When I played online poker, I needed to take a break if I lost $20 in a hand. Such is the stress of a micro-roller. If I lost nearly a million dollars and did so in hand in which I was drawing nearly dead from the start? I’d probably launch myself to the planet Dr. Amelia Brand is on at the end of Interstellar and just help her start a new civilization. But Phil Nagy needs to run the Winning Poker Network here on Earth, so he just needs to deal with it.
The hand happened on a recent stream of Triton Poker’s cash game series. Under the gun, Nagy had $977,000 and two red Queens. Pretty good! With a big blind of $2,000, he raised to $6,000. Pau Phua called, as did Tony G and “Mr. Long.” Santhosh Suvarna then woke up with K♥-K♣ in the small blind and three-bet to $36,000.
So Nagy was in trouble. But then…THEN…Rob Yong, the big blind, found the other two Queens in his hand and of course thought he was in great shape, so he bet $85,000.
Nagy proceeded to five-bet to $250,000, leaving himself $733,000 behind. If he ended up folding at this point, he’d still be out a quarter of a million dollars, but he’d still have a ton left. Suvarna called, as did Yong, making the pot $772,000 going into the flop.
Both Nagy and Yong were obviously hoping to flop a set, but neither of them knew, of course, that such an occurrence was impossible, since they had each other’s outs.
The flop was 4♥-7♣-5♥ and now Nagy was drawing dead. Though Yong still had a shot at a backdoor flush, Suvarna had the King of hearts, so a flush wouldn’t have worked for Yong. Their only hope was for a runner-runner straight on the board to chop. Triton’s on-screen odds had Suvarna at 97% to win the hand, the other two men at zero.
Suvarna and Yong checked the flop and Nagy confidently bet $300,000. Suvarna immediately moved all-in for $545,000 and Yong quickly folded, so it was back to Nagy who suddenly wasn’t looking nearly as confident as he was a few seconds earlier.
Shaking his head and turning his palm upright as if to say, “I know I’m certainly dead meat at this point, but I’m pot committed, so I have to,” he unhappily dumped a column of chips into the middle to make the call.
When they showed their cards, Yong told the table he had Queens, so Nagy knew he had no chance to the win the hand. The two men agreed to run it twice and the turn was an 8 on the first run, so there was still hope for a straight, but the 6 did not manifest on the river. The second deal was similarly predictable and Santhosh Suvarna won a $1.862 million pot.
Image: ND Strupler via Flickr.com