October 31, 2021 Poker News, Poker Strategy Lars Liedtke

Poker Hand of the Week – The Most Gangster WSOP Bluff of All Time by Michael Addamo

Michael Addamo is currently playing in a league of his own. In our Poker Hand of the Week we analyse what might be the most Gangster WSOP bluff of all time by Addamo vs. Justin Bonomo, while playing for $1,132,968 at the final table of 2021 WSOP Event #38: $50,000 High Roller.

Poker Hand of the Week Setup

We are at the final table of WSOP Event #38: $50,000 High Roller with only three players left. Michael Addamo, Justin Bonomo and Gal Yifrach are battling for the staggering $1,132,968 first place prize.

Poker Hand of the Week - The Most Gangster WSOP Bluff of All Time by Michael Addamo

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Michael Addamo is massive chip leader at the start of our Poker Hand of the Week with more than three times as many chips than Justin Bonomo in second place.

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Poker Hand of the Week Action


At Blinds of 60,000/120,000 Big Blind Ante 120,000 the action folds to Michael Addamo in the small blind, who looks at 9♠2♣ and raises to 480,000. Justin Bonomo finds K♠10♥ in the big binds and decides to call in position. Pot Size: 1,080,000



Heads-up to a flop come of J♣3♥10♦ and Michael whiffs completely, while Justin flops middle pair with a backdoor straight draw. Addamo checks and Bonomo checks behind. Pot Size: 1,080,000


The Q♣ on the turn is an interesting card as it completes some straight draws and is also an overcard to the board. Michael Addamo is done checking and instead fires a huge overbet by betting 1,160,000 into 1,080,000.

Justin Bonomo has however picked up equity on the turn in form of an open-ended straight draw to go alongside his pair and he makes the call. Pot Size: 3,400,000


The board pairs on the J♥ river and Michael Addamo still has only nine-high. Addamo wouldn’t be the best tournament player in the world, if he would give up that easily though, so he goes for all of it!

It is for Justin Bonomo’s tournament life and he goes deep into the tank for almost six minutes. Ultimately he announces “Call” and what a call it is with third pair as Addamo shows nine-high, while Justin Bonomo collects a huge 10,200,000 pot.

Poker Hand of the Week Analysis

Poker at its highest level by both players, which shows why Michael Addamo and Justin Bonomo are dominating the poker tournament scenes in the last years. Let’s go through this amazing and very spectacular hand step by step.

Preflop you could argue that 92o is a fold from the small blind. However, Michael Addamo is massive chip leader and knows that he can apply a lot of ICM pressure on the mid stack Justin Bonomo as there is a short stack with Gal Yifrach. Addamo knows that he has more fold equity so raising a hand like this every once in a while from the small blind as chip leader is fine.

Justin Bonomo has a pretty easy call here as KTo plays well in position. Having said that and knowing that Addamo raises with a very wide range from the small blind, that’s why I would have preferred a raise in this particular spot, as you will get a lot of folds, but both options are ok.

The JT3 rainbow flop hits the big blind’s calling range hard. Michael Addamo knows that and consequently checks. Justin could take a step here, but he knows how dangerous Addamo is and that’s probably the reason, why he decides to control the size of the pot by checking behind.

The Queen on the turn completes several straight draws such as AK, K9 and 89 and is a card Michael can represent. He does so with a massive overbet. This play is intended to target any one pair hands and to make them fold. The reason it doesn’t work is that Bonomo picks up equity with an Open-Ender and also has a very important blocker with the King, since he is blocking the Nuts with AK as well as K9, so he calls having only pot size behind.

Another Jack on the river pairs the board and Michael announces All-In to put maximum pressure on Bonomo.

The problem is that Michael Addamo checked the Jack-high flop and now goes All-in, when the Jack pairs on the river. This doesn’t make much sense, since he wouldn’t play a Jack or Queen like that, so Addamo has basically polarized his hand to a straight.

Justin has the most important blocker with his King as he blocks both AK and K9, so the likelihood that this is a bluff is pretty high.

Poker Hand of the Week Conclusion

If you have checked the Jack-high flop and the Jack pairs on the river, this in general isn’t a good time to bluff, since the board texture hasn’t changed and you can’t credibly represent a Jack here.

Michael Addamo also wouldn’t play a Queen like that here, so what he is representing is the nut straight, since he overbet the turn when the Queen hit.

The problem is that Justin Bonomo blocks AK and K9, so it is rather unlikely that Addamo has one of those two hands that he is representing.

Since Addamo polarized his hand extremely to the Nuts or nothing by overbetting both turn and river and Bonomo has a very important blocker with the King a bluff is much more likely here and that’s why Bonomo is able to find a call with third pair.

Good Call!

Watch the Poker Hand of the Week here:

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