Joe Hachem Makes a Tough Fold
At the April World Poker Tour World Championship held at the Bellagio, Joe Hachem made a very questionable fold that has sparked discussion in the poker world.
The WPT World Championship is the $25,000 buy in final event of the Five Star World Poker Classic, a three-week series held at the posh Las Vegas hotel.
Hachem folded on the turn with the second nut straight, thinking his opponent held the nut straight. In fact, his opponent held top set, so Hachem was ahead, but could have been drawn out on.
Hachem was the named the 2005 world champion after winning the Main Event at the World Series of Poker. Although he had been relatively unknown in the poker world outside his native Australia, he has enough proven success since that WSOP win to be sure that his win wasn’t a fluke. He cashed first place for over $2 million in the December 2006 Five Diamond World Poker Classic, giving him over $10 Million in lifetime winnings.
Good player or not, most players (good and bad) disagree with the fold. Here’s the rundown:
It was day 1B of the six-day tournament (there are two “day ones,” with half the field starting on each day one). In the middle of the day, with blinds at 100-200, Jordan Morgan raised to 700 and was called by three players including Hachem on the button. The A74 flop was checked around.
The turn was a 6, and Morgan bet 2000. All folded to Hachem who instantly raised to 7,000 and Morgan quickly reraised to 12,000. Hachem 4bet to 22,000 and Morgan raised an additional 27,000, which was enough to get Hachem all in if he called. He went into the tank for a few minutes before asking, “You got 8-5 kid?”. Finally, Morgan called the clock on him, thinking he had Hachem beat, and wanted to pressure him into a call. Hachem showed his cards to the rail, to explain his difficult decision. The tournament director informed him that if he called, he would face a twenty minute penalty for showing his cards. Hachem complained, saying the words “all in,” but the tournament director ruled that he was only talking the hand out after Morgan questioned it. The fact that Morgan questioned this gave Hachem enough evidence (in his own mind) that his opponent held 85, the only hand that had him beat at that point.
Finally, he folded 5-3 face up, sending the crowd that had formed around the table into hysterics. On an A764 board, the best possible hand is 85. The second nuts is 53, held by Hachem. It is true that Hachem could have been drawing dead to half the pot versus an 85, and if Morgan had a set of aces, sevens, sixes, or fours, he would have had ten outs to beat Hachem on the river (about a 20% chance).
Stay tuned for Part two of this article tomorrow which contains analysis of the hand and more of the back story.
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