"This Was a Fun Hand": Mike McDonald vs. Jonathan Jaffe in GPL Playoffs

Mike McDonald and Jonathan Jaffe

The Global Poker League playoffs are underway, and yesterday saw the top four teams in the Americas Conference play down to a conference champion, the Montreal Nationals. Today the Eurasia Conference will likewise play down to a champion who will then clash with Montreal on Thursday to decide who will be the first Global Poker League champion.

Teams squared off in "The Cube" to play best-of-seven heads-up matches, and among the highlights was a hand coming during the deciding Game 7 between the Montreal Nationals and the San Francisco Rush in the quarterfinals. Mike McDonald represented Nationals, facing off against the Rush's Jonathan Jaffe.

Thanks to Montreal earning the Americas Conference No. 1 seed during the regular season while San Francisco came in at No. 4, McDonald began with a chip advantage (130,000 to 100,000) to start the match. Four hands in McDonald was still ahead with about 112,000

It was just the fifth hand of the match, at which point McDonald still had the edge with around 123,000 to start versus Jaffe's just over 106,000.

With the blinds 600/1,200, McDonald opened from the button to 3,000 holding {7-Spades}{6-Spades}, then Jaffe three-bet to 10,500 holding {5-Hearts}{3-Hearts}. McDonald called, then was pleased to see the flop fall {5-Clubs}{4-Clubs}{8-Spades} to give him an eight-high straight — not that McDonald's poker face showed it.

With second pair, Jaffe led for 7,250 and after a short pause McDonald called, bring the pot close to 36,000. The turn was the {j-Spades}, and Jaffe fired again, this time for 11,250.

McDonald had the current nuts, and in fact with that turn card had picked up a flush draw to improve his situation even further. Choosing to continue to slow play seemed a good option, then, and McDonald called once more.

"Did you flop the nuts?" Jaffe immediately asked after McDonald's call, and "Tîmex" grinned ever so slightly in response.

Watching at home, we knew the river {9-Hearts} didn't change anything as McDonald already had a lock on things, although there was still betting to come (and McDonald didn't have the best possible hand). The river provided a couple of interesting decisions, then, as well as some entertaining table talk — or rather, "cube talk" — from Jaffe. Take a look:

McDonald went on to win the match, then went on to help the Nationals win the conference finals, splitting two games versus Chance Kornuth as Montreal beat the L.A. Sunset 4-3.

The battle for the Eurasia Conference title begins at 12 noon PT (3 p.m. ET) today, and you can watch for more fun hands by following the live coverage right here on PokerNews.

Image/video: Global Poker League.

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