Amateurs often wonder what goes through a professional’s mind during a big hand and what things compel them to act in one way or the other. Most of the time, these questions remain unanswered, but Douglas Polk, explains the entire decision making process behind a hand he played against “Isildur1” on his Full Tilt Poker blog.
The hand he is describing in great detail was played against Viktor Blom, one of the best online players at nosebleed limits and also one of the most aggressive. Both players had more than $200k in front of them and when “Isildur1” decided to commit his entire stack on the river, the pot soared to $467,000. They were playing at $400/$800 limits and “WCGRider” woke up in the big blind with pocket Aces, an ideal situation when playing against an aggressive opponent.
Blom fired the first shot pre-flop, but shifted into a less aggressive gear when confronted with a re-raise and Douglas took the initiative on the flop. A Ts 4c 7h rainbow board was in his advantage and the turn didn’t change much with a 5h, so he chose to set a trap by simply checking. “Isildur1” pushed with a $43k raise while going all-in on the river.
This is how the action unfolded, but the most interesting part of Polk’s pot has to do with his reasoning when trying to decide whether to call or fold. Knowing that Blom is an aggressive player, comfortable at nosebleed limits and one of the few willing and capable of bluffing a tough opponent on the river. Polk called and was relived to discover that Viktor was indeed drawing for a straight and missed it completely.