Strategy Snapshot: PA Sentenced to the Cooler

It stands as the second-biggest pot ever online – for a truly sick $605,000 – and now temporarily sits in David Benyamine’s bankroll. But it could have – and perhaps should have – belonged to Patrik Antonius.


Seat 1: PrtectYaNeck ($117,693)
Seat 2: David Benyamine ($557,483.75)
Seat 3: Patrik Antonius ($301,874)

The button is in seat #3

Game: $500/$1,000 No-Limit Hold’em, RailHeaven, Full Tilt Poker

The Setup

The hand starts out with a deep-stacked Patrik Antonius raising off the button to $3,500. PrtectYaNeck folds and David Benyamine three-bets to $16,000. Antonious smooth-calls and they take a flop heads-up of 6c Js Th.

Benyamine bets $28,000 into the $32,500 pot and Patrik makes the call.

The turn comes Ac and Benyamine checks. Antonious bets $54,000 and Benyamine check-raises to $312,000. Antonious makes the call for all his chips.

When the cards are turned up Antonious shows 6d 6s for a set of sixes and Benyamine shows Ah Ad for a bigger set of aces.

The river comes the Qh and the second-biggest pot ever played online, for a whopping $604,247, is sent to David Benyamine.

The Breakdown

In a three-handed game, Antonius raises the button with 6d 6c to $3,500. So standard, it’s hardly worth mentioning.

Pocket pairs are great hands and are huge winners with deep stacks in position. Add to the mix some short-handed play, and 66 is a veritable monster.

PrtectYaNeck gets out of the way and Benyamine three-bets to $16,000 with Ah Ad. Benyamine has been walking on water lately and he shows it here, picking up aces three-handed. He jacks it up for value from out of position.

Antonius makes the call. The stacks are deep and he’s in position; if he flops a set he stands to win a huge pot.

The flop comes 6c Js Th. Benyamine has an overpair, and fires $28,000 for value. He is so far ahead of Antonius’ range that his bet here will be called or raised a high percentage of the time by much worse hands.

Antonius, of course, flopped a set, and elects to flat-call to trap Benyamine. Ideally he would like Benyamine to make a pot-committing turn bet that he can raise all-in over the top of. There is no reason to raise a flop that dry, so he flat-calls.

The turn brings the nightmarish Ac. This is the dreaded two-outer for Antonius, although he doesn’t know it.

Benyamine now checks – a great way to play a strong hand on the turn. Three-bet pre-flop, bet the flop and check the turn when called. Often, your opponent will think you give up and you can get a check-raise in on the turn.

Antonius still thinks he has by far and away the best hand, and with good reason. Most three-handed pots are won with one pair. A set on a dry board is a massive hand.

A rule of thumb in even full-ring games is if you don’t go broke set over set, you played it wrong. Bigger sets happen so infrequently that it makes folding a smaller set almost impossible.

Antonius bets $54,000 on the turn when checked to. When Benyamine shoves all-in for $312,000, Antonius probably fist-pump-called.

That elation would have only lasted a second before Benyamine showed his turned bigger set. Benyamine then dodges the one out and earns the second-largest-pot-of-all-time honors: $604,247.

All in all, a sick hand for a sick pot.

Antonius might not have to wait long to get his money back, however, with so many players clamoring to play the $500/$1,000 RailHeaven games.

With a reserved seat at that table and a chip on his shoulder, you can bet you’ll find PA sitting most nights of the week.

And hey – the guy could use a little adversity in his life. I was starting to think he had it too easy. I mean look at him.

To see more pots from the epic RailHeaven sessions, or more of the Top 100 biggest pots online over the last day, week, month and year, jump to the MarketPulse section.

To rail any of the action, or try out some short-handed poker yourself, hit up Full Tilt Poker here and take advantage of’s exclusive bonus offers.

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Strategy Snapshot: PA Sentenced to the Cooler

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