GDAM Day 1: 'I see you...' aka Paying the price for information

One of the founding principals of poker, on which much of the game's popularity is based, is that all the information about any unfolded hand is available to any player at any time -- as long as he or she is prepared to pay for it.

The phrase "I see you" used to be common in poker games, usually accompanying a call. And although the game's language has evolved to render "I see you" obsolete, its sense remains. A call still indicates that a player is prepared to stump up the asking price for the most valuable information in poker: what an opponent has in the hole.

None of this will be new to anyone familiar with the game at any level, but one is reminded of it when watching some of the players here today in Macau. There are a lot of poker players here who like the game so much that they are prepared to pay just about any price to play it. And once they're at the table, they can't bear it that they may never see an opponent's cards. They toss in calling chips literally just to find out what an opponent has, whether or not they have any expectation of having a winning hand.

Just before the players went off for their dinner break, there was a situation on the feature table where this was clearly evident. Philip Gruissem opened to 26,000 from early position, Fabian Quoss called to his left and then both Kejing Tang and Zheng Tang called from the button and small blind, respectively.

The four saw a flop of 7♣3♣[10s]. Zheng Tang checked, as did both the Germans behind him, and Kejing Tang bet 150,000. Zheng Tang didn't seem to like this one bit, but called anyway. Gruissem and Quoss folded behind, leaving only the two Chinese players involved.

The 3♦ turned and Zheng Tang checed. Kejing Tang bet another 150,000 and some more anguish appeared on the face of Zheng. Again he really didn't seem like he wanted to call, but called anyway, and the river came K♥. Zheng checked again and Kejing bet 300,000.

This time it was totally obvious: Zheng did not want to call this bet. But it was also totally obvious that he simply couldn't bear not knowing what his opponent had and so peeled three black chips from his stack and threw then in the direction of Kejing. He essentially said nothing more than: "I want to know what you've got and there, I've paid the price."

Kejing obliged, turning over two red tens, and that was the end of that. Zheng mucked.


Kejing Tang

That hand took place after another moment of slight confusion on the feature table, in which both Gruissem and Zheng were involved. Zheng won a sizeable pot when he three-bet shoved the river on a board of 5♥5♣2♥[10d]Q♠. (He originally bet 150,000 on that, Gruissem raised to 500,000 and then Zheng shoved.) Gruissem folded, leaving himself pretty short, and announced his intention to rebuy.

Before the tournament director could come around with the rebought chips, the cards were dealt and Gruissem raised to 26,000, starting off the action described above. But the players needed to know if Gruissem had the additional million chips behind or not. It would make a big difference to how the hand potentially played out.

Eventually it was decided that he was playing the extra million, and he folded anyway after the action on the flop. But it had been confusing for a little while, with the players anxious not to hold things up for a ruling as the clock was clicking steadily down.

The rebuy issue has now been put to bed. We are into the freezeout stages of the tournament, with three more one-hour levels left to play tonight and four in the books. There were 71 entries and a further 51 rebuys, bringing the total number of entries to 122.

The bean-counters are busy figuring out how that will break down to pay our top eight finishers. I expect that will be figured out some time tonight, and we'll have the details with you ASAP.

A quick guide on following the action here at the GuangDong Ltd Asia Millions. Hand-by-hand coverage is available in the panel at the top of the main GDAM page. Feature posts will come in below that. You can also watch the action from the feature table on

Howard Swains
@howardswains in PokerStars Macau