Friday, July 24, 2009

A Big Move By Chris Ferguson vs Patrik Antonius: Did It Work?

Chris Ferguson vs Patrik Antonius

Since Chris Ferguson is a favorite according to my poker poll, I thought I would find a video where Chris is playing in a big cash game against the best.

Not many people have viewed this video, but it's worth watching. Sorry about the third party ads on the video and the announcers who are not at their best.

See if you would make the same plays as Chris. I mean, what's $100,000+ in cash among friends!

Thoughts (wait to read this until after you view the video)

While this is a fun video to watch, I think there are a number of things I noticed. I have never played against either player, although I've seen them on TV.

1. Chris always seems to be very deliberate, and has the same pose when he plays.

2. When Chris check raises on the flop as a semi-raise, he puts Patrik on a range of hands such as two broadway cards or a pair. He probably believes his opponent will fold with just two overcards to the check raise. And even if he doesn't fold, he can win on the turn given his 15 outs. In fact, with 15 outs Chris is the favorite if the hand is played to the river! Of course, Chris is not the favorite since his opponent has a diamond.

Too many players think a semi-raise is a play to make whenever you have a draw. It is not. You make a semi-raise because you first think that you can win right then and there.

3. Chris is very deliberate when he checks on the turn. The J could be a scare card to either player. When Patrik bets after his check, Chris again takes his time. He pushes all-in putting pressure on his opponent. Again, he does have outs but he doesn't make this play to get a call.

4. The table image of the players are very important, and each player at this level is often thinking what the other player has, what the other person thinks he has, etc. However, I don't believe that really is happening here. Patrik knows that Chris is patient and waits for big hands. He also knows Chris views him as being aggressive. So a check raise on the flop and a check raise on the turn is a rare betting pattern and indicates either strength or a big bluff. With Chris it looks like strength given his image.

Finally, the above is just my perception of what is happening. I can be terribly wrong. If you have additional perspective, please let me know your opinion. Thanks.


James Johnson said...


Mulhuzz said...

That would be a super tough call to make. In my mind, there are only 4 hands that CF can have when he shoves the tur. Here they are in order of probability.

66 for quads
AA for an overpair
33 for the flopped full house
AdXd -- for the draw.

Against lots of other players, PA can call and hope to dodge the diamond, A or Q on the end, but because he knows Chris is quite a tight player who makes most of his money from loose calls from players like PA, he can't call.

GiJoeValdez said...

Excellent blog. Cash game is very different then tournament game and this explains why. These are not chips they are going all in with. Its their own $$$$ at stake and that all in makes it a big bet

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