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Poker’s Greatest Folds

Understanding how to play poker is one thing, understanding when to fold a ridiculously strong hand is something completely different. It takes real guts to fold when you have one of the strongest hands on the table, but there are occasions when professional players have been wise enough to do so.

If you find yourself with a strong hand on a site like https://poker.paddypower.com/, would you be brave enough to fold it? Let’s take a look at professionals who have made some of the greatest folds in poker history.

Dominic Panka

At the final table at the European Poker Tour 11 in Malta, Dominic Panka was faced with a ridiculously tough decision. Valentin Messina got the play going, raising to 325,000 pre-flop with suited nine-four. Panka, with pocket tens, re-raises to 850,000, passing the play to Jean Montury who has pocket queens.

Montury raises to 2,085,000, forcing Messina to fold straight away, leaving it down to Panka as to whether the players would see the flop. In a surprising move, Panka doesn’t take too much time and throws in his cards to notify the table he’s folded his hand. A brave decision, but pre-flop, plenty of players would have called that.

Danny Parlefas

The European Poker Tour has seemingly produced plenty of great folds, this time from the EPT 11 Deuville trophy. Danny Parlafes was dealt queen-eight off-suit against Ognyan Dimov’s ten-eight of hearts.

Parlafes calls the 60,000 pre-flop blind, before betting 200,000 when the flop produced a seven, nine and two. Despite Dimov having two hearts, his flush draw was dead, but a straight draw was a realistic opportunity. Without anything, Dimov wisely calls rather than raises.

A six on the turn flipped the game on its head, with Dimov now holding a straight. Dimov checks, passing the play to Parlafes, who also checks, putting it down to the river card. A five on the river gives Parlafes a straight, but Dimov holds a better straight. Dimov puts in a huge over-bet of 1.2 million, which was twice the pot.

Parlafes knows he has a strong hand, but he also knew that a hand of ten-eight would beat him. Much to the commentators’ surprise, he folds a straight, but incredibly, it was the correct decision.

Joep van den Bijgaart

At the European Poker Tour 7 in Berlin, Joep van den Bijgaart pulled off one of the greatest folds ever seen at the poker table. Dealt A-9 of hearts, he instantly had the potential for the strongest flush if hearts were to come upon the table.

Ben Wilinofsky was dealt pocket aces, meaning van den Bijgaart’s best hope was a flush, while Jeffrey Hakim had queen and jack of clubs, given him a strong flush draw. The flop produced the nine of spades, two of clubs and ace of clubs, giving van den Bijgaart a two pair, Hakim a flush draw, and Wilinofsky three of a kind aces.

Hakim raises to 93,000, Wilinofsky responds by raising to 193,000. Faced with a decision, van den Bijgaart re-raises to 530,000, which forces Hakim to cut his losses and fold. Wilinofsky knows that a club, a further two twos, or a further two nines could beat him, but the chances of that are slim. He raises all-in to reduce the chances of a call from van den Bijgaart. Without knowing it, the Dutch poker star has just a 1% chance of winning despite being on two-pair. He takes his time in making the decision but eventually folds his hand – wisely.

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