May 11, 2022

Ivan Freitez – World’s Worst Corner Shot Poker Player?

Some players become famous for their results, while others achieve notoriety for their crazy playing styles that involve them in massive pots all the time.

Some, however, get the attention of the poker media for all the wrong reasons, and Ivan Freitez certainly belongs to that group.

Although he tops Venezuela’s all-time earning list with nearly $2.7 million in live earnings, Freitez has actually become a leading figure in poker shooting.

He has shown time and time again that he has no problem breaking the rules of poker etiquette as long as it doesn’t get him in serious trouble with tournament officials.

Shooting angles at every opportunity seems to be part of Freitez’s long-term strategy.

Naturally, the other players and tournament directors aren’t thrilled, but what about a guy who’s willing to cross the line between what’s allowed and what’s not without crossing it?

Image: Twitter/Somuchpoker

Angle-Shooting his way to the EPT title

Ivan Freitez burst onto the poker scene in 2010 when he mastered a deep run in the EPT Grand Final.

Before that, the Venezuelan had recorded a few winnings, but only one of them was in the low six figures, so he barely stood out among the thousands of poker players.

Going into the EPT Grand Final event, Freitez clearly offered a “strategy” that he believed would give him an edge.

It’s impossible to tell if it’s something he’s used in other tournaments or designed for this event.

Chances are that Ivan Freitez has had some experience with shooting angles in the past, as it’s hard to believe he woke up the morning before the tournament and thought about trying it.

Freitez’s idea was quite simple, and it kind of took advantage of the rules of poker.

All verbal actions are binding, so if you announce the action before putting chips in the pot, the action stands. It doesn’t matter what you do afterwards.

Throughout the tournament, at places where he had the max or near the max and faced a bet from an opponent, he called a raise.

Then he proceeded to put the call tokens, saying he intended to call, justifying the confusion with the now famous phrase “does not speak English”.

Obviously, Ivan Freitez knew the rules very well and he knew that his verbal action was binding. Each time, he was forced to make the minimum raise.

The purpose of his shenanigans was to throw opponents off and confuse them by making a light call.

Freitez apparently pulled off this trick a few times throughout the tournament and Thomas Kremser, the tournament director, was getting tired of his spiel.

So when he tried to fire his angle again in a hand against Eugene Yanayt, Kremser took a proactive approach.

It was a familiar setup. After calling on the flop, Freitez improved to two pair to edge Yanayt’s top pair.

The turn passed, then the river filled Freitez, giving him the virtual nuts. Believing his top pair was good, Eugene bet for value and faced Freitez’s “I raise – I meant I call” trick.

Kremser came to the table to resolve the situation and as expected announced that Freitez’s raise was binding. But he also did something else.

Kremser told Yanayt that Freitez was known to do this with very strong hands, and every time he was called, he flipped the virtual nuts.

Despite the advice, Yanayt ended up calling as it was only a minimal raise, and he was sitting with a pretty good hand, especially shorthanded.

At this point, the tournament was down to 10 final players, so they were playing two tables of five.

After Freitez sold out, most players were disgusted by what they witnessed, but Yanayt wasn’t that upset.

In a later interview, he said he was actually pretty happy with how the hand went because, given his actual hand, he probably should have called a bigger raise on the river.

So in this particular case, the angled shot ended up costing Freitez chips, which only goes to show that playing a controversial game is a double-edged sword.

Karma? What karma?

If poker was a completely fair game and the proverbial poker gods were there to punish cheaters and corner shooters, Freitez probably would have hit a massive cooler a few hands later and been knocked out of the tournament.

But that’s not really how things work, and karma is a good thing to believe, but he doesn’t seem to care too much about business between poker players.

Ivan Freitez won the tournament, earning by far the biggest prize of his career.

EPT winner Ivan Freitez

He pocketed over $2.2 million after beating Torsten Brinkmann heads-up for the title.

It’s safe to say that the video of his EPT shenanigans didn’t earn him any popularity points, but his bank account was $2 million richer, so it’s hard to imagine he was particularly upset at this. topic.

After all, he knew what he was doing all along, and it didn’t bother him at all.

Despite the massive increase in his bankroll, Freitez didn’t go crazy with the buy-ins like some poker players tend to after a big win.

He returned to playing small buy-in events, with the occasional larger tournament thrown into the mix.

As for his results after the Monte Carlo tournament, he didn’t have much to mention, except for winning the $350 Deep Stack Rock ‘N’ Roll event in 2015.

Despite the small entry, it was a massive field of over 3,000 players, so Freitez ended up pocketing $117,366.

Ivan Freitez Controversy: How Bad Was It?

Ivan Freitez
Image: Jayne Furman/WSOP

The 2010 EPT Grand Final gave Ivan Freitez a reputation as a true poker villain. The poker world was in shock that someone was trying to pull off such a move.

After all, isn’t poker a gentleman’s game, and aren’t you supposed to follow etiquette even if it doesn’t produce the desired result?

Naturally, people at home who hardly ever play or only play with their friends would think that, but that’s just not the reality.

Sure, Ivan Freitez was caught shooting an angle on TV and things got messy, but those things happen all the time.

Is it shocking that he did it in such a big event? It depends on how you see things.

On the one hand, you would expect people to behave better in a 10k tournament with live coverage.

On the other hand, if players are willing to shoot angles in small daily events where the top prize might be a few thousand, why would it be surprising to see it in a tournament where millions are at stake?

To be very clear, the shot angle isn’t cool and in the long run it’s probably -EV if you want to be a serious member of the poker community. Rubbing everyone the wrong way will eventually bite you.

That said, it happens all the time, and since it’s not technically against the rules, it’s up to players to do their best to protect themselves.

Tournament directors can play a role in the process, and what Thomas Kremser did is a great example of that.

Almost everyone agreed that he handled the situation perfectly.

There is no shortage of controversy in the poker world, and scams and cheating scandals occur from time to time.

In the grand scheme of things, the Ivan Freitez controversy barely scratches the surface.

Main image: Twitter/CodigoPoker