Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 93: Alex Foxen Coolers Nick Petrangelo in SHRB
Late last year, I got to play poker fanboy by watching the three-day $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl. Without a doubt my favorite day to watch was the second, which was chock full of big hands as players competed for a spot at the final table.
While Daniel Negreanu's big laydown seemed to be the most talked about hand from the SHRB, I thought I'd focus on a different one, which was one of my favorites. It was played between two titans of the game in Chip Leader Coaching's Alex Foxen and Upswing Poker's Nick Petrangelo.
The hand took place in Level 10 (3,000/5,000/5,000) when Foxen (1.5 million) raised from the cutoff to 13,000 holding and Seth Davies called out of the small blind. Petrangelo (671,000) then three-bet to 70,000 from the big with the in the hole.
Foxen responded by four-betting to 178,000, Davies got out of the way, and Petrangelo called to see a flop. Petrangelo check-called a Foxen bet of 95,000 and the dealer burned and turned the .
Action went check-check and the completed the board on the river. Petrangelo bet 175,000 with his inferior full house and Foxen paused for a few beats before moving all in. Petrangelo had 228,000 behind, double-checked his cards, and then called off.
Just like that the cooler saw Petrangelo hit the rail while Foxen pulled out to a massive chip lead.
When the river brought a ten, I couldn't help but feel like I was watching a car driving down the wrong side of the highway. I knew a head-on collision was coming and couldn't look away.
After the hand I was curious about what was going through both Foxen and Petrangelo's minds. Unfortunately, I wasn't on hand to ask, but my longtime colleague Remko Rinkema was and talked to Foxen as part of his Run It Back with Remko video series.
"We're deep enough to where this is a standard four-bet spot," Foxen said of his preflop decisions.
Foxen: "I want to be betting all of my four-bet bluffs on this type of flop."
As for the flop play, Remko asked if checking back was ever a consideration.
"I don't think there's really any reason to check back this flop," Foxen explained. "Obviously, I smashed the flop and I have the best possible hand, but he doesn't have that many hands that are folding to a small bet, so we just get more chips in the pot this way. I want to be betting all of my four-bet bluffs on this type of flop, so yeah, pretty much betting almost every hand that I have at this point."
While he never considered checking the flop, Foxen revealed the same wasn't true of the turn.
Foxen continued: "When we get to the turn it's a pretty easy check back — it's pretty standard. I have to check back in this spot every time."
On the river, Foxen was licking his chops when Petrangelo led out for a big chunk of his stack. There was no doubt Foxen was going to raise, but what took him so long?
"It's just about trying to put enough thought into it so there's not a chance he makes some absurd hero fold so I end up using a time bank and then shove," he said. "The hand's just super standard. It really couldn't have played any other way, I don't think. Sometimes there's nothing you can do — the cards just give you the chips basically."
Foxen went on to finish second in the tournament for $2.16 million while Ike Haxton took it down for $3.672 million.