Friday, April 29, 2011

Ballsy Call?

So I'm playing the WSOPc $1600 nl main event on day 1 today and this hand takes place. I'm in the bb...obviously still unknown to the live poker world. I just thought I'd post it because it is somewhat educational for live tournaments...

Gates Eliminated with "Ballsy Call"

Garry Gates
Garry Gates

Action folded to Garry Gates in the small blind and he raised to 3,100. The big blind reraised to 7,200 and then Gates moved all in for 29,800. The big blind tanked for a couple minutes and then eventually said, "All right, I call," with 12,000 chips behind after calling Gates' all-in amount.

Gates turned over the {K-Spades}{J-Hearts} with his tournament life on the line and the big blind tabled the {A-Hearts}{2-Diamonds}, ahead but with a risky call.

The flop came down {Q-Spades}{9-Clubs}{6-Clubs} and gave Gates a gutshot straight draw to go along with his two live cards. The turn brought the {7-Diamonds} and the river the {5-Diamonds}. Both of those missed Gates after his whiffed the flop and he was eliminated.

"Pretty ballsy call," said David Williams to the player after the hand


1) I called because...
2) This guy was chummy w/ David Williams (who was on his right) so I assumed this guy knew how to play a little (eg not afraid to 4bet shove light for his mtt life)
3) I was kinda torn between 3betting and shoving preflop but had a semi plan to induce a shove by worse by 3betting but when it happened I decided to take my time to reevaluate (maybe some of you will say it's just a clear cut shove....probably won't argue w/ that much)
4) Even if I was wrong or I lose I still have 10bbs
5) You need to win a couple of these in multiday tournaments
6) I am a force to be reckoned w/ with chips...w/ less than 30bbs or so I'm just like any other good mtt player (most are proficient w/ those stacks)
7) Great for my table image (willing to 3bet light, gambling, reading people well, not being afraid of calling based on my read, etc.)

So as you can see, what seems like a "Ballsy Call" is actually a well thought out hand, even though it seems simple on the outside (raise, 3bet, 4bet shove, call, bvb).

As for the tournament I had a top 5 stack going into the last level and lost a flip for a huge pot AQ < JJ then another 18bbs to a shortie 77 < TT very last hand of the night.

Oh well, I start back up tomorrow w/ 25bbs, 87 players left and 54 itm...1st being $153k.

You can follow PokerNews to see how I'm doing...oh wait, they just list me as some random dude...nm.

Follow me on twitter at!/nicolakpoker

In other news my new video where I focus on transitioning from online cash game to live games is out at Cardrunners. I'm making it a series and the 1st one is pretty basic (aimed at those who never set foot in a live poker room...w/ some advice for those that have) but they will get more in depth in the later videos.


  1. Hi John,

    I just caught the latest podcast and wanted to say I really loved the way that you guys ended the show. I will be glum if the pokerroad podcasts are discontinued and wanted to say thanks for putting in the time to make us aspiring pros a little bit better. The advice of you and Jeremiah has definitely netted me far more than $10, and I wanted to send a sincere thanks to you both.

    Best of luck with the live transition and coaching. Hope to hear more of you and Jeremiah but if not, thanks for everything and good luck in the series!

  2. Hey we're just on hiatus, we'll be back soon!