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Doug Polk Breaks Down Ensan-Gates WSOP Main Event Final Table Hand

Doug Polk Breaks Down Ensan-Gates WSOP Main Event Final Table Hand
  • Doug Polk breaks down an intriguing WSOP Main Event final table hand between Ensan and Gates.

  • Watch Doug Polk's analysis of the Main Event hand in which Garry Gates tried to bluff Hossein Ensan.

The 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event provided poker players and fans two weeks' worth of excitement, with the three-day final table once again producing a number of interesting moments and hands that continue to be discussed and scrutinized.

As the Main Event's final days were playing out, Doug Polk jumped in on his YouTube channel to provide some commentary regarding what turned out to be one of the more intriguing hands at the final table. The hand occurred during the second day (Day 9 of the tournament) during five-handed play and involved what at the time were the two big stacks — chip leader (and eventual champion) Hossein Ensan and Garry Gates.

The Hand

As reported here at PokerNews, it was Hand #68 of the final table at which point the blinds were 800,000/1,600,000 with a 1.6M big blind ante.

Action began with Gates opening to 3.5 million from the button with {a-Hearts}{10-Clubs} and Ensan defending his big blind with a call holding {k-Spades}{9-Spades}. Ensan began the hand with 235.7 million, Gates with 144.3 million, with the other three remaining players all in the 40-50 million range.

The flop came {8-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}{5-Clubs} to give Ensan top pair. Ensan checked, Gates continuation bet for 2.3 million, and Ensan called.

The turn brought the {6-Clubs}, providing both players with a little more equity in the form of draws (a gutshot straight draw for Ensan and a flush draw for Gates). When Ensan checked again Gates barreled once more for 6.5 million and Ensan called, bringing the pot up to 27 million.

The {10-Spades} fell on the river, giving Gates a pair, and this time Ensan led with a bet of 8.9 million. Gates then raised to 24.5 million, and Ensan called rather quickly to claim the 76 million-chip pot.

The Analysis

In his video analysis, Polk examines the preflop, flop, turn, and river decisions made by each player. The discussion includes a lot of good information not just about this particular hand, but about pre- and postflop strategy, generally speaking. Among the topics covered are:

  • blind defense
  • continuation betting frequency (and bet sizing)
  • blockers (or "card removal")
  • board texture
  • position
  • value betting
  • bluffing

In the end, Polk judges Gates' approach to bet the turn and raise the river favorably, though in this case it just didn't work out against the sticky Ensan. Take a look:

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