On Sunday, August 27th, it’s all about the newcomer with high stakes Ian Drake captured his first $5,200 Titans title PokerStars. Drake, who married his fiancée the day before, beat the perfect wedding present at the final table and recovered from an eight-to-one heads-up deficit against Brazil Rodrigo Selouan.
Drake, who lives on the Isle of Man, is not a professional gambler, but has played on the virtual table with some of the biggest names in poker in recent months, scoring several five-figure wins across various platforms in high-roller events.
And his recent, eye-catching appearance prompted the Railbirds to remark: “Insane head up,” “The best HU I.” [have] ever seen” and “Holy shit, what a warning.”
So PokerNews caught up with Drake, who broke some of his heads-up hands, securing the $87,003 first place prize.
|1||Ian “Drakeylfc” Drake||Isle of Man||$87,003|
|2||Rodrigo “SELOUAN1991” Selouan||Brazil||$62,697|
|3||Leon “RUMUKULUS” Sturm||Germany||$45,182|
|5||Ole “wizowizo” Schemion||Germany||$27,464|
|6||Rodrigo “Seijistar” Seiji||Brazil||$16,907|
|7||Yuri “theNERDguy” Dzivielevski||Brazil||$12,185|
Drake gets Dream River
The heads-up starts at 1:03:49
“I’m still learning how to compete at this level, but I’m really pleased to get a win in a field full of absolute firecrackers,” Drake said. “This is only my second heads-up appearance in a Titans event, but I try to be selectively aggressive, especially in position.”
Selouan, his heads-up opponent, had swept the entire final table and seemed destined to win. But a few small pots and then a double-up breathes some life into Drake’s stack.
“I limped in from the button 8th♥3♥. I play 70%+ in the heads-up position. “This one is borderline, and if it were unsuitable, I’ll pass the hand,” Drake explained.
The 5♥3♦2♥ The flop gave Drake a pair on the flush draw and he continued with a bet of 1.06 big blinds, which was almost half the pot.
“I go ahead and target all the hands that Selouan will float and go for value with our pair and draw. Selouan called and the turn is.” Q♣. I go back to making a half-pot bet for value. Selouan has a lot of it QX and draw hands at this point.
Selouan raised to 7.31 big blinds, which Drake called, and left the tournament with a lead of almost 25 big blinds 3♠ Flow.
“I’m looking at a 3.5x raise on the turn, and at this point I’m happy to call and bet Selouan often.” QX Here. I would expect him to hope that we see this increase as something of a draw, and I expect there will be a lot of river jams regardless of the river. If I call, I imagine he’ll bet me on straight and flush draws.
“The river was all missing draws and we have very little 3X most of the time here. He pushes and is confident that his queen pair is good, which most of the time it will be, but unfortunately for him I ran well and called with trip threes to close the gap.”
“The key takeaway here is reach, including perceived reach and the line we both took. With the line we take, we are essentially trying to tell a story that we want our opponents to believe. It helps if the cards show up the way they did, but it’s important to adapt and, if necessary, change your approach based on the runout.
The hand discussed above occurs at 1:10:52.
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Take the lead
A few hands later, Drake opened with a deficit of just two to one 6♠5♠ from the button to 2.5 big blinds and called when Selouan reached 8.5 big blinds.
On the 10♠3♠2♣ On the flop, Selouan continued with 11.7 big blinds and Drake called with his combo draw. The 4♥ The turn gave Drake the straight and the action was checked until 10♦ Flow. Selouan then decided to go all-in K♣4♦and Drake quickly called his final 33 big blinds to win the pot and take the chip lead.
“Before the flop I try to mix up my opening strategy, from limping to raising and with different raise sizes,” Drake said. “My hand is very playable heads-up after the flop, so I’m happy to be able to three-bet here.”
“I had a big bet that I wanted to make. He has a lot.” AX, KX, QXJX And JX10X kind of hands here, and I’m not sure he would take that line with premium hands, even above pair.”
“I have a lot of equity with our draws and it’s very easy for Selouan to bet on single pair hands and flush draws here if we call.”
“I think here that on future streets with our perceived range and a healthy level of equity and when one of our draws is completed, it would be entirely logical for him to continue betting and bluffing to represent strong hands, including overpairs would do that.” Be consistent with his preflop three-bet.
“The turn is beautiful and completed our straight for the nuts on the turn. It’s check-check. Our history is still solid as we like to check with draws and weakly paired hands. The river brings another ten, and.” Because of the line I chose, I don’t have many tens in my range.
“He’s blocking the river and is probably aware that I have a lot more hands that would fold than call. The only hands I call in my tournament life are 10X investments, AX5X and full houses. I think his shove is logical and represents made hands like trips and overpairs that would be consistent with his pre-flop line.
Selouan refuses to be beaten
“After that hand, I get a few small pots, run well when I need to, and suddenly Selouan is on the ropes with only two big blinds,” Drake commented.
“Three hands later he somehow got back to 25 big blinds and before I knew it I was behind. There are definitely a few leaks that I need to work on due to a sheer lack of experience at this level and at this stage of the tournament, Selouan is back in a comfortable position and I have a lot of work to do again.”
“We went back and forth a few times and both won a few small pots, but most importantly I did well in the not all-in but big pots and then took the lead again.”
Selouan boasts another SHR of $25,000; Adds SCOOP to EPT title
Drake gets sneaky with aces
In the final hand of the tournament, Selouan limped off the button and Drake looked down A♥A♦ and decided to check.
The 10♥7♣4♦ The flop was checked through to K♥ turn. Drake then led to half the pot before calling his opponent’s raise.
“After a dry flop, I pray that the king on the turn is good news for Selouan and decide to lead for half the pot. He raised what smells like a king considering I have that.” A♥ what blocks the hands A♥JX. I also expect hands like this to raise preflop too.
“His move raise represents KX, QXJX and flush draws. He also didn’t limp preflop with strong hands. So, hands like KXQX I can pretty much rule it out, and a hand like that KX10X, I would expect to bet the flop. I’m confident he has a king and decided to call again.
“The river is that Q♠, and Selouan leads for half the pot. Ace-Jack will do, but I have excluded that as well as King-Queen and King-Ten. Jack-9 is possible, but would raising on the turn with J9 make sense? Probably not, unless it was J♥9♥. I think about it before making an informed decision that this is the hand KX most of the time, and we push for everything.”
“With my shove, I’m trying to sell a shady story about how you can somehow get there with something on the river. He calls with me.” K♠3♠and I secure victory.”
Drake’s final notes:
“I’ve never done anything like this before and definitely have imposter syndrome when it comes to explaining my thought process.”
“My mindset certainly has its flaws and my game is far from finished, but wins like this give me confidence and determination to keep working to compete with these legends.”
“I hope my logic is somewhat understandable. Ultimately, I have good cards and good running to thank for this victory.”
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Calum joined the PokerNews team in September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum’s proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.