Daniel Negreanu’s Fold at WSOP Shows Amazing People Reading Skill
At the WSOP Main Event, Daniel Negreanu, a six-time bracelet winner, displayed his incredible skill in poker reading. He made the wild, yet correct decision to fold, even though in possession of the third nuts. Such a move would hardly enter anyone’s mind, but it ultimately paid dividends.
His master maneuver at the televised event on Day 1 had everyone abuzz about how he predicted the outcome. Fans and speculators gathered on Reddit to create a thread about this very topic. It accumulated well over a hundred comments, discussing at length about Negreanu’s masterful play.
About the Hand
At the point where the titular flop happened, Negreanu was up against Carol Harmon on the button. He seems to have pinned her down as a tight player. That interpretation told him that her raise of 2,500 atop 300/500 blinds and a big blind ante of 500 indicated a powerful hand.
In the big blind, Negreanu defended the king-queen. That appeared like nothing out of the ordinary, and the following flop would prove most favorable. As a matter of fact, it was pretty much the dream flop for the hand he had. It showed a jack, nine, and six, all spades. Combined with his king of spades, the odds were looking more than good. A nut straight gutshot draw, the king-high flush, and two overs all had him anticipating that next turn card.
Harmon then placed a large continuation bet of 5,000 on top of the 5,800 on the center. This elucidated a bit more about what hand she had held. From this, he gathered that she most likely carried an ace of spades combo — outclassing his cards. Negreanu matched the wager.
Then came the turn. A queen of spades. At a glance, that was everything Negreanu could have hoped for from the situation. He checked. However, what transpired next made him rethink the certainty of his hand coming on top. This is because Harmon went on to place 8,000 on a pot of 15,800. It was time to make a big decision.
Going by what he deduced from the hand up until then, Negreanu felt that he was up against a better hand. He folded, which virtually nobody would dream of doing in his shoes. But he knew that he would be taking too large a risk, so he played it safe. It turned out that he was right to do so as Harmon revealed two aces, one being a spade.
How Negreanu Did It
Negreanu is notorious for being able to read people, mainly by talking to them. Ryan Leng, an instructor at Chip Leader Coaching, commented on his uncanny ability to extract important information about an opponent’s hand during conversation.
Leng claims that, in his chats with Harmon, Negreanu was trying to estimate how comfortable she felt. He noticed that the way she replied was casual and unforced. From that, he concluded that she must be packing quite the hand. Had she appeared stiff, or different in any way, he would have likely thought that she wasn’t holding a nut. He added that he sincerely doubted that any recreational WSOP participant would survive playing against him.