The Weird and Unseen Hand At EPT Barcelona

Player betting in poker

A new article over on PokerStarsBlog has shown that no matter how many cameras are on hand to catch the action during the big events such as the European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event, there is always a big hand that can be missed.

It describes a big hand that was played out on the secondary feature table during the EPT Main Event in Barcelona between two relative newcomers to the game. Both Bram Haenraets and Ji Zhang are not what you would call regulars to this deep stage of an event that has millions on the line and it seemed to show throughout their actions.

“Not so long ago, a hand brewed on the secondary feature table that Joe Stapleton, on the EPT Live commentary, described pretty accurately as “weird”. But there were a couple of elements to it that either made it more weird or, weirdly, explained it somewhat. I’m genuinely not sure which.”

The hand was missed by the cameras because at the same time a player over on the primary feature table had moved all-in, prompting all the cameras to head that way instead. The hand that they missed seem to have it all, from a three-bet, rare check in the dark and shaking from Bram Haenraets to demands of chip counts and slow playing that resulted in the clock being called from Ji Zhang.

The post then describes the hand which was a little bizarre from start to finish. After a raise, three bet and call, Haenraets made a checking action before the flop had even come down. This is a play that is rarely seen and it certainly would have confused his opponent.

Both players then checked until the river which is where the real fun started. Haenraets bet on a board of 7h-10c-10h-Qd-Jd to leave his opponent dumbfounded. The reason as to why he was dumbfounded was due to the hand that he had just made himself. He had hit the straight with an A-K and would have probably been looking to make a bet himself before his opponent did.

This lead to a debate about the amount of chips that Ji’s opponent had, an attempt at the clock being called on him by another player and then a very astute call.

“As it happened, this was a brilliantly shrewd play. Haenraets tabled 7c-7s for a flopped full house, and Ji could not help but reveal his As-Kc. We’ll never really know how he got away from that one, but one can only admire some pretty special opponent-reading skills. He might not have all the experience, but he had seemed to smell a rat throughout.”

You can read about the whole hand in more detail by heading over to PokerStarsBlog. It just shows that sometimes the cameras can miss a real cracker of a hand. Ji obviously felt that something was up and managed to stop himself from going over the top in a hand that most would.