Jonathan Little Hand of the Week: Chess Champ Goes Wild with 7-2
Last Updated: November 5, 2023
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Today, we have a fun hand that doesn’t involve any of the usual suspects. It is a hand from a recent Creator Poker Night that featured several fun personalities, including none other than the number one chess player in the world, Magnus Carlsen!
Magnus is the dominant force in chess, but this was his very first appearance on a poker stream like this. Yet, he wasted no time getting involved, as the following hand clearly shows.
The game is $10/$25, and the 7-2 game is on, which means that anyone winning a hand with 7-2 gets an additional $100 from every player at the table, and this fact is very relevant here.
Magnus is seated UTG and picks up 7♣2♦. With the 7-2 game on, he decides to bump it up to $125.
In any normal setup, this would be ill-advised, but with the potential to win added money, you should always raise first in. The only thing is, he should probably go slightly bigger to discourage people from entering the pot with marginal holdings.
As is, Carlsen picks up quite a few callers, starting with Alexandra Botez, another chess player who’s fallen in love with poker recently, who makes the call with A♦7♦.
Bryce calls as well with K♦10♦, and then both blinds, Nate and Mariano, call as well, holding 9♣6♥ and 5♥4♣.
With five players to the flop, the dealer reveals A♠10♥5♦. Blinds check it over to Magnus, who decides to continuation bet for $500.
While raising first in before the flop with 7-2 is fine given the circumstances, when you go to the flop multi-way and miss completely, you need to give up and fight another day.
Carlsen refuses to give up, though, and bets out, and everybody calls except for Nate, who didn’t connect with the board in any way.
The hand proceeds four ways to the turn, and the turn card is the 7♥, improving Carlsen’s hand slightly but Giving Botez two pair, meaning the champ is now drawing dead.
Mariano checks again, and Magnus bets out for $1,700. It’s hard to comment on this spot, as it’s not the one you should put yourself in, to begin with. However, once you are there, it’s probably fine to go for a triple-barrel bluff after picking up some equity on the turn.
My plan would be to bet this turn and jam the river, provided we can get to the river heads-up. If it is three-way, it becomes much trickier.
Obviously, Botez isn’t going anywhere with two pair, so she makes the call. Bryce gets out of the way, but Mariano hangs around still and makes the call.
He should clearly be folding in this spot, and he knows it, be he came to have fun and splash around, so no commentary is needed.
The final card is a really interesting one as it comes 7♠, actually improving Magnus to three-of-a-kind. He now has a super easy all-in, given that both opponents have less than a pot-sized bet back.
Magnus goes for a slightly smaller bet of $4,100, and Alexandra, after a few moments, moves all in for $5,300. Mariano finally decides he’s had enough, and Carlsen doesn’t have a decision as it’s just over $1,000 for him to call with trip sevens.
It’s a really brutal hand. Magnus decides to run a bold bluff with a seven-deuce, ends up backing into trips, and then ends up losing just the same. These things don’t really happen in chess, but it’s the way it goes in poker every now and again!