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The Professor Schools the Teacher

December 24th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Both Gabe Kaplan, whom you may better know as Welcome Back Kotter teacher Gabe Kotter, and Howard “The Professor” Lederer would be considered “old school” poker players. Both have been very good players for decades, and the two showed how well they know each other in a hand on a recent episode of Poker After Dark.The hand took place early in the event, so all six players were still at the table and the blinds and stack sizes weren’t a really a factor at that point in the game. The hand began with Lederer sitting on the button and Kaplan in the big blind.


Lederer was dealt 10-7 of spades and raised the blinds to $1,200 to go after everyone else folded the action to him. Kaplan made the call with Q-J of spades and the two saw a flop of 2d-Ah-8s. After Kaplan checked the action to Lederer, The Professor made a bold bluff of $1,300. Kaplan paused for awhile, and eventually made the call with nothing in his hand. He must have put Lederer on the bluff, or he had intentions to make a bluff of his own on the later streets.

When the turn card was the 2h, Kaplan decided to make good on his hunch and he bet out $3,000 into The Professor. Lederer was stopped in his tracks for a few minutes, but after thinking about the hand he begrudgingly made the call. The river card was another ace, the ace of diamonds, which was an action killer if you ever saw one. Kaplan had figured that Lederer must have had a hand if he called the $3,000 bet, so he checked the action to Lederer instead of firing again at the pot a second time. If he would have followed his instincts about the hand, he would have won it with another bet.

Lederer immediately recognized the opportunity that the second ace gave him and he bet $3,500 on the river. Kaplan was convinced that this bet was a pure value bet, and that Lederer must have an ace for the big boat. He folded the best hand and Lederer won a big pot of $8,200, and eventually went on to earn the $120,000 winner-take-all prize pool.

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