Beating Bad Chances
  World Series of Poker
  World Poker Tour
  European Poker Tour
  Reading OtherPlayer’s Mail
  From the Other Side of the Table
  Poker Hollywood Style
  Cheese head Poker
  A Golf Story
  An Hand
  Champion of the Year Award
  Frank’s Top Moments in Poker
  The Next Poker Wave


Frank would only be too glad to continue pretending that he was simply lucky and he never had to bluff, but John Duthie and the cameras under the table have ruined that strategy forever. Everyone knows that John Duthie stole the Poker Million because of his brilliant bluffs! If everyone used the same bluffing poker strategy they a person couldn’t win.When John Duthie made his big bluffs, is it possible that he was actually only an amateur who was really so lucky that he never had a real hand?

Yes, it’s possible, but when the Poker Million event got over, John Duthie told Frank that he had sensed his opponents had been weak before he ever made a move. That sounded like a person who had been reading his opponents perfectly. He did play almost perfectly, irrespective of whether one feels that he was lucky or just played perfectly. This began when John made a magnificent move against Tony Bloom.

John had been in second position when he limped in with an unsuited Queen and Jack, Ian Dobson too limped in after him (his hand was never seen), that’s when Teddy Tuil called in the small blind. Tony Bloom made roughly a $35,000 raise out of the big blind with his unsuited King and two. At this point, Frank felt that John made what would normally be considered a bad call with his Queen and Jack. Tony led out for about $50,000 after the flop of Ace of hearts, two of clubs and the three of spades. John only had roughly $160,000 in his stack of chips.

(The pot ends and Tony wins, correct?) Not really. John Duthie chose to move all-in instead of folding. Duthie had drawn dead and he would be out of the tournament if Tony had an Ace. Although he was completely bluffing, he chose to move all-in versus a man who had raised before the flop, and then he led out when an Ace hit the flop! Later Johnny Chan told Frank of the great play Duthie had made. After all the man had no outs if he had been called.

Johnny wasn’t so sure he could have made that play. Frank agreed with Johnny that it was a nearly impossible play poker to make. John Duthie called the raise with an unsuited Queen and Jack in the big blind a short time later when Tony Bloom had raised on the button. John checked when the flop came down King, eight and two. This time Tony opted to bet out about $50,000 and John raised him roughly 100,000. This time too, John was on a stone cold bluff!

Frank truly believed that John had a strong read or tell on Tony Bloom at this time in the poker tournament. The fact that John had made two stone-cold bluffs against Tony in a span of ten minutes that’s something! Thus far John was definitely playing some strong poker. The total number of chips that John picked u bluffing so was now $235,000 ($35,000 TB + $35,000 pot + $50,000 TB + $30,000 TB + $35,000 pot + $50,000 TB = $235,000). Just by reading Tony Bloom well on two hands this wasn’t a bad amount to pick up.

When Ian Dobson opened the pot for $35,000 with an Ace and seven in the first position, John ‘got busy’ (European slang for bluffed) once again. Then Teddy Tuil called on the button (at the time they were four handed) with the Queen of clubs and the ten of clubs, John responded to this by calling with the Queen of hearts and nine of hearts in the big blind. The flop came down Jack, six and two, then John checked,

Ian opted to bet $50,000, and Teddy folded. One noticed that John was beginning to focus on Ian. Frank was doing the commentary for this eerie hand and he remarked that it would have been too good if John could have made a bluff right there, particularly in light of what he’d already done. Needless to say, John raised 100,000 to Ian’s $50,000 bluff, which was approximately $50,000 for a bluff of his own.

Frank was astonished that John could make yet another perfect bluff! Ian hastened to fold and John raked in another $170,000 ($35,000 ID + $35,000 TT + $35,000 JD + $15,000 pot + $50,000 ID) of bluff money. If Frank didn’t know that a security sweep had been done for bugs of all sorts, he would have thought that John could see the other players’ hole cards. The total amount that John picked up from those three bluffs added up to $405,000.

