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Championship Holdem Tournament Hands (PG000107)

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Championship Holdem Tournament Hands gives you two types of instruction designed to help you become a winning tournament player. First the authors let you get inside their heads as they think they way through the correct strategy for playing 60 limit and no-limit practice hands. They show you how to use your skill and intuition to play strategic hands for maximum profit in challenging tournament scenarios.

McEvoy and Cloutier also explain how 45 key hands were played by champions in turnaround situations at the World Series of Poker. By sharing their analysis and opinion about the way the winners and losers played these kay hands, the authors believe that you will gain useful insights into how tournament poker is played at the highest levels.

Tournament poker players are putting more money at risk than ever before against huge fields of talented players. By studying how champions think about and play major hands in strategic tournament situations, Cloutier and McEvoy believe that you will be able to win your share of the profits in today's tournaments and join them at the championship table far sooner than you ever imagined.

The Beauty and the Beast

At the championship table of the 1995 World Series of Poker, Dan Harrington led Howard Goldfarb $1,697,000 to $1,033,000 in chips when they began playing heads-up for the title. With an ante of $3,000 and the blinds at $15,000-$30,000, the final hand came down when Goldfarb raised $100,000 before the flop with the Ah-7c and Harrington called with 9d-8d. On the 8c 2c 6d flop, Harrington checked and Goldfarb went all in with his overcard ace. Barely hesitating, Harring called with top pair. The two queens that fell on fourth and fifth streets helped neither player, and Harrington became the 1995 World Champion of Poker with queens and eights.

Earlier during the Series, Harrington had won the $2,5000 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament after winning a one-table satellite. He then won his seat in the championship event via a supersatellite. Better known as a chess player, Harrington entered only two tournaments and won both of them to make his WSOP batting average perfect.

But the big news of the Series wasn't that a Californian had beaten a Canadian for the title-Harrington's victory was somewhat overshadowed by the first and only appearance to date of a woman at the final table of the Big One. Barbara Enright, the 1986 ladies world champion, finished fifth to Harrington, Goldfarb, Brent Carter, and Hamid Dastmalchi (the 1992 World Champion) in the championship match.

Enright might have finished higher had she not suffered a truly bad beat. When the action was five-handed, it seemed apparent that players were making calls based on the chip counts of their opponents rather than on the strength of their hole cards. For example, Dastmalchi, who was shortstacked against the blinds, picked up J-10 suited on the button and moved in his last $92,000 in chips. After the small blind folded, Harrington made a very marginal call in the big blind with a J-3 offsuit. He was second in the chip count at that time, almost tied with Goldfarb. Nothing came to help either hand and Dastmalchi's J-10 won the pot.

In the next scenario, Enright was in the big blind with 8-8. Holding the 6d 3d in the small blind, Carter completed the blind bet (called). By far the shortest stack, Enright had just enough chips to make a decent raise. Carter called the raise. He had a lot of chips and decided to gamble in a spot where a lot of other players would have passed. The board came with the 6h 3s Qh 9c As. Carter's two pair send Enright, visibly disappointed, to the rail. Whereas Dastmalchi's low chip count had contributed to his doubling up against Harrington, Enright's low chip count led to her defeat.


Championship Holdem Tournament Hands

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