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wil on the World sbo Poker Tour


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Here’s the good news: sbo Poker blogger extraordinaire wil wheaton was on the World Poker Tour Hollywood Home Game last night and got to sit beside the stunning Evelyn Ng who acted as table boss.

Here’s the bad news: wil didn’t see many good cards and one hand really ended his night. It was clear to me he was one of the better, if not the best, players at the table, but he wasn’t blessed with the kind of luck other players fell into.

For those who missed it, here’s a breakdown of wil’s play with a little analysis from me.

The hands are numbered in the order wil played them, but these obviously are not the only hands played by all players at the table.

Hand 1

wil is dealt pocket 7’s. He makes a minimum raise. It’s good he didn’t limp, but I might have encouraged a bigger raise in a shorthanded game, especially with blinds so low compared to stack size. As other poker bloggers say, min raises make baby Jesus cry.

Levar Burton (of Roots and Star Trek TNG fame) calls out of the big blind with overcards. The flop pairs Levar’s 8, putting him ahead of wil. I think there was a small bet and call there. The turn brings an Ace. Levar checks and wil shows perfect poker instincts by throwing 50K into the pot. It was a great play on the scare card, and Levar lays down his hand. Well done!

Hand 2

wil calls a small raise out of the BB with K4o. It’s a marginal call and when the flop completely misses him, wil folds out.

Hand 3

wil limps with K8o, his loosest call so far. When Levar raises with pocket 7’s, wil rightly throws his hand away.

Amazingly, Levar flops quad 7’s and slow plays them perfectly until some guy from Nip/Tuck catches the “nut” flush. Levar pushes and the other guy uses his red card to ask Daniel Negreanu and Paul Darden for advice. They both say push and Levar takes down a huge pot.

Hand 4

wil gets Big Slick and rightly raises. Levar is the only caller with pocket 3’s. The flop comes A-Q-8. will bets out for 50K and Levar remarkably calls. The turn is a 9 and wil bets out for 50K again. This time, Levar threatens to put wil all in and says something about wil losing and getting knocked out. wil responds by saying, “And if I win, I’ll double through you.” Must have been enough, because Levar folded and wil took down the pot.

Hand 5

wil is 2nd in chips at this point, up about 60K from his initial 250K. This is the hand that did him in.

wil is dealt KJo and he raises from 16K to 35K. You may remember that KJo is one of the danger hands I wrote about a while back. Some actress named Andrea Parker calls with AJo. wil doesn’t know it, but he’s way behind.

The flop comes A-6-8. Andrea bets out and wil thinks for a moment before calling. Perhaps he didn’t believe she had an Ace. Since we don’t get to see every hand, we don’t know what kind of a read wil had on Andrea. The turn brings a 2. Andrea bets another 25K and, sadly, wil calls again. If he was waiting for a winning card on the turn, now was the tim to lay down the cards.

The river brings a J, a clear danger card for wil. If he put Andrea on 2nd pair or bottom pair, or even a pocket pair, he might actually think he’s ahead now. Obviously, he’s waaaaay behind Andrea’s two pair. In fact, wil was drawing dead after the turn. Andrea bets out 50K. wil asks her if she has the Ace, but she just smiles. He calls the 50K and she flips the winning the hand. wil mucks.

wil may have been better served by raising after the flop. That might have given him an indication of the strength of Andrea’s hand. Cold calling is dangerous because you get no information out of your opponent.

A common mistake all players made in this game, in my opinion, is not betting the appropriate amount. Too often, the bets were very small relative to the size of the pot. It’s easy online to make an appropriate sized bet because you know how large the pot is and how large every one’s stack is, but in a live game, you have to work harder to keep track of that info.

Hand 6

Suddenly, wil is in 4th place out of the 5 remaining players with just 169K. It’s the very next hand and wil gets 10-2 of clubs. It’s raised in front of him and wil says he’d really, really like to play those cards, but rightly decides to fold. Had he called, he’d been facing a raise behind him and a re-raise behind that. Then he would have caught a flush draw on the flop, but never another club. Folding was the right call.

Hand 7

wil calls with K8 of spades on the button. Another marginal call, but the pot was unraised and since all 4 players remaining called, it was an okay play. Unfortunately, the flop of 10-9-3, two clubs, doesn’t hit wil at all and after Levar bets out, wil has to fold.

Hand 8

We’re down to just 3 players, but wil has just 125K and blinds are at 20/40K. At this point, wil will have to pick a hand and push with it. He’s dealt K2 of diamonds on the button, but he just calls instead of pushing. When Mekhi Phifer raises wil all-in with AQ of clubs, wil calls. I guess Mekhi would have called wil’s push anyway, so the difference between calling and pushing didn’t matter.

The flop is 8-6-3 with two clubs. It’s yet another flop that missed wil completely. When the 9 of clubs falls on the turn, wil is out in 3rd place.


In the post interview, wil said he might have made the wrong play at the wrong time, but in three-handed play, K2 of diamonds on the short stack might be the best he was going to get. The next hand, he would have been the BB of 40K, a third of his stack. And then he’d have been the SB of 20K, a quarter of his remaining stack. He had to pick a hand and move with it. He was just unlucky to run into a hand that had him killed.

wil’s instincts were good on almost every hand he played, except that KJo. I’d like to hear what kind of read he had on Andrea. It’s one of those unlucky circumstances where you run into a hand that has you dominated.

wil didn’t have much luck with the cards at all. In fact, of all the hands we saw him play, the flop hit him just once. Had wil had the luck of Mekhi, maybe things would have turned out differently!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we never saw wil dealt the HAMMER, so he wasn’t able to drop it. That would have been fun! Maybe next time…

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