HUGE BLUFF from Magnus Carlsen! World Chess Champion takes on Poker

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We’re back with another hand breakdown but this time we’re looking at a hand from Chess Master Magnus Carlsen. While Magnus isn’t a Poker Professional, I really like the way he plays this hand and I share my insight on why he might’ve made the moves he did.

0:00 Introduction
1:26 Preflop
2:54 Flop
5:53 Turn
8:13 River
11:27 Fold or Raise?
12:36 Conclusion

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HUGE BLUFF from Magnus Carlsen! World Chess Champion takes on Poker

10 thoughts on “HUGE BLUFF from Magnus Carlsen! World Chess Champion takes on Poker

  1. I disagree that the flop is an easy call for J7o, as the flop was taken 4 ways so (i) the final winning hand is likely to be nutted, (ii) his spade draw is weak with plenty of reverse implied odds attached, and (iii) his top pair kicker is also bad. So he's either drawing to a hand that even if he hits it, he's not really that happy at calling big bets on the turn and river with, (as we indeed witnessed as he tried to block-bet the river as he didn't want to face a large bet), or he doesn't catch a spade and so he has to fold the turn to a second barrel from Magnus.

    Thinking ahead like this means that he never should have put himself in the spot to get bluffed out like this on the river.

    I also think pre-flop it's a fold despite the seemingly good odds, as weak middling off-suit hands like this just have too much reverse implied odds attached to become long term winners, and this effect is only exacerbated multiway, not mitigated. You end up making a lot of second best hands that you pay off other people's good hands with, and very rarely make a nut hand yourself that will beat your opponent's very strong hands. You're basically looking to either make a boat at some point on the flop, turn or river and hoping someone else hasn't over-boated you; or for the flop to come T,9,8 and then hoping and praying for someone else to not have QJo/s.

    In fact the loose pre-flop call reminds me of Doug Polk's T7o hand vs Hellmuth's QTo. Yes, it was a great fold on the flop by Doug, but he never should have called pre-flop with the hand, so he played the hand overall in a bad way as he lost money he shouldn't have lost, so it was ultimately bad poker from him when viewed from an 'entire hand' perspective.

  2. chess players and poker players need to collab and make a poker tournament, it will bang so hard man!

  3. The chess world has been learning a lot from engines for a while. Recently the highest level chess engines have started playing "classical chess" again. Classical chess, or romantic chess, was players like Tal, Morphy, and Capablanca who would make big sacrifices as play for tempo those sacrifices would give to convert a position. It was really balls to the wall beautiful chess, but not necessarily perfectly sound by today's standards. Later a lot of Russian grandmasters like Karpov, Spassky, and Botvinnik started playing positional chess, where controlling space, and gradually out maneuvering your opponent would constrict and smother them. This second strategy seemed to often be the optimal engine suggested way of playing, but thanks to machine learning chess engines like Leela and Alpha Zero have become even better and we've seen a return of more aggressive, romantic chess at the highest engine level. It's really fascinating. And now you'll see some of those old strategies, reinvigorated by innovative machine engines, pop up in Magnus games. Really cool.

  4. You should check out Agadmator's chess channel too. He's great at showing games.

  5. Thanks Daniel you are helping us a lot over here. Huge appreciation for your work man!!!

  6. I have a question that I hope is not too stupid: does your range change if you’re a frequent raiser from a certain position. For example you almost always raise the button. Or let’s say you pick utg to always raise

  7. You could probably do some colab youtube chess shenangins with Hikaru. A video of him helping you with chess, then you with poker. Anyway, that'd be interesting, cheers all.

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