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Two Huge Folds Made on Day 1 of the Main Event

Jordan C

Jul 9, 2023

Jasen Currie

Going into the Main Event, everyone’s always saying how it’s a “marathon, not a sprint,” and that you should conserve your stack wherever possible. Well, some people are taking the idea of stack conservation to the extreme and are making huge folds that you’d probably never see anywhere else.

KK Folds BTN vs BB

The first hand we’re going to look at is a player who folds KK in a BTN vs BB scenario. Anyone who’s vaguely familiar with poker will know that when you have kings in late position, it’s close to impossible to find a fold preflop unless you’re hundreds of big blinds deep, However, Jasen Currie managed to do so on Day 1d of the Main Event; let’s look at what happened.

The action folded around to Jasen with KK in the big blind and around 80,000 in chips - which at the time was ~160bb. Paulo Joanello had 8-8 in the small blind and shoved his remaining 23bb into the middle. Here’s where it gets interesting - Vito Distefano had AQo in the big blind and had a stack that covered Jasen. He raised it to 30,000, putting Jasen in a tough decision.

Some people say that it’s a challenge to go broke on Day 1 of the Main Event, due to the incredible structure and the number of chips you start with. In fact, we’ve seen a couple of players at this year’s Main Event bust with KK vs AA, and spectators have chided them for risking their stack so early in the tournament.

We can only imagine that this fact was going through Jasen’s head, as after some deliberation, he laid down his pocket kings to the shock of announcers Koray Aldemir and Remko Rinkema. You can take a look at their reaction below.

What would you do in this situation? Would you live to fight another day, or would you risk it all and hope that you don’t get snapped off by AA?

Nik Airball Folds Top Set

If there’s a player that you wouldn’t expect to be making huge folds; it’s Nik “Airball” Arcot. He’s built a reputation as a crazy gambler in the Hustler Casino Live and High Stakes Poker cash games and is someone who’s willing to bet and call incredibly wide.

So, imagine the surprise of his table mates when he folded the top set face up on a relatively dry board! Some Twitter users have suspected that a “body-snatching” scenario is to blame for the uncharacteristically tight fold, but we think it shows just how tight people play during Day 1 of the Main. Let’s take a look at what happened.

The action started on the turn four-handed, with blinds at 500/1000 and a board of T95J. Nik checked from the small blind and Nuno Duarte put out a bet of 6,000. The action folded around to Nik, who put in a check-raise to 17,000 chips. Duarte shoved over Nik’s check-raise and covered Nik’s remaining 100,000 stack.

Nik went deep into the tank, tanking for over three minutes while apologising to his tablemates. Eventually, he turned his hand face-up, showing the JJ, before throwing it into the muck. Nik was later heard saying that he would never make this fold in a cash game, which goes to show the effect that the Main Event has on players! 

This hand is harder to evaluate as we don’t get to see the preflop or flop action, but we have to imagine that Nik has a solid read on his opponent to be making such a huge laydown; especially when many players would be happy getting in a lower set.

Are these folds really that nitty, or is it just how you need to play to survive the early stages of the Main Event? What would you do in these situations? Let us know on social media and stay tuned for all the latest WSOP news and events.

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