John had a Queen and a five when his fourth bluff came about, he raised on the button, and Teddy Tuil, who had a King and a nine called in from the big blind. The flop came down an Ace, a nine and a five, Teddy bet $25,000, so John chose to raise him roughly $40,000. Teddy folded and John had succeeded in making another bluff. John picked up approximately $475,000 by making four world class bluffs! By making four well-timed bluffs

John had picked up one-third of the chips that were in play in this poker tournament. He’d employed the same manner of playing and won just as John Bonetti would have. He took their money by bluffing in the first place, and then he used that bluff money on the worst hand and sucked out! Let’s say he hadn’t sucked out, he could have picked up some more bluff money and had a go at them all over again.

The under-the-table cameras brought to light one amazing fact: the players had no idea what John Duthie had been doing! After being eliminated, every player (except for Ian) said the same thing: John Duthie had been playing a really solid game of poker that day. Solid, like hell; the game he was playing was anything but solid. In Daniel Negreanu’s words, John had been playing more like a megalomaniac! Frank was reminded that the best way to win a no-limit Hold’em poker tournament is without any cards, when he watched John Duthie play.

As a matter of fact, having guts, heart and a ‘strong right arm’ (raising a ton and using your right arm while doing it) was the best way to win a no-limit Hold’em poker tournament.What was that was being said about being unlucky in that last no-limit Hold’em poker tournament that had been played? Correct, some really bad cards had been dealt late in the tournament and so it wasn’t possible to win the pot. Tough that sounds like pure bad luck. Perhaps next time, good luck will strike.


A player needs to know when to make big laydowns if he or she wants to win WSOP events. An exceptional theory would be ‘Survive and thrive’. Furthermore, Frank attempted to use this philosophy every day at the 2000 WSOP. Frank simply continued to hang around until he finally picked up a couple of strong poker hands and won a few pots. The following hand came up late on the second day of the main event at the 2000 WSOP.

Mike Magee, who was an brilliant player from Ireland, raised the pot to $1,200 to go in early position, with the antes at $50 per head and the blinds at $200-$400. Frank had an unsuited Ace and six in the small blind, and he chose to reraise the pot $3,000. (Incidentally, Frank was certainly on tilt at this time in the poker tournament! He had only just moved from $56,000 down to $36,000 in the previous 20 minutes). Mike opted to see the $3,000 raise, and the flop came down an Ace of spades, a ten of hearts and a six of hearts.

That had been quite a flop for Frank. Frank had only bet $3,500 to see what Mike was going to do. Frank was really surprised that Mike raised him his last $28,000! Shoot! What the hell was going on? Wow! Frank went into ‘the tank’ (he thought long and hard). Frank thought for a minute or so and felt that Mike had an Ace of hearts and Queen of hearts, this meant he would have a pair of Aces and a flush draw. Frank had a chance to be a 3-to-1 favorite.

Mike had an Ace of hearts and Queen of hearts or the Ace of hearts and King of hearts. Mike might make a trio of tens if he had a pair of 10s in the hole, then again if he had an Ace and ten in the hole he’d make a pair of Aces and tens. If Mike had a trio of tens, or a pair of Aces and tens (Ace and ten in the hole), it would mean Frank would be drawing only to two cards in the deck to win, and he’d be about a 10-to-1 underdog. Frank couldn’t imagine being a 10-to-1 underdog for all of his remaining chips at the world championships of poker ! That would be ugly!

It took some time, but Frank reasoned that Mike had beaten him. Then Frank showed his hand to the table and folded, the players around the table gasped. Frank had been very proud of that laydown. He told Mike, it was a nice hand. Mike responded by telling Frank that he didn’t know Frank had two giant-size ones: He went on to disclose his cards because Frank had handled himself so well.

He said he had an Ace and the ten of clubs. Frank believed Mike, as he sounded very genuine. Frank had made a great laydown, if he had called Mike Magee at this point, he’d certainly have gone broke. Rather, a great laydown had kept him going in the WSOP. It had been a great feeling. Again Mike told Frank, in fact he had him on an Ace and six in this hand, and that was the reason he moved all-in. He knew Frank would have to call him.

After Frank folded this hand, he went on to run his chips up to roughly $60,000 by the end of the second day. Frank had taken the lead at the WSOP by the end of the fourth day, as he had made over a million billion dollars in chips. Finally, he drew $300,000 in prize money, but he had to settle for a bitterly disappointing fifth position. This had been possible because he made a great laydown against Mike Magee. ‘Survive and thrive!’

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