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The Ivey league: Phil Ivey cash

Phil Ivey is a poker genius and we've got two hands to prove it from the latest
season of the Million Dollar Cash Game

By Rick Dacey on Monday 19 Apr 2010 17:00

Part of the following series: Cash machines, Learn from the pros


Could you bluff Aces off with a three-barrel move holding 5c-Tc?
Probably not. But then again you re not seven-time WSOP bracelet
winner Phil Ivey!

In Alex Martin s recent article Messing about on the river , he talked about Phil
Ivey s incredible river play in season four of the Million Dollar Cash Game. As
one of the best cash game players in the world Ivey is a great role model to
learn from, so let s take a look at a few of the situations that cropped up in this 1/6

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big live televised game. The Million Dollar Cash Game has $300/$600 blinds
with a running ante of $100 to juice the pot even further.

Hand 1: Ive vs Antonius

(The action starts at 18m30s)

The game is seven-handed and Ivey limps under the gun with Ah-4d, only for
Patrik Antonius to instantly raise it up to $2,700 with his Ks-Th. Neither are
premium hands but Antonius is well aware that Ivey s range is wide here, and if
he can get it heads-up he has a hand with pretty good value, as well as
position and the lead in the hand. Behind him he has only Chris Ferguson and
Allen Cunningham, both of whom are excellent players but definitely two of the
tightest at the table. If any of the looser players come in (Tom Dwan, Mike
Matusow and Ivey) he ll have position on them throughout the hand. The action
folds to Ivey who makes the call. 2/6

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The flop: 5d-2h-Ts

Antonius hits a solid flop for his hand and makes the essential continuation bet
of $5,100 into the $7,700 pot with his top pair, King kicker. Ivey makes the call
with one overcard, a gutshot and the knowledge that Patrik is betting a wide
variety of his hands so it is possible his Ace-high is good anyway.

Turn: 7d

Ivey checks again and the Finn stabs another $13,000 into the middle with his
top pair. Ivey deliberates and then makes it $33,000 to go. It s a classically
strong line: limp-call preflop, check-call on the flop and check-raise on the turn,
which would see Antonius muck much of the weaker end of his range.
However, with top pair and a great kicker against the aggressive Ivey he
decides to hold on to the river. The additional $20,000 to call makes the pot

River: 6d

The 6d is pretty much the ultimate danger card on this board and Ivey moves
all-in for just over $100,000. In the simplest terms Ivey is betting because it s
the only way he can win. With $80,000 in the pot it s pretty unlikely that
Antonius can t beat Ace-high! Having played a lot with each other over the last
few years both live and online Ivey must have a line on how Antonius most
frequently plays turned draws in this kind of situation. When Ivey check-raises
the turn and Antonius slowly calls, as opposed to jamming the pot, it gives the
seven-time WSOP bracelet winner a lot of information and an opening for a
major river bluff. This is particularly true if a draw arrives, as Antonius know
Ivey is definitely in the play-draws-fast camp. It s a great move and although
Antonius suspects that the all-in might be a bluff it s too narrow a part of Ivey s
hand range for him to call $101,700 (giving him 2-to-1 on the pot).

Hand 2: Ive vs Cunningham

(The action starts at 8m50s) 3/6

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Allen Cunningham is a great player but he s not having a great session. He s

mucked winning hands and called when dominated, but still retains the
composure to play as he thinks fit. He raises to $2,000 with Aces and Mike
Matusow calls from the small blind with Ks-Ts, pricing Ivey in with 5c-Tc in the
big blind.

The flop: 9d-9c-6d

Matusow checks and Ivey leads out for $4,500. Cunningham calls, knowing
that Ivey knows he has a tight raising range and deciding to trap for value by
suggesting he may have a hand he can be taken off.

Turn: 4d

The turn completes the diamond draw and Ivey fires another $12,000.
Cunningham (without the Ace of diamonds) calls again, now starting to worry
about the possibilities of the paired board and the flush.

River: 6s 4/6

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It s these worries that Ivey seizes on with one final $30,000 bet, showing that
he s not afraid of what Cunningham is holding. Ivey knows he can t win by
checking and knows that Cunningham s calling range has to be tight. Even with
an overpair it s incredibly tough to call. If Ivey was betting anything from the
flop it would be the Nine, the Six or the flush draw – all of which have his
pocket Aces beaten. Cunningham mucks the winning hand.


Sha e

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