Poker Hand Analysis: Jamie Gold'S WSOP Hands

By Josh Arieh

Final Hand

The final hand of the WSOP basically portrays the happenings of the final two or three days of the tournament. It was Jamie Gold pushing the action and the other players letting him do it. There is no reason that Paul should have allowed Jamie to see the flop with his hand. Paul had a good starting hand and it was definitely a spot where I would have pushed all-in and Jamie most likely would have folded.

Pocket tens is a great hand in headup play and if Paul were up against a race here, then that's just the price he has to pay. He was facing a huge chip deficit and a re-raise here could have won him the pot and swung momentum a bit making headup play a bit more interesting.

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HAND 221

This hand basically played itself. Unlike the final hand, I love the flat call Jamie made with pocket tens preflop. Jamie had a substantial chip lead, which allowed him to gamble a bit more with a hand like this. After the flop comes 955, jamie was trapping trying to induce a bluff from his opponent. Paul failed to bite and then the worst card in the deck fell on the turn, the dreaded ace. Everyone knows that in headup play people tend to raise with virtually any ace in their hand, and its a bit scary when an ace comes on the turn in that spot. Jamie makes a great call and eventually wins the pot when Paul decides not to bluff the river. Even if Paul bluffs the river here, I think with all the information that Jamie had acquired up to this point, he would have made the correct call and won the pot.

HAND 218

This hand is an amazing example of big stack poker. I'm sure Jamie felt that the other two opponents were waiting each other out and didnt want to finish 3rd. Jamie played textbook big stack poker for 4 days and for those people that want to learn how to do it, Jamie's play in the 2006 WSOP is the perfect example. Lean on your opponents at all times and use the power of your chips to the utmost degree.

HAND 227

This hand is a great example of something that i love to do when playing no limit hold'em. I call it 'Pot Size Management.' The object in hands like this is to keep the size of the pot reasonable so that you don't have to face a large bet later in the hand. Jamie could have easily raised here, knowing he has the best hand, but why do that? Why allow your opponent to represent a powerful hand and make the all-in bluff on you. Simply calling here is an amazing play on the flop because it keeps the size of the pot down and it also keeps your opponent guessing.

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Another key component to the hand is the check on the turn. Jamie could have easily bet the turn, but again, in doing so, the pot is growing bigger and bigger and makes it more tempting for your opponent to bluff into.

On the river another scare card came, the third club. this is a text book check for jamie here, but lets rewind to the flop and the turn. If jamie had bet or raised on one or both of these streets, now the pot would be huge. As we all know, big pots are the ones we want to win and the ones that are bluffed at most often. By checking those two streets and keeping the pot size to a minimum, it kept Paul from wanting to bluff on the river. Pot size management is a HUGE key in no limit hold'em, and Jamie's play in this hand is an amazing learning tool for many players to study.

HAND 224

WOW, this hand amazes me. This hand speaks measures on how well Jamie was playing. If I had 55 here, i would have doubled Michael Binger up 100% of the time. How Jamie doesn't move in here is amazing. Binger was calling 100% of the time with top pair and a flush draw. This hand is a hand that will probably get thrown away in the TV coverage, but this hand shows how much in the zone Jamie really was. Having 55 here with the chips that Jamie did, and not moving in??? His senses were working incredibly and I'm just glad I didn't have to face him on this day!!!!

HAND 229

This is the first hand i've seen that didn't impress me. I would love to hear Jamie's thinking in this pot and I want to know what made him limp on the button with 34 off-suit. It looks to me Jamie was trying to get lucky and out flop his opponents here. I would much rather see Jamie raise or fold in this spot. Raise to put the pressure on the two short stacks, or just fold and let these two guys play against each other. Trying to flop with people with 34 isn't in my arsenal.

I searched the hand history trying to find a hand that was a turning point or even a key pot of the tournament. Not finding one shows what an amazing domination it was on Jamie's behalf. Jamie controlled the pace of play beautifully and never lost control of the steering wheel. While i was watching it on PPV I expected Alan to take control of the game in a different way, but he never was able to. Jamie's dominance was basically untouchable. I look forward to seeing the telecast with hole card cameras to truly see if Jamie had the goods EVERY TIME, like he made his opponents believe.


by Josh Arieh at Poker Room on November 01, 2006

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