Why Sam Trickett Almost Called All In With 96 Suited Pre-Flop vs Tom Dwan

2 months ago
Why Sam Trickett Almost Called All In With 96 Suited Pre-Flop vs Tom Dwan
16:10
14 Sep

(Photo: Paulphuapoker.com)

Copying what the pros do might seem like a simple enough task, but what happens when they decide to bet, raise and call all sorts of bets when they’re holding hands which we’ve been taught as amateurs are bad hands?

That’s the main focus of the second part of Paul Phua’s chat with Sam Trickett about tournament strategy, and when the hand in question involves Sam, Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates and Tom ‘durrrr’ Dwan, you know it’s something you have to pay attention to – three absolute beasts of the game clashing in the Triton Super High Roller in Montenegro.

The t-shirts and shorts with the dramatic clifftop and sea backdrop shows just how tough a life the best of the best have, but of course it’s hard-earned as the discussion shows – you’ve just seen Cates open and you’re sitting with 96 suited and decide to raise!

(Photo: Paulphuapoker.com)


For amateurs, it’s already a WTF moment, so when Dwan goes all-in I can imagine many, many amateurs – and even some pros – thinking what the hell is going on. Of course, that’s why Paul Phua’s Poker School has enlisted the top players to discuss their lives and playing strategies.

Englishman Trickett, named the $10million man after his massive payday for 2nd place in the 2012 WSOP Big One for One Drop, explains:

“l’d already seen him [Jungleman] open, like, 8-5 suited. So l felt like it was a good re-raise, because he opens a lot of hands because he’s a cash game player. Generally cash game players open more. So l thought it was a good re-raise.”

Already we see the workings of a pro’s mind; paying attention to previous hands, knowing and reacting to the proclivities of his opponents, but of course Tom Dwan then piles on the pressure by shoving his stack into the middle! You’re holding 9 6 of clubs and a call puts your tournament life at risk…

“l was just thinking about mathematics purely there. I know he has a better hand than me. But you know Tom, if he has Ace-Jack there, maybe he’d go all-in, because it’s Tom! And he knows l re-raise quite light…”

Of course, Dwan is noted for his super-aggressive play, as in the following hand where he uses 6 3 of hearts to get rid of most of the table pre-flop and then take the legendary Doyle Brunson off the flop!


So, Trickett knows that Dwan knows that Trickett knows that Dwan is capable of anything, and that’s where the genius and skill of the top players comes into its own.

Trickett answers Phua’s “but is 3 to 1 enough, you know?” question with:

“But then l know he’s going to have tens, Jacks, Queens, Kings, Aces as well, which I don’t play so good. In a cash game l will call. ‘OK, I’ll call, call.’ Because price. But in a tournament it’s not so much about price it’s about…"

Phua, himself an excellent poker player, finishes the sentence off “…The chips are so valuable.”

“Exactly, yeah. So that’s why l elected to fold,” says Trickett, and a hand which most players wouldn’t get involved in, or would struggle to understand, becomes much clearer thanks to Phua and Trickett, who then go on to discuss Phua’s own tournament decisions - themselves highly worthy of a few minutes of your time if you’re serious about learning and improving.


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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more

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