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Doug Polk wows poker world with fold against Phil Hellmuth

Doug Polk is drawing praise after making one of the greatest folds in the history of televised poker.

Polk correctly folded a flopped straight to Phil Hellmuth on an episode of “High Stakes Poker” that was released this week on the subscription video service PokerGO. Hellmuth held a higher straight, the only hand Polk could lose to at the time.

Polk said on Twitter that it was “my favorite fold I’ve made in my entire career.”

Hellmuth, the all-time leader in World Series of Poker bracelets with 15, said on Twitter that Polk “saved $90,000, that everyone else would have lost, everyone else!! That’s $90,000 that is NOT in my bank account. Great play.”

The hand occurred in a No-limit Hold’em cash game at stakes of $200-$400 with a $400 big blind ante. Hellmuth raised to $1,100 with queen-ten, James Bord called with pocket deuces, and Polk called in the big blind with ten-seven.

The flop came jack-nine-eight with two spades, giving Polk a jack-high straight but Hellmuth a queen-high straight. Polk checked, Hellmuth checked, and Bord bet $2,000 as a bluff.

Polk check-raised to $7,000, then Hellmuth went all-in for $97,200. Bord folded, and Polk appeared to have a simple decision to call for the remaining $90,200. He held the “second nuts,” a poker term meaning he held the second-best hand possible. In this case, Hellmuth had “the nuts,” the best hand possible.

“He’s gotta call,” commentator Gabe Kaplan said.

But Polk didn’t call right away. He asked Hellmuth what he had, and when Hellmuth responded, “I could easily have …” Polk cut him off.

“What could you easily have? You just bet a lot into very little,” Polk said, referring to Hellmuth betting $97,200 when there was only $12,900 in the pot.

Kaplan said Polk was considering making “the best laydown we’ve ever had on ‘High Stakes Poker.’”

Polk eventually showed the hand and folded, to the disbelief of some players at the table.

“I don’t think you can fold,” Brandon Steven said. “If he has queen-ten, he’s got queen-ten, pay the man.”

View the entire hand here.

Contact Jim Barnes at jbarnes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0277. Follow @JimBarnesLV on Twitter.

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