In our Poker Hand of the Week, we are analysing Phil Hellmuth’s massive bluff fail in the $800,000 High Stakes Duel III Round 4 vs. Scott Seiver.
Poker Hand of the Week Setup
Phil Hellmuth and Scott Seiver squared off for $800,000 on High Stakes Duel, where the Poker Brat was attempting the most random bluff!
We are in the early stages of the heads-up match and both players are therefore very deep with effective stack sizes being 439 big blinds. Hellmuth has Seiver slightly covered.
Poker Hand of the Week Action
At Blinds of 400/800, Phil Hellmuth limps from the button with 10♣9♥. Scott Seiver picks up a decent hand in the big blind with K♥Q♠ and makes a very large raise of 7.5x to 6,000, but Hellmuth decides to see a flop. Pot Size: 12,000
The flop comes 3♦K♦A♥ giving Seiver middle pair, while Hellmuth absolutely whiffs. Scott makes a downsized cbet of 3,000 into 12,000 and Phil calls with pure air. Pot Size: 18,000
The K♣ on the turn is a great card for Seiver as he improves to Trips. He now sets the trap with a tricky check and Hellmuth steps right into it by betting 8,500.
Scott now check-raises to 30,000, which should be the end of this hand. Should be, but it’s not as Phil Hellmuth has different ideas and 4-bets to 75,000 on a stone cold bluff! Scott Seiver can’t fold at this point and so he calls. Pot Size: 168,000
4♥ on the river and Seiver quickly checks before Hellmuth snap checks behind and mucks his hand, when Scott announces “King-Queen”.
Scott Seiver wins the absolute maximum and a larger 168,000 pot due to a completely random bluff by Phil Hellmuth.
Poker Hand of the Week Analysis
This bluff looks pretty bad at first glance, but let’s go through it step by step.
When playing heads-up, Phil Hellmuth limps on the button with a very wide range, so this is completely normal. Seiver now makes a very large raise in order to punish those limps, but Hellmuth decides to see a flop in position with a hand that plays pretty well postflop.
The flop contains both an Ace and a King and is therefore specifically bad for Phil’s limping range as he would be raising all Aces and a lot of the stronger Kings. Seiver downbets to 25% pot and Hellmuth decides to float.
The King on the turn is a dream card for Seiver as he now can be almost certain to have the best hand. He makes a beautiful check Phil steps right into the trap with a bet, which is intended to steal the pot.
However, Scott has Trips with a very good kicker and check-raises. At this point the end should definitely be over for the Poker Brat, but he gets stubborn and comes back over the top with absolute air. Seiver can’t do much else but calling here.
The river is a blank and Scott Seiver continues his slowplay by checking. This time Phil Hellmuth learned his lesson and checked behind, while already losing close to the maximum possible.
Poker Hand of the Week Conclusion
This is definitely one of the most random Phil Hellmuth bluffs ever. The main reason for that is that Hellmuth has hardly any Aces and stronger Kings in his button limping range.
Secondly, raising big preflop, cbetting the flop and then check-raising the turn is a very strong line that screams King. At the latest after Seiver’s check-raise on the turn, the Poker Brat needs to fold, which would have saved him 75,000 chips.
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