The poker hand EVERYONE is talking about

This is the poker hand which has the entire community up in arms, where Thi Xua Nguyen folds a full house vs Polychronopolous, making one of the biggest folds I’ve ever seen. But was it the correct play? Let’s discuss in this special episode of the Hand of the Day.
I’m always learning a lot from your feedback, and I know the community does as well, so leave your thoughts in a comment below! How would you have played it?
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The poker hand EVERYONE is talking about

16 thoughts on “The poker hand EVERYONE is talking about”

  1. I really wish this had been presented without knowing Polychronopolos's hand. I would like to think I could find this fold, in exactly the way you described, but I seriously doubt it. I'm certain I could have discarded 99 and Qc9c (which you didn't mention) from his range for lack of a flop or turn raise. You also didn't mention AK and straight hands, though I'm pretty sure that, like flush hands, they just check-call the river. (Also, a straight would likely have bet on the flop or turn, but not certainly. I could see one slow-playing the flop and then being frozen by the turn.) However, I see KK and KcQc hands both playing exactly this way in a lot of cases. Of course, if we put his range on AA, KK, and KcQc, it's still a clear laydown, but I doubt I would have had the courage to do so.

    Also, POLY – CHRON – OPOLOS, not POLY – CHRON – OL – OPOLOS. 🙂

  2. Bottom line is if she called she will be out off the torny.. sometimes you have that gut feeling that you are behind or hand history off the player.. when you are sitting at the table you should be watching everyhand people play and she picked up a tell that she was beat on the river.. very good fold from a very good player..

  3. that's interesting. I had a very similar hand a few days ago. After I lost I really had to ask myself how I could have seen that and folded accordingly. Now I doubt all my hand reading. lol. fortunately was micro stakes.

  4. I understand why she folded and I think that in the long run calling in that spot is gonna be the most profitable because it’s such a strong hand and they can only have AA such a small percentage of the time.

  5. Seems to me, assuming he is not capable of an outright bluff – there are no hands Poly can hold other than AA & AQ. If he held KK, 99, or KQ – he has to bet the flop as these hands are likely ahead – but vulnerable to many draws. 99 KQ & KK would likely bet the turn for value as well, or in some cases Check raise. Since none of that is present in his 2 streets of action, we can eliminate those holdings as possibilities. Now lets consider AQ. 3 bet pre makes sense, as does checking the flop for pot control purposes. The check call on the turn kind of makes sense too, although facing only a 17k bet – a check raise with AQ in Poly's spot makes sense too. IMO, AQ is a plausible holding. The only other plausible holding which makes sense on all streets is AA. Think about it, pre flop 3 bet (yep) – checking the flop for pot control (yep), check calling (not check raising) a small bet on the turn (yep), check jamming the river (yep). So, with one combo of AA & 2 combos of AQ means 1/3 of the time you lose everything & 2/3 you win 1/2 the pot, leaving you with 33% equity in the pot. This means you have to be getting 2-1 on a call to make sense from a math standpoint – which she is very close to. The other thing to consider is does AQ really check-jam the river? I can see it from some players, but not all. With that in mind, I would prob want better than 2-1 on a call. Having said all that, its possible I would have found a fold eventually – but props to her for finding it in 10 seconds.

  6. Alec,
    My first coach and mentor, Terry Ring, called the way you described her range setting this way…."situational awareness. Using all of the information and TOOLS available to you to make the best possible decision at THAT exactly moment. "

  7. GTO is like "Oh, I have to call off the top of my range because otherwise dude can systematically exploit me over 1000 hands."

    Well if you're tournament-dead because you just met this guy and he stacked you, guess you don't have the other 9999 hands to make your chips back.

  8. The way I see it, Polychronopoulos could of only had Q-J of spades, one of the last few combos of A-K, A-A or K-K. But the history might be able to let you know that he wouldn't reraise with Q-J of spades preflop. Me personally I doubt I could fold but then again I once folded K-K preflop in a cash game, and I was right, the guy had A-A…
    Intuition is powerful tool.

  9. Alec, I’m a 1/2, 2/5 winning cash player, I don’t think I can fold this… but the interesting part is how you analyze the opp range. Villain x/x/x’s this hand OOP which makes the fold even more impressive but your analysis makes it an easier fold. Do you think she folds if villain takes a different line?

  10. I say, first time you are wrong Alex =) The personhood is just as valuable, if you know this person loves you, no game theory, or cheat theory, would ever gwt you to run with the numbers. the rest is just money.

  11. I don't think I could have gotten away from that hand. I hate when you have a great hand and becomes nothing on the river.

  12. Me and my friend had a debate on this where his opinion was from a gto perspective you have to called down as she is in her top value range. However I disagreed and said while GTO line may be to do so, evidently the additional information of live should be incorporated into her play. She surely made the fold due to the line he took. He is never bluffing there by check jamming. And she can discount 99 and KQ from his range based on checking 3 streets. You have to fold when you know you are beaten and is not a rebluff spot
    regardless of game theory.

  13. I always thought tennis and poker have many similitudes. You stoled my genius intuition.. should have made a video saying that first…

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