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Sam Trickett's Bold Bluff vs. Stephen Chidwick at the Triton Million

Sam Trickett

You've probably heard — the biggest buy-in poker tournament ever happened, the Triton Million - A Helping Hand for Charity event in London, England.

With a cost of £1,050,000 to enter (currently the equivalent of about $1.28M USD), the event sports the highest price tag of any tournament ever. First prize will be the largest in history as well, with £19,000,000 going to the winner, a total worth just over $23 million USD.

This entirely unique event drew a field of 54 entrants comprised of exactly 27 poker professionals and 27 businessmen/recreational players. The latter group were invited to play, with each of them subsequently inviting a pro as their guest. Here's a full breakdown of the tournament format and field.

There are rules governing seat draws as well, with one being all the "Invitation Holders" (the recs) and "Guests" (the pros) were separated during the first six levels of play yesterday.

There were many interesting hands throughout Day 1 that turned up in PokerNews' live updates and also on the live coverage which could viewed (for free) on PokerGO.

Easily the most interesting hand from Day 1 took place at one of the "Pro" tables during Level 5, a three-way hand ending with Sam Trickett boldly bluffing fellow UK player Stephen Chidwick off the best hand on the river.

The hand took place at the 3,000/6,000 level (with a 6,000 big blind ante). Action was picked up on the {7-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{3-Clubs} flop with three players involved — Trickett in the small blind with {a-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}, Bryn Kenney in the big blind with {8-Hearts}{6-Clubs}, and Chidwick in the hijack seat with {j-Clubs}{8-Clubs}.

Kenney (1.2M) and Chidwick (1.1M) had the bigger stacks to start this hand, with Trickett beginning with a little over 500,000.

With 45,000 in the middle (suggesting preflop action had been a raise from Chidwick and two calls from the blinds), it appeared to have been checked around on the flop, including Chidwick checking his flopped flush.

Stephen Chidwick
Stephen Chidwick

The turn was the {j-Spades}, and now with top pair and an ace-high flush draw Trickett checked again. Kenney checked as well with his gutshot, and Chidwick also chose to check a second time.

Randy Lew and Jeff Gross were commenting on the stream, and both expressed fascination at Chidwick continuing to resist betting his flush.

"That's a little wild," said Gross of the second check. "He just thinks that no one has a piece," Lew responded. "He just hopes that someone catches up."

To that Gross expressed some doubt, thinking perhaps if someone "catches up" to a pair or straight Chidwick might be able elicit some value, but obviously a fourth club on the river would be bad news for him.

The river {7-Spades} wasn't a club, but it did pair the board which when completed showed {7-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{j-Spades}{7-Spades}. The clip below picks up the action there, if you'd rather watch than read:

As shown, Trickett led out for 16,000, then Kenney interestingly bluff-raised big to 102,000.

"This is a peculiar hand selection all around," commented Gross. Meanwhile Lew suggested Kenney (correctly) had read Trickett for trying a thin value bet with a jack, and thus was representing having a seven or something better than one pair.

Bryn Kenney
Bryn Kenney

Such an action also showed Kenney didn't think Chidwick had either a seven or a flush, since — as Lew points out — he surely would have bet either the flop or turn if he had.

But Chidwick did have the flush, and after a short pause he called Kenney's raise.

Trickett didn't act right away, giving Gross enough time to consider the possibility of Trickett actually trying to bluff-shove. "I don't even know if that would work at this point, it would look pretty ridic..." Gross starts to say.

And then Trickett did!

"WOW!!!" said both Lew and Gross simultaneously just after Trickett announced he was all in for 485,000 total. "This is an insane hand!" continued Gross.

Kenney — having been initially right about Trickett going for thin value before, actually — quickly let his hand go, and Chidwick had a decision to make. If he called, Trickett would be eliminated, but could Trickett possibly have his small flush beat?

"Everyone has kind of like out-one-upped everyone," said Lew, inventing a term to describe the leveling going on.

Chidwick faced calling for 383,000 more to win a pot of 734,000 (about 1.9-to-1 pot odds). But after some thought, he let his hand go.

"Everyone has kind of like out-one-upped everyone," said Lew, inventing a term to describe the leveling going on.

Most interesting by the end was the way both Trickett and Chidwick were representing their hands — or misrepresenting, I should say — with Trickett's shove over-representing his hand as strong and Chidwick's postflop checks under-representing his hand strength.

Interesting as well is the way both players held significant "blockers" at the end, with the {a-Clubs} in Trickett's hand ruling out an ace-high flush for his opponent, and the {j-Clubs} in Chidwick's hand making the full house a little less likely for Trickett. (And, of course, the two clubs in Chidwick's hand also lessened the likelihood of Trickett having a flush.)

"This is high-level... all around, really one of the more interesting hands I've ever seen," said Gross just before the hand concluded. You can watch it yourself over at PokerGO where Day 1 has been archived in the "On Demand" section. The hand starts at about the 5 hour, 58 minute-mark.

Alas for Trickett, he would later be knocked out during Level 8. Meanwhile, both Chidwick and Kenney survived to Day 2 with above-average stacks.

  • Hand review: Sam Trickett's bold river bluff versus Stephen Chidwick on @Tritonpoker Million Day 1.

  • Looking back over Sam Trickett's wild river bluff on Day 1 of the £1M buy-in @Tritonpoker Million.

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Martin Harris

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