EPT11 Grand Final: How many times is too many?
The answer to the question, like most riddles in poker, is it depends. When it comes to any sort of criminal activity (not necessarily poker related) the answer would almost always be one, but Martin Kabrhel's only crime during a big pot he played against Dan Smith was having a bad memory. As for Smith, his singular misdemeanour was that he happened to be receiving a massage at the time. Let's rewind...
Max Silver can't have known what he was about to start when he opened for 5,000 from middle position. With blinds at 1,000/2,000 ante 300 this was a standard raise as was Kabrhel's three-bet from the button. He pumped the price of poker up to 15,500 and action folded to Smith who cold four-bet to 42,000 from the big blind.
Back on Silver he released his hand and now came the first incident in what would be a recurring theme of the hand. Smith's hands were flat on the felt as he was leant forward due to the fact that he was currently receiving a massage. This meant that the American's cards and chips were concealed, using his hands Kabrhel then made the international poker sign for 'how many chips do you have' and Smith dutifully lifted his hands to reveal a stack of roughly 300,000 behind the line.
His Czech opponent digested this information for a while and then asked Smith to once again show him how many chips he had behind. After this double check, he elected to call. "Do you cover?" asked Smith as the dealer raked the pre-flop bets into the middle of the table. A simple nod from Kabrhel indicated that he did, the EPT6 Deauville High Roller champion had evidently had a decent opening three and a bit levels as he started the hand with around 420,000 total.
The dealer fanned a 2♣7♣2♠ flop, certainly an interesting flop if they were playing the seven-deuce game, Smith led for 31,000 and remained impassive, Kabrhel's glare deflected by some mirrored sunglasses. After Kabrhel had dwelt for around 25 seconds or so he again had another mental lapse and gestured to Smith that he'd like to see how many chips Smith had. "Are you kidding?" replied Smith, who in the same moment lifted his arms so Kabrhel could see what remained of his stack. Satisfied with the information he'd received, Kabrhel committed the calling chips to the pot and to the turn they went.
The T♦ fell on fourth street, Smith deliberated for less than 30 seconds before doubling his flop bet and adding a bit more by sliding out a bet totalling 65,000. Kabrhel got a count of the bet then looked at the board, looked at Smith and then for the fourth time (!) asked Smith for another count of his stack. The American, who won three €5,000 side events here in Season 8, stacked all his remaining chips into one tower and let Kabrhel do the maths. After he'd run the mental arithmetic he again elected to call.
The pot got even more interesting when the K♥ completed the board. It was now Smith who was counting his chips. First he riffled the orange T25,000 chips together, then the blue T5,000 chips before stacking them up and pushing all bar one T500 chip over the line. This all meant that at least on this street when Kabrhel asked for a chip count it was for chips that were already in the pot. The bet totalled 196,000 and Kabrhel, who had about 278,000 back, went into the tank. Smith, shaven headed and eyes covered by those sunglasses was all poise and the coolness personified as his massage continued. His demeanour shouldn't really come as a surprise given his $8,904,033 in lifetime winnings. It was only when Kabrhel folded and said: "ace-king wins," that Smith allowed a smile to cross his lips. "Only ace-king?" asked Smith to Kabrhel to which he replied. "Nice river."
With that play continued with Smith up to 480,000 and a place in the current top five.
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