The next level was 10k/20k with a 3k ante. I don’t really recall being too active in this level. There was a lot of raising it and taking it. I think I raised pre-flop several times and ended up losing the pot after a continuation bet. I think I went down to about 700 or 800k when I played my next big pot. The short-stacked 1 seat opened for 75k and for some reason, I didn’t think he was that strong. He sort of looked around at the table before raising and it didn’t seem like he was that comfortable with his hand. After DN and 에볼루션카지, I peeked at AQ and was fairly certain that I had the best hand. I re-raised to 205k and both blinds folded. The initial raiser put a lot of time into his decision before calling which surprised me as I initially thought he was on pretty much a steal. He only had about 120k left and I was pretty certain that he was going to move in regardless of the flop. I was committed to call, pretty much regardless of the flop, but thankfully for me, it came off 1010A. He did not insta move-in and of course, I felt great about my hand. He went through all his options several times before moving in and I insta-called. He flipped over two eights, I was able to fade the turn and river and I was back at close to a million. In the last hand of the level, Fishman made a smallish raise from early position which I contemplated re-raising with two nines out of the SB but elected to just call. Scot had been limping and seeing a lot of flops but coming in raising relatively infrequently. I wanted to play this hand from the flop on. Josephy called from the BB and we saw a 952 rainbow board. Sweet. I checked, Josephy chcecked and Fischman made a weak lead of 70k into the pot. I just called and Josephy folded. The turn paired the deuce and brought two diamonds. I weak led for 120k into the now growing pot, and Scotty very quickly called. I was pretty certain at this point that he had an overpair, and if a non-diamond came on the end, I had already decided to move in. The 10 of clubs came and I announced all-in to the dealer. I had about 800k which just covered Fischman and he went into the tank. He muttered to himself, asking how he could lay his hand down. He quietly asked if I had ace-deuce or nine-ten. He said he could beat nine-ten. He took over three minutes to make up his decision and I of course, tried to sell myself as weak. I began to breathe very heavily, cleared my throat several times, and just tried to look uncomfortable. I suppose I got a little greedy with my river bet, but I was sure on the turn that he had an overpair and I just didn’t think he would lay the hand down. To his credit, he made a world class laydown in what could have been a two million dollar pot. I dragged the pot, was up to 1.3 mil, but was burning that he folded.

There was quite a bit of discussion by the table players after the hand as we went on break. I read later on pokerpages that Negraneau thought I played the hand poorly, regardless of what I had. I was pretty amazed at Negraneau’s play during the day, and to say that I was in awe of him is a bit much, but not too far from the truth. That being said, I hear what he’s saying. I may have butchered the hand on the river, but that’s only because Fischman folded. If he called and I stacked the 2 million pot, the play would’ve been a thing of beauty. It was high risk, certainly. It’s pretty rare to be in that stage of a major, with pretty much the nuts, against somebody who has an overpair to the board and a lot of chips. Certainly the safe play would’ve been to bet around 300k. A better play might’ve been to check-raise all-in. But I thought this was a great spot to feign a busted wheel and diamond draw and move-in. At the time, I underestimated Scot’s playing abilities as I thought he was a very good player but not a fantastic player. From a tournament that Kelly and Joe played with him at the Commerce, I know he plays to win so I thought he would lean more towards calling and having two mil and a great shot at winning, than folding and surviving with 680k. In retrospect, I think Fischman and Negraneau are the few people who would fold queens there. Cliff Josephy, who is one of the top rated online tourney players, stated in an interview during the break that he thought I had nothing. The average recreational player would’ve definitely called. The pokerpages reporter who witnessed the whole hand said that based on the betting and my physical appearance that he would’ve called. In my honest assessment, I think the average player, and Josephy and players like Violette and Michael Binger would have called. I have to applaud Fischman’s fold. I think it was world class.

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