Facing a Check-Raise Deep in the Aussie Millions Main with Ari Engel

Ari Engel

A thrilling Day 4 of the $10,600 Main Event at the 2016 Aussie Millions is nearing its conclusion, with Ari Engel currently enjoying the chip lead among the eight players left from the starting field of 732.

Hailing from Brooklyn but a dual Canadian/American citizen, Engel is a familiar face on nearly all of the major tours, having amassed more than $2.2 million in live tournament cashes over the last decade, including an incredible seven World Series of Poker Circuit rings. He’s already picked up a couple of cashes at this year’s Aussie Millions as well, including a runner-up finish in Event #5: $1,150 Mix-Max No-Limit Hold’em. Engel additionally has a long history of online tourney triumphs where as “BodogAri” he’s been one of the game’s most consistent winners.

Just a short while ago, Engel took the time to speak with our Sarah Herring about an interesting hand he played with the Australian Bobby Zhang at a point when there were just 10 players left sitting around two five-handed tables.

The hand took place near the end of Level 24, where the blinds were 15,000/30,000 with a 5,000 ante. Not long before, Engel had busted James Obst in 11th place and was sitting with about 2.1 million to start this hand, while Zhang had about 1.6 million.

Dealt {j-Hearts}{10-Hearts} under the gun, Engel raised to 70,000 and got two callers in Yuki Ko (button) and Zhang (big blind). The flop came {3-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}, giving Engel top pair of jacks, and when checked to Engel made a continuation bet of 90,000.

Ko stepped aside, but Zhang check-raised to 240,000, a move that gave Engel pause. After thinking it through, Engel called, and the turn brought the {4-Hearts}.

Zhang checked again, and Engel considered how the turn card not only might have completed some gutshot draws for Zhang (or perhaps provided him new draws), but also gave Engel himself a heart flush draw. “It was kind of a unique turn,” Engel explains.

Engel decided to bet the turn, setting out 255,000 into a pot of more than 700,000, and Zhang stuck around by calling.

The river then brought the {8-Diamonds}, making the board {3-Clubs}{6-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}{4-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}, and the action went check-check. Watch to find out what the players held as well as more street-by-street analysis of the hand from Engel:

As Engel points out early on, his understanding of Zhang to be a strong player capable of check-raise-bluffing that flop dictated how he proceeded throughout the hand. Zhang would bust shortly thereafter in 10th to Yuki Ko, then Engel would knock out Ko in ninth in a big aces-versus-kings hand to claim the chip lead with eight players left.

Stick close to PokerNews for ongoing coverage as the Aussie Millions Main Event and all of the other action from the Crown Poker Room continues.

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