Finding a Fold: Mike Sexton Lays Down a Set in WPT Montreal Main Event
Imagine the following scenario. You're in a World Poker Tour Main Event and you look down at a pocket pair of fours after the player under the gun limps. You call, too, and the blinds stay in. You get to see the flop for cheap. So far, so good.
Boom! You flop your four — a successful set mine! Looking at a board of , you're feeling good in this four-way limped pot, thinking of how to extract maximum value from worse made hands and draws.
Both blinds check, the under-the-gun player bets and with thoughts of "yum, yum," you raise. This is where things start to get a little dicey. The small blind reraises and after the big blind folds, the initial bettor four-bets it up to 63 big blinds. Oh yeah, and this is the very first level of the tournament.
"Wish I was good enough to fold a set of Queens there, but chances are I'd be in the re-buy line."
If you have played a lot of poker hands in your lifetime, your alarm bells should be going off at this point. Even so, you have a set and those are hard to make. You call, still with plenty of chips behind, to re-evaluate on the turn, and so does the small blind. The warm and tingly feelings you once felt for your bottom set are quickly diminishing. The turn brings the .
The small blind moves all in for 300 big blinds. The next player has him covered and calls. This is where you say goodbye to the pair that provided you with hope and excitement mere moments before.
And that's what Mike Sexton did on Day 1a of the CA$3,300 buy-in WPT Montreal Main Event this week.
New Best, Worst Fold?
When the hand history was first posted on the WPT live reporting blog, a miscommunication in the relaying of the hand resulted in the report that Sexton folded pocket queens face-up in this spot.
Patrick "plenopads" Leonard re-posted the hand on Twitter calling it the "best fold in poker history." Of course, that was assuming he folded a set of queens which by most estimations would have been extremely improbable.
Best fold in poker history. @Mike_partypoker #♂️ #♂️ #♂️ https://t.co/95pMR42q7i— Patrick Leonard (@plenopads)
Questions immediately arose surrounding the hand history, as Sexton would have had to put one of his two opponents — both of whom had limped into the pot rather than raising — exactly on two kings. A king coming on the turn makes it even more unlikely for either opponent to have pocket kings, as there would only be three combinations possible.
Ryan Leng made a joke about "best, worst folds" and reminded everyone of another fold which was perhaps ill-advised, though correct, from another WPT event.
That epic fold took place at the WPT Rolling Thunder Main Event final table in March 2018, and involved local pro Ian Steinman correctly folding a set of rivered kings to Joe McKeehen after the latter backed into Broadway blind vs. blind with five players left.
Sexton took to Twitter to clarify that his hand was actually pocket fours, meaning he did indeed fold a set, but it was not a set of queens as originally reported.
I hate to disappoint you @plenopads but @BJNemeth got it wrong. It was set over set over set but I folded a set of… https://t.co/fQfS0f7Gqp— Mike Sexton (@Mike_partypoker)
Given the action he faced on the flop and the turn, as well as the setting of a prestigious $3K WPT Main Event, one can see Sexton's fold as quite reasonable. Both of his opponents — Andrew Lam and Jishant Sapra — in this situation could have pocket fives in their ranges for a higher set, and queens and kings could also be in Lam's limp-trap range preflop.
As it happened, Lam did have pocket fives. And apparently big pocket pairs were also in Sapra's small blind limping range as he in fact had pocket kings, information which would make the fold all the more easy if it were available.
While Sexton did not likely put either opponent on — especially not Sapra — Sexton was fairly confident that his hand was no good. And if he did put Sapra on pocket kings, given the action, Joey Ingram would probably have to make a video about it.
Sexton had the following to say about the hand on Twitter: "I folded a set of fours which was a pretty easy fold as it was played. Wish I was good enough to fold a set of Queens there but chances are I'd be in the re-buy line."
Put down your torches, even Sexton admits he probably would not be folding pocket queens as played. Though if he had had pocket queens, there's a high chance the preflop action would have been a bit different, too. You can read the updated hand report here.
Could You Make the Fold?
It's not easy folding sets in poker, especially on draw-heavy boards with more cards to come. But for a seasoned poker veteran like Sexton, finding the fold button with big hands is a necessary requirement for continued success in the game.
In this case, Sexton's fold allowed him to hang on to most of his chips, avoid the re-buy line, and eventually return to Day 2 with a stack worth nearly 50 big blinds. Sexton would survive to today's Day 3 as well, albeit on the short side, as he continues his quest to win another WPT Main Event title at the site where he won his first one at WPT Montreal in 2016..
Day 3 begins today with 159 of 1,109 returning. You can follow the WPT live updates through the conclusion of the WPT Montreal event on Sunday.