Brian Hastings wins $4M from Isildur1

Last night we saw one of the most unbelievable turnarounds in fortunes that has ever been witnessed at the high stakes tables. It seemed to be another massive day for Isildur1 , winning $471K from Jungleman12 ay $100/$200 NLHE and $722K from Brian Townsend at $500/$1000 PLO. He stayed well in the green all throughout the period, even peaking as high as $2M, but things were about to change.

In steps Brian Hastings, and from then on Isildur1 seemed to fall into a bottomless pit. Over the course of the next 2858 hands, he lost an astounding $4.2 million dollars, and it was clear from the comments he made in the chat, that he thought he was caught in a parallel universe or something. It was equally clear for us that was following this battle live that Isildur1 was running very bad. So with the help of my good friend Mr. lol, I am proud to present the first EV graph in any of these reports. (Click the image for a larger version)

What this graph shows is that Brian Hastings was running $3M over EV during this session, so Isildur1 has every right in the world to claim that he got unlucky in this session. However, had he gotten his expected value from the all-in confrontations, he would still be down about a million dollars, so it is not the full explanation.

Also, looking at Isildur1’s graph from the match against Townsend (below), you can see that he was running $2M above EV in that one, so it seems that bad luck was not the main reason for why he lost $3M on the day.

Of course, the EV graphs does not tell the full story of a session. The main thing they leave out are the coolers, and those play at least as big a part in creating swings as who is lucky in the all-in situations. I have a friend who says that AA vs KK is a coin flip. The reasoning is that the money will go in pre-flop regardless who holds which hand, so the coin flip is really about who is getting the aces.

Townsend and his aces is able to fade Isildur1’s many winners to take a $758K pot.

Even though Townsend was running way below EV in his session, ha was still able to win the largest pot of the day. And ironically, the hand was a coinflip once the money went in. Brian Townsend made a very courageous shove on the flop with his aces, but even though he had thebest hand at that point, he was in fact, a marginal underdog to win the hand.

This hand is a good illustration as to how exposed aces are in PLO, and particularly when playing as deep as they were doing here. Once a player ‘reveals’ that he has a hand like this pre-flop, it becomes fairly easy for his opponent to play correctly form the flop onwards

In this spot, it becomes correct for Isildur1 to play for all his chips almost as long as he hits any pair. On this hand, he has a gut shot draw to go with his hand, so it becomes a no-brainer. The only question is how he can add some fold-equity into the mix, and in this spot the only way of doing so is to bet out. If he waits for Townsend to make a continuation bet, Townsend will be pot committed, so there will be no fold equity for Isildur1.

This time around, it was a moot point since Townsend sniffed out the lay of the land, and he won a huge pot for his efforts.

Isildur1’s two pairs are no match for Hasting’s big draw. $683K pot

In this hand, Isildur1 flops top two pair which we have seen time and again, is a strong hand when playing heads-up. This time, however, Brian Hastings was on what must be the very definition of a big draw. He has 19 winners (4 deuces, 3 treys, 2 fours, 3 sixes, 3 sevens and 4 eights), so he is actually almost a 2-1 favorite on the flop.

With such a big draw, it would not be unnatural for Hastings to re-raise Isildur1’s raise on the flop. The only reason I can think of for not doing this would be that he is concerned that isildur1 has a similar draw and will win the pot in a showdown with a pair of sixes or something similar. In the line Hastings is taking here, he will have the additional chance that Isildur1 will fold the turn or possibly to a bluff on the river.

Isildur1 had no intention of folding on the turn when he hit his third pair, and I am sure he felt extremely frustrated when the seven came on the end to complete the straight for Hastings. Fact is, though, that even on the turn, it was almost an even proposition of who was going to take down the pot, Hastings still had his 19 winners which makes Isildur1 a 21-19 favorite at that point. That is basically the same odds as a pair vs two overs in hold’em, so it just comes down to who has the luck on that day.



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