700, and by the end of the day, he will reach 433,000. This big stack is enough to comfortably reach the money – Doug will take 675th place and receive $27,500. None of his opponents on this table will get to the money.