April 11, 2020 Featured Articles, Poker News, Poker Strategy Lars Liedtke

Poker Hand of the Week – The River that cost Tom Dwan $338,408

Poker Hand of the Week Setup

Our Poker Hand of the Week is brandnew and comes from the massive Triton Poker London Cash Game Episode 2 with blinds of £4,000/£8,000. The lineup features the Triton and Macau Big game regs Tom Dwan, Eltson Tsang, Paul Phua and Tan Xuan.

Poker Hand of the Week - The River that cost Tom Dwan $338,408

Tom lost a huge pot early in the session and is already stuck a bunch, while Elton Tsang is running pure and the biggest winner so far. Both opponents are regulars in the biggest games on the planet and know each other’s game very well.

Poker Hand of the Week Action

Preflop Action:

Tom Dwan picks up A♥7♥ in the Hijack and makes it £13,000 to go. Elton Tsang calls in the Cutoff with J♥T♥ and Tan Xuan decides to defend his big blind with J♦2♦ as he is getting a really good price. Pot size: £45,000


The flop comes prettx decent for Dwan with 7♦K♣K♥ rainbow, while the other two players wiff. Tom makes a rather small continuation bet of £16,000 into £45,000.

Due to the small sizing, his backdoors and the fact that he is in position, Elton decides to peel one off, Xuan folds. Pot size: £77,000


The turn 9♣ doesn’t changes to much from Tom Dwan’s point of view. However, it does give Elton Tsang a double gutshot.

durrrr now checks and Tsang, who has floated the flop and now picked up some equity, decides to go for it and fires £44,000.

Tom Dwan check-calls pretty quickly. Pot size: £125,000


On the 8♠ Tsang makes his straight, which is pretty disguised. Dwan checks again and Tsang decides to go for an overbet of £150,000. durrrr thinks for a couple of seconds and mucks his hand.

Poker Hand of the Week Analysis

This hand is a great example how important backdoors are especially when playing Heads-Up. In addition, it shows that floating should be part of your strategy.

Let’s go through the hand step by step. Preflop is pretty standard by all three players and there is not much that can be done differently here.

It is the flop is, where things are getting interesting. While Tom Dwan couldn’t have asked for a much better flop with two pair top kicker, the other two completely wiff. However, Eltson Tsang has a backdoor straight and flush draw and two potential overcards plus poistion making his hand a resonable candidate for a float.

On the turn, Tsang picks up a lot of equity and increases his odds of winning the hand from 26% to 31% by picking up a double gutshot. Nevertheless, when Tom believes his hand is good on the flop, then it would be very likely still good on the turn as it doesn’t changes much.

On the river Elton binks the straight and after Tom checks again, he decides to polarize his hand by making an overbet of £150,000 into £125,000. By overbetting and polarizing his hand to either a bluff or a very strong holding, he wants to make Dwan believe he is bluffing or getting maximum value from a hand like A-K.

However, Elton’s image of being the tightest player among the regs in the Triton Poker game, makes his story of a bluff not very convincing. Dwan knows Tsang’s game very well and it takes him only a few seconds to make this fold.

Poker Hand of the Week Conclusion

Well played by both opponents. Tom plays his hand perfectly by betting/calling, as long as he is ahead and folding once he is beat on the river.

Elton makes a nice float being aware of his backdoors and plays his position perfectly. The overbet on the river is also understandable to maximize his value as Tom Dwan would probably call with a king, which is definitely part of his range, although a small value bet could have made him more money in this particular spot.

Watch the Poker Hand of the Week here from 43:04 on:

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