I was beating myself up the last couple days for a bad no-limit cash game call I made, but then I saw Joe Hachem trying to bluff an amateur off of quads and I felt a little better. While there are some legitimate reasons Hachem played this hand the way he did, all-in-all I think it was pretty obvious that the amateur was likely to have a huge hand. One of the factors in the hand was the amateur’s willingness to talk about the hand while it was going on which, as you probably know, is often a warning sign that a player is very strong.
So, to sum up, the Big Game amateur, who’s just some random donkey off the street, gets pocket Jacks and raises it up. It gets four-way, and the amateur flops quads. Hachem has 77, and the board comes JJ3, which is a pretty good flop for Hachem, all things considered. It gets checked around on the flop, and a 4 comes on the turn. Hachem understandably bets out, and the amateur calls.
The amateur’s call, after a check on the flop, should set off alarm bells in Hachem’s Australian mind. The amateur has played very timidly up until this point, and has avoided being involved in any pots. There’s very few hands that the amateur would check with, but still not mind calling the turn with, and they pretty much all include Jacks.
As if the call wasn’t enough information, the amateur starts to give a little speech, which is another very valuable piece of information, because the more a usually reticent player seems relaxed and talkative, the more likely big hands have gotten. The amateur makes some attempt at trying to read Hachem by saying something like, “That’s what you did before”, referencing a hand where Hachem beat him. It’s a lame (meaning obvious) attempt at trying to make Hachem think that the amateur is reading Hachem for high hand strength and is therefore weak. Combined with the call of Hachem’s bet, this should be all the info Hachem needs to give up on the river. Watch the way Negreanu has this figured out with his expression at the amateur’s call.
The river comes a deuce, and for some reason Hachem moves all-in for what is actually a large overbet of the pot. The amateur obviously immediately calls, and Hachem gets the bad news.
I can understand that Hachem believes the amateur has AA, KK, QQ, or TT here and that he can get him off those hands (which I would agree with). He probably also knows that the amateur is unlikely to have a lone Jack in his hand, considering the amateur 3-bet the pot and he’s pretty nitty. But does Joe think the amateur decided to check the flop with those overpairs? That’s a stretch to me. And if you factor in the strange hands like TJs or JQs or even 33 or 44 that the amateur could theoretically have played very weirdly pre-flop, I think Joe should be playing this much more cautiously.
As soon as the amateur calls, Negreanu says ‘four Jacks’. Some of Negreanu’s guess is based on the quick call, of course, because any other hand probably thinks a bit. But I’m sure Negreanu was aware of how strong the amateur’s hand was before the river. I’m sure he put the amateur on at least a Jack when he called, and with the immediate call on the river it was obviously quads.
Anyway, I’m ragging on Hachem so much to make me feel better about my own recent stupid hand. Carry on, Joe.