Below is the breakdown of how Antonio Esfandiari was eliminated in 24th place in the 2009 WSOP Main Event from Card Player. After the quote, I give my opinion on the hand, but I’d like to hear feedback on what you guys think.
Antonio Esfandiari raised to 310,000 preflop from under the gun, and Steven Begleiter called from middle position. The flop came down 10 2 4, and Esfandiari bet 535,000. Begleiter raised it up to 1.6 million, and Esfandiari moved all in for 2.5 million more. Begleiter made the call and tabled K 10 for top pair on the flop.
Esfandiari showed down 5 5 and needed help. The turn was the 6, giving Esfandiari a gutshot-straight draw, but the A fell on the river, and Esfandiari was eliminated.
I am against this play by Antonio. True, he got a pretty good flop for 5s, but I hate low pocket pairs. I play them soft and hope for a set or a low board. I rarely try power moves like Antonio did here. With pocket 5s, he’s up against a heck of a lot of cards that can beat him. A 10 beats him. A higher pocket pair beats him. Two overs could beat him on the turn and the river. If he wanted to move with 5s (as it looks like he did), just go preflop. It’s very unlikely you’re going to get a board of all unders and after that you’re just hoping your opponent doesn’t catch. Antonio got a little unlucky in the sense his opponent did hit the 10 but just from a strategic point of view, I don’t like it.
Do you really want to guess for your tournament life? I’d rather go out with a stronger hand than 5s. From a math perspective, he was most likely ahead after the flop, but after the call and raise from Begleiter, you’ve really got to think twice about whether you want to continue playing.