Game: PokerStars Pros Big Game

Players: Vanessa Rousso, Tony G.

Why is it interesting?:

Preflop: Tony G opens for 3x from the small blind, and his opening and calling range is wide, so it’s hard to understand why Rousso just flats. She’s played more poker with Tony G than I have (obviously, cos I haven’t played any with him) and I think she may have information stored in her HeadHud that I don’t.
Notice how she’s looking at G’s bet and working out what it means before she even looks at her cards. The bet size seems to interest her, she may have expected a smaller raise if G had a massive hand, or she may be listening to his speech, demanding she keep the pot small; either way, her brain has started working very early.
The commentator thinks a raise would be optimal here, but I disagree. I think Rousso has an instinct that G is raising her light, and will scarper if she 3bets.
She may have taken a different line with a different player, re-iterating that knowing your opponent is one of the most profitable skills at a poker table (that, and getting dealt AA!).
She can be quite confident that  a player like Tony G will c-bet a lot of the time, and I think she did the right thing against this player.

Flop: Tony G bets 2k into 3k, in the dark  (before the cards were dealt). Now, I’m not a “Pokerstars Pro”, but that can’t often be a winning move against the calibre of players at that table. Does he really think that Rousso is going to just muck to that bet?
I cannot see the logic: If he’s attempting to represent a big hand, I think it’s flawed because he would want to see the flop to see how to extract value. If he’s attempting to push her off the pot with one blind flop bet, I think it’s retarded.
In my opinion, she is ALWAYS raising that bet, whatever her holding on the flop, is Tony G really so stupid that he can’t see it? I can’t believe that.
The only time that bet makes sense is when he actually flops huge, and it will then act as an automatic pot builder. I don’t know how to work out how profitable that is, but I don’t need maths to work out that it’s a pretty risky strategy! How many times will he just have to fold to the inevitable raise on the flop?

When the flop hits, G’s chatter stalls for a second. He quickly glances at the flop, looks at Vanessa, gulps, and then carries on the conversation.
This is something to notice in chatty players. Watch out for the moments they suddenly stop dead; something has caught their attention away from the sound of their own voice, and with people like that, it must be something that really interests them, because they do love the sound of their own voice. (I know this, because I am one of those players.)

I think Rousso’s flop raise is too small, I want to see more here. I think the small raise gives G too much opportunity to bluff at her. I don’t understand the small raise unless she is trying to induce a bluff and then raise that, but she just flats G’s raise…

I absolutely love G’s raise here, it looks like a crazy bluff, I think he’s getting that bet called by overpairs, top pair and draws a lot of the time. I think it looks like this because of his dark flop bet, it’s really helped him in this pot now that’s he’s smashed the flop!
Another player at the table clearly believes G is bluffing here, as when G jokes about ‘being quiet’, the other player says, “now that bluff I’ll call. That bluff I’ll call.”

I don’t like Rousso’s flat here. I can only assume she believes that G will fire again with a worse hand. I think it’s pretty fair to say she is showing strength here, at worst, I’d put her on a flush draw, which means that G will have to slow down a lot, I feel like she’s scared here, like she doesn’t really know where she is in the hand, and is just hoping to miraculously get to showdown without stacking off. I don’t like calling flop bets without a plan, and I’m a micro-tard.
I will keep the faith and believe that Rousso had a plan that I am too donkey to comprehend.

Turn: Binky. Oh! That’s why she called the flop. Silly me. I think G’s bet on the turn is pretty good, after his flop bet looked bluffy, I think this now looks super-valuey but has the added benefit of being escapable if she comes back hard.

When the A hits, I think Rousso gives away that she’s pretty happy to see it; for the first time in the pot, she speaks back to G. It is always worth watching for any change in standard behaviour from any player, it means something, and should not be ignored.

I don’t understand why Rousso doesn’t raise here. What’s her plan if the river is a spade? If he has a flopped hand, she’s now beating them all, and if he’s scared of her having a flush on the turn, he still will be on the river. Does she think she’s behind and wants to see what happens?
Does she think he’s got a flush and drawing to a boat?
If she does think G has the flush, then she does have good odds to call the 10k into 53k to see the river, but if he’s bluffing here, then he’ll keep going, so I still prefer to see a raise here. Maybe I’m just a hyper-aggro fool.

River: Binky: The Encore. Sickest card in the deck, it’s always going in here. I like G’s speech play here, at attempt to insult her ego. I don’t think it’s speech play that will work as well on a female player, but I like the format of it. On the right player, that sort of chat will definitely light a fuse.
hqdefaultI also like Rousso’s steely stare here; she shrinks G’s nut sack with that glare, you can hear his voice dry up. I always respect a player who can be silently intimidating!

After the hand: One of the other players asks G, “Did you get screwed?”. Did he?

Geeky Considerations: I’m very ambivalent about this hand. I watch it once and think, “wow, what genius players these two are”, then I watch it again and think “how do either of you play poker when you don’t flop/turn/river the world?”.
What do you think? Aspirational pros? Or high-stakes donkeys?