Did Negreanu make a wrong move?
At the 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event, Daniel Negreanu made a run at the final table that eventually fell just short. He busted out in 11th place, and his bust-out hand was an interesting one that sparked a lot of discussion
Blinds were 200,000-400,000 with an ante of 50,000. Action folded to Joe McKeehen, who was on the button with nearly 14.2 million in chips. McKeehen made the minimum raise to 800,000. The small blind folded, and it was Negreanu’s turn in the big blind with As 4d. He had a stack of just over $6.2 million, good for about 16 big blinds.
Negreanu called. I would have shoved.
I like shoving because it is lower variance and is proven to be profitable.
McKeehen had been raising a lot -- on maybe 80 percent of the hands. What percentage of hands
Daniel Negreanu’s hand:
Joe McKeehen’s hand: would he be willing to call a Negreanu shove with? If McKeehen shoved and lost, he’d be down to 20 big blinds himself. I reckon he’d be folding much more than he’d be calling, and if he folded, Negreanu would wins 1.7 million without a fight. That’s a 25 percent increase to his stack.
With Negreanu calling, he’ll lose the pot post-flop more often than not. Rarely is he going to be a heavy favorite with A-4 offsuit on any flop, and he’s always going to be risking variance to his stack. You and I aren’t as good as Negreanu, though.
Negreanu wrote a blog post about this hand and gave two
Flop: reasons for his preflop call. First, it balances his preflop calling range. Second, he gets extra value on ace-high flops, since he’s always getting a continuation bet out of his opponent, and sometimes his opponent will go nuts on ace-high flops.
What Negreanu didn’t mention is that he’s really good at reading people, and he probably had some sort of tell on Joe that got stronger after the flop. He shouldn’t have had much of a preflop flatting range with 20 big blinds, and the idea of balancing that range with 11 people left in the Main Event is silly. Ten hands earlier, Negreanu had shoved 20 blinds over McKee- hen’s open. Sure, the opponent is going to continuation-bet ace-high flops, but I’d rather just take the pot and move on to the next hand than hope to see one of three aces on the flop just to get another 700,000 out of McKeehen. There was already 1.7 million in the pot before the flop.
The flop came 10d Ks Ad. Negreanu checked, McKeehen bet 700,000, and Negreanu shoved for 5.8 million.
This was the play I really didn’t like. Negreanu’s plan for flatting was to let his opponent go nuts on ace-high boards, and for Negreanu to use his reading ability. This wasn’t the best ace-high board, so Negreanu panicked and shoved, because now the board was drawheavy, and he didn’t want McKeehen to get there -- those chips in the pot were important.
If he didn’t want McKeehen to get there, then Negreanu should have shoved preflop when he had fold equity.
McKeehen called and turned over Jd 3d. Negreanu had already let him get there and didn’t have enough money to get McKeehen to fold his 12-outer. Now, Negreanu was all in as a 56 percent favorite -exactly the spot he wanted to avoid.
The turn was the 3h, giving McKeehen more outs, and the Qh on the river gave McKeehen a straight and sent Negreanu home. McKeehen went on to win the tournament and take home $7.68 million.