APPT Manila: Big hands collide in a clash of contrasts

PokerStars Qualifier Arthur Cocher has travelled to Manila from Switzerland, and landed next to experienced local player Vinny Quiason. Despite travelling different roads to get here, they both have their eyes on the same prize.

When I spoke with the two players, their moods were a clear reflection of their chip stacks - Arthur's stack was depleted, largely thanks to running his pocket queens into a flopped set earlier. Despite this, he still had several thousand chips to play. He's played many hands of poker in his life, and he looked across the table wearily.

On his immediate right in seat 2, Vinny Quiason had a large stack and a positive attitude. A youthful veteran of the local poker scene, he was confident and chirpy. He had invested his own money into this event, and was hopeful for a good result.

Next hand, Quiason was under the gun, and first to act. With blinds of 100/200, and a 25 chip ante, he made his usual raise to 600. Next to act was Cocher, who, after some consideration, threw out six white chips to call. This was a significant portion of his remaining chips. The other players, seeing this action, all elected to fold.


PokerStars Qualifier Arthur Cocher considers the situation.

The flop came Ac Ah 7s and both players checked. The turn card was the 5h, putting two hearts on the board, but ensuring there was no feasible straight draw. Quiason checked, leaving the action to Cocher, who made a bet of 1500 into the 1700 chip pot. After some consideration, Quiason decided to call. The river came Kd, Quiason again checked and Cocher bet 3000 into the pot of 4700.

With great reluctance, Quiason called the final bet on the river. Cocher, the PokerStars qualifier, flipped over his hand of A-K, the stone cold nuts on the river - the other players let out an audible sigh of envy. Quiason had a very different view as he flipped over his pocket queens - a hand that was great at catching bluffs on that river, but no good at beating the full house that Cocher held.

In the moments after the hand, Cocher attitude had changed dramatically. He was now willing to be positive about the future, as his stack size started heading in the right direction.