Every Friday for the past month, FS1 has been airing episodes from the 2019 PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC), the largest $25,000 buy-in event in poker history. In one of the early episodes, a memorable hand was broadcast between Sam Grafton and Enrico Camosci, one that caused a bit of a stir as to whether or not a slow roll had occurred.
PokerNews opted to dive deeper into the hand by reaching out to Grafton to get his take.
“If you play enough televised poker hands eventually one comes along that makes you look silly,” he told PokerNews. “In this spot, I ended up taking a little too long to call with what is essentially the nuts. Rightly, my opponent was quite miffed with me and I sought him out away from the tables and apologized, which he seemed to accept.”
At an outer table, the board read when Grafton apparently bet 18,000 from UTG+1 only to have Italy’s Enrico Camosci check-raise all in for 64,900 from the big blind.
Grafton, who barely had the bigger stack with approximately 63,000 behind, thought long and hard before making the call and Comosci somewhat confidently tabled the for deuces full of eights. However, it was no good as Grafton held the for the second nuts.
“There was a lot of Hollywood to be fair,” someone at the table chirped.
“Sorry if it was a slow roll,” a seemingly innocent Grafton offered. “I mean, I… I’m never going to fold against quads. It felt like super strong.”
The dealer verified the stacks and indeed Comosci had been eliminated. For his part, Comosci offered a “Good game, guys,” before leaving the table. The remaining players continued to discuss the hand with most seeming to this it was a bit of a slow roll.
“I mean, I think like deuces may have been a small overplay, right? I don’t know, maybe I’m just terrible, it’s more than possible,” said Grafton, who chipped up to 151,500.
Commentator Joe Stapleton ended the segment by saying: “I love Sam, but that roll was so slow it was like it was on island time.”
Q&A w/ Sam Grafton
PokerNews: Do you recall how the hand played out up to the point we saw it on TV?
Grafton: The circumstances of the hand were quite unusual. I raised with jacks in early position and my opponent called in the big blind. The flop was , he checked and I checked. The turn was an , again he checked and I checked. The river was a and he bet out for nearly the pot. In this spot he’s going to have a lot of bluffs, but of course, there will be some strong hands in his range as well. I raised six times his bet, or something in that region and was obviously rooting for a call.
At this point in the hand, I basically stopped thinking. It’s already quite rare to have a big river bet and a raise after a hand has checked down to the river, and certainly, in the live arena, this action is almost never followed by a shove. I was just doing my best to look neutral and hoping he called. When Enrico shoved, I was really surprised, and it took me a while to clear my head and call.
PokerNews: Why did you take as long as you did? Did you think you were up against quads? Was there any chance of you folding?
Grafton: I can obviously never fold. From a theory perspective, there are two combos of and one combo of , so even if he were only shoving those hands I’d have to pay him off. In my defense, I will say that if someone three-bets all in on the river in a live $25,000 buy-in where there is no re-entry, which they’ve traveled across an ocean to play they will show the nuts A HUGE PROPORTION OF THE TIME!
It looks dumb but the guy wasn’t bluffing! I think in general taking some time before acting in big spots live is very reasonable. Maybe not in this exact spot – as I said I should have called quicker. But in general, one of the most frustrating feelings is when you bust out and realize you could have taken a bit longer to think it through.