• The Double Deal: Dealing It Two Times

    Date: 2005.04.18 | Category: Hand Of The Week | By: Phil Hellmuth   

    On a 2004 World Poker Tour-sponsored cruise, the action in the side games was fast and furious. In the old days (well, the cruise ship era of the late ’80s) we called a side game the “buried at sea” game. The 2004 version of buried at sea was a no-limit hold’em game with $100-$200 blinds.

    Around 4 a.m. the following one-of-a-kind hand came up. I opened for $600, Alan Cunningham called the bet, Carlos Mortenson made it $3,000, and then Randy Jensen made it $9,000.

    I folded, Alan folded, and then Carlos said, with a straight face, “Dealer, please give me one more card.” Everyone sat there stunned for a moment while the dealer gave Carlos another card. The discards were quickly counted, and at this point all of us started laughing out loud! You see, the dealer hadn’t given Carlos his second card yet — this happens sometimes. Carlos had made it $3,000 to go with only one card, and he planned to laugh at us while showing us his one-card bluff — after we all folded!

    After Carlos received his second card, he decided to move all-in for $16,300. What the heck was going on here? Randy studied for a good long while, and then decided to call the bet with his 6-3 off suit. But before Randy flipped his hand up, he had the good sense to ask Carlos to save the last $7,300 of the bet (they would both withdraw $7,300 from the pot).

    Carlos immediately replied, “No way.” Then Randy said, “Deal it two times?” And Carlos agreed. (When you ask to have the hand dealt twice, the dealer puts up two flops, two separate five-card boards. This takes some of the luck out of the game: if you each win once, then you split the pot; if one player wins it twice, then he scoops the whole pot.)

    And what powerhouse hand led Carlos to immediately say no to a $7,300 save offer? How about a Q-J off suit! Why would Carlos move all-in with that hand in this spot, for the fourth raise? (Usually, when a player puts in a third and fourth raise it’s because he or she is holding A-A or K-K.)

    Given a less than phenomenal hand, how could Carlos not agree to a save here? Somehow, some way, Carlos believed that Q-J was the best hand. Even scarier? He was right. I mean, these guys had to have nerves of steel: Each put up $16,300 apiece into this pot, one holding 6-3, the other holding Q-J!

    What about Randy’s actions during this hand? He correctly read Carlos as being weak (granted, Carlos did have only one card), and made a great move on him. But Carlos also read Randy well, and made a strong move right back at him.

    I didn’t like Randy’s $7,300 call here, but he was right. A 6-3 combination is a two-to-one underdog to Q-J. In that final decision, Randy was calling with $7,300 to win $28,000, therefore the pot was laying him four-to-one odds.
    The first flop came down 3-5-9-9-10, and Randy’s threes won round one. Carlos won the second round when he hit a jack. They split the pot and a good laugh was had by all. What a truly unbelievable hand!

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