tony g vs 100k

The Notorious Tony G vs The $100,000 Bluff

Tony G is a poker boom-era legend known for his masterful table talk.

He doesn’t play much poker in the United States these days, but he appeared on Hustler Casino Live’s Million Dollar Cash Game earlier this year.

He got into a bunch of interesting pots while playing $500/$1,000 with a $2,000 big blind ante. The effective stack to start this hand is $1,000,000.

Without any further ado, let’s dive into the action!

WSOT Summer 2024

Preflop Action

Wesley raises from UTG with to $3,000.

Tony G cold-calls with from UTG+1.

Stanley Tang cold-calls with from UTG+2.

Pav calls from the Small Blind with .

Nik Airball calls from the Big Blind with .

Preflop Analysis

A rare 5-way pot! Let’s run through each action one-by-one.

Wesley’s raise with Ace-Queen suited from UTG is standard and his sizing is good.

Faced with the UTG open, Tony G’s cold-call with Ten-Nine suited from UTG+1 is not a great play. That said, it is probably fine in a loose game. Wesley’s range should be tight, but calling here will probably not cost him a ton of money over the long run. 3-betting would also be a decent option.

Stanley’s call from UTG+2 with Ace-Jack suited is fine. It’s a very strong preflop hand and there are some loose players behind him that might make very bad calls preflop with dominated hands.

Pav’s call with from Small Blind is way too loose. This hand is only loosely connected, offsuit, and he’ll have to play it out of position against (at least) 3 players. Plus, the stack-to-pot ratio (SPR) is extremely large. All these factors work against him.

Nik Airball’s overcall with Queen-Five offsuit from the Big Blind is also way too loose. While at first, you might think that you should over-call with many hands given the amazing pot odds that you are getting, the fact is that you have to play out-of-position with a high stack-to-pot ratio against 4 other players. It is a mighty tough spot to play correctly, especially with a hand like offsuit.

Flop Action

The flop comes . The pot is $17,000.

Pav checks with . Nik Airball checks with . Wesley checks with .

Tony G bets $13,000 with .

Stanley folds .

Pav calls. Nik and Wesley fold.

Flop Analysis

On this middling flop, Tony G’s range should have the most sets relative to his whole range. Pav, Nik, and Wesley should all check (as they did) in order to protect the integrity of their ranges in a spot where they will often have a weak hand.

Tony now has an incentive to stab at the pot given that he has a decently strong but vulnerable hand. His bet size, though, is way too large for the goals that he should have in mind.

His goals should be to force folds from overcards, get called by worse pairs, and minimize losses against better hands. To accomplish this goal, a small bet of around $3,000-$4,000 would suffice. This large sizing is inefficient due to the fact that it folds out some of the weaker hands while losing more against stronger hands.

Stanley makes the correct fold with his overcards.

Pav’s call is fine given that he has a gutshot straight draw with the potential to over-straight an opponent. The dream scenario for him is that one of his opponents has , giving him the potential to win an ungodly amount of money should an hit. His overcard may also be live and he may be able to take the pot away on a later street if/when Tony gives up the betting lead.

Nik and Wesley make the obvious folds with nothing.

Turn Action

The turn comes the , making the board  . The pot is $43,000.

Pav checks. Tony G checks.

Turn Analysis

The is a brick turn. Pav has no incentive to donk bet here as his range hasn’t asymmetrically improved compared to Tony’s.

Tony should now try to steer his hand to showdown by checking. Betting would only make worse hands fold and better hands call. That would be extremely inefficient. He can potentially try to bluff-catch on certain runouts or sometimes value bet if Pav checks again on a brick river.

River Action

The river is the , making the final board   . The pot is $43,000.

Pav overbets $100,000. Tony G folds. Pav scoops the $43,000 pot.

River Analysis

The river shakes things up a little bit because it completes the open-ended straight draw from the flop. That being said, in practice, it doesn’t massively alter the situation.

Pav should have the stronger range at this point since Tony has checked on the turn, indicating that he doesn’t have an overpair or a strong hand.

Pav’s 2x pot overbet is interesting because he is representing exactly . He shouldn’t have overpairs (since those would’ve 3-bet preflop) or a set-turned-full-house (because those would usually raise on the flop).

From a theoretical perspective, Pav can create a range that is made out of for value, balanced with some bluffs. Perhaps he can have some trips hands (like ) as well, though it’s hard to say how many hands he’d call with preflop.

Facing this 2x pot bet, Tony is in deep trouble. He needs to call $100,000 to win the $143,000 in the pot, meaning he has to have the best hand 41% of the time to break even on a call here (see: how to calculate pot odds).

Tony G must weigh the probability of Pav having more than 41% worse hands. If he thinks Pav is bluffing at least 41% of the time here, he should call. Otherwise, he should fold.

These kinds of situations are extremely dynamic because it’s difficult to know exactly what your opponents are up to. Pav has T7-offsuit here, a hand that should never get to this part of the game tree. If you know Pav plays these types of hands preflop, calling becomes more appealable in Tony G’s shoes.

I think Tony made a sensible fold. Pav showing him the T7-offsuit will certainly make Tony adjust in the future knowing that Pav has extremely loose ranges preflop.

Do you like Tony G’s laydown? Or should he have called this $100,000 bet?

Let me know in the comment section down below!

Also, if you have a hand that you’d like me to breakdown for you, let me know below!

Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!

WSOT Summer 2024

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About the Author
Dan B.

Dan B.

Online grinder aspiring to reach the highest stakes and crush the toughest games. I'm available for quick strategy questions and hourly coaching -- reach out to me at [email protected].

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