Poker: a Game to Love, a Game to Hate

Vanessa Selbst, presumably before the hand I write about today

It's a hand for the ages.  Vanessa Selbst had pretty much just sat down to begin her main event at the WSOP.  She woke up during the first level with pocket Aces.  She raised to 400 and got action from Gaelle Baumann on the button, with pocket 7s and Noah Schwartz in the big blind, with J-8.

The flop came A 7 5, all clubs. So Selbst and Baumann had both flopped sets, and it looked like Baumann was going to lose a lot of money.  She had Selbst covered by a whisker but it was definitely going to get ugly.  Selbst bet 700. Baumann called and Schwartz folded.

Then came the turn, the case 7.

Selbst checked her full house, secretly thrilled that she no longer had to worry about a flush. Baumann decided to disguise the strength of her hand by playing it aggressively, and bet 1,700.  Selbst raised to 5,800, thinking to extract good value. Baumann called.  On the river (a blank), Selbst overbet at 16,200... maybe hoping to look like a bluff?  Baumann shoved, and Selbst's demeanor changed instantly.

"Are you serious right now?" Selbst asked nobody in particular. "Oh my God.  "This might be a quick Main Event for me. I don't know if I'm good enough to fold this. I guess you could have ace-seven of hearts so I have to call."  Well, she was almost but not quite good enough to fold.  A-7 of hearts and the pocket 7s were pretty much the only two hands Baumann could have held after the pre-flop action and with the cards visible on the board.

And the beauty and the brutality of poker continue.

See Poker News for the full writeup.

UPDATE: Somehow it took a whole five hours to get the video on YouTube.

This article was updated on May 9, 2023

David F