by Ali Lightman
Emad Tahtouh seems less worried about his short stack he has to play this afternoon, than about the razzing he's going to get from Joe Hachem, when the World Champion finds out about the bluff that has decimated his, earlier, very healthy stack.
"I made a crazy move", he said "Joe is going to kick my arse".
Emad was in very good shape sitting on just over 20 000 chips.
He was in the cut-off with Jh9h, and limped in. The small blind made a small bet of 200. The big blind folded but the bet was was called by another limper in middle position, and by Emad.
The flop was K 7 3, with 2 clubs.
The original raiser and the limper just checked so Emad bet out 600 thinking he could take the pot there and then.
That got rid of the limper but the original raiser called him. The turn card was a third club, the 10.
It was checked back to Emad who had another pop, betting 1200.
The other guy thinks and thinks, looks back at his hand a couple of times, and reraised to 2400.
"It was a weak raise" said Emad."I knew he always bet his draws and so I was sure he didn't have the flush. "
That's when he made the decision he'll be thinking about for a long time.
"I made it 5k more".
It puts the other guy goes back in the tank. "I had him on AK, KT or AT, with one club. I'm sure he doesn't have it."
The river card is 8h, and Emad moves in, provoking the other guy to comment "I have to call you. If I'm beat I'm going", before flipping over KT to take down a huge pot with two pairs, and cripple Emad.
Emad lost 75% of his stack on that hand, and doesn't think those chips are coming back from the winning player. "Now he has 30k and he's just sitting there counting them over and over and too scared to play. I'm furious!"
He made back 900, betting his Ace high just before the last break and took it pre-flop.
His confidence hasn't been too badly knocked around. " I was short-stacked for three days in the $5 000 Pot Limit Hold'em", which he went on to finish in 7th place. "One double-up and I'm back to average."
PS obviously in the heat of battle things can get a little confused. I've been back through my notes having reported this hand directly from the horse's mouth, but it's clear Emad could not have had a 9 with his J or he would have won the hand..next time I see him I'll ask him.