The most absurd and reckless aspirations have sometimes led to extraordinary success. – Marquis De Vauvenargues
A 6-bet bluff for $1.4 million - some might call it a blow up, some might call it a meltdown, others may call it “baller” and 5th level thinking, but I call it unfortunate. Cheong appeared to be the best player and he was proving it by outplaying the rest of the table. He was a lock to get heads up with Duhamel and I think he had the skill advantage. It seemed as though the tournament was his to lose. And, lose it he did. Perhaps, it was impatience. Perhaps, it was hubris. Perhaps, it was simply his youth. Recklessness is one of the follies of youth, a momentary but costly lapse of judgment, a fleeting failure to keep the big picture in focus, maybe a consuming but false sense of invincibility. Regardless of what we call it, he cost himself $1,415,876. I think that amount by itself is larger than any of his previous tournament wins and that being the case, it wasn’t a smart play.
He didn’t need to 6-bet bluff there. He could have found a better spot. What did Cheong think Duhamel’s 5-bet range was? Surely not much that was behind A-7 offsuit? Cheong began the hand with the chip lead and approximately 75BBs (Racener approx. 30BBs and Duhamel approx. 70BBs). Why force that type of action until Racener was out? I think this is a spot where his youth did not serve him well. Cheong had already proven to be an extremely talented player and he seemed to know he was more than a match for Duhamel. Why forfeit one’s hard earned advantage so rashly? Despite his amazing talent and razor sharp poker mind, he made a play that was absolutely unnecessary and it proved to be his undoing. On the other hand, congrats to Racener for his patience (it worked well for Hachem, too). I am now rooting or Racener but I have to give it to Duhamel, he has played better than I expected him to.
Fellow old guys pay attention; this may be the Achilles’ heel of these young guns, the sick aggression that seems to give them the advantage may be offset by the recklessness of their youth. Now, how to put that to good use?