This is a video of a very famous hand of poker. It perfectly shows the power that pure aggression, in the right spots, can have at a poker table.
Dwan found a spot for aggression in this game, because he would surely only play that way with a monster… wouldn’t he? He abused his opponents’ mindset.
This hand is an example of a player calmly thinking about lots of things at once, which is an invaluable skill. I’ve included a video of Dwan talking through his play in the hand, but I think the proof that he knew what he was doing from the moment he raised the flop, comes at the end of the hand when he immediately bets $2k on the fact that “Eastgate had the best hand”.
This hand may have been played in 2009 (High Stakes Poker, Season5), but I think it is one of the most perfect examples of the nature of modern poker, demonstrating that using position and player knowledge is at least as important than your cards.
Notice how quickly the commentators change their tune? They think he’s a maniac on the flop, and then just calm down when he bets the turn, it’s like they’re watching a magic trick. I definitely hear awe in one of their voices.
In Dwan’s video, notice how he mentions it’s the “first family pot of the night, an interesting side-note”. A pot like that can change up a table dynamic very quickly, and that could be an opportunity to make money.
Rather than getting caught up in the human excitement of “the family pot”, Dwan is goading someone to raise pre-flop, already laying the groundwork for pretending he has a hand on the flop. He’s thinking about ways to maximise his profit, while everyone else is having fun, possibly except Greenstein, who must have felt a bit sick at at the 8-handed-to-the-flop moment.