Poker Hand Of The Week -- 5/19/12
You Decide What's The Best Play
Give us your opinion in the comments section below for your chance at winning a six-month Card Player magazine digital subscription.
Ask any group of poker players how you played your hand and they’ll come up with dozens of different opinions. That’s just the nature of the game.
Each week, Card Player will select a hand from the high-stakes, big buy-in poker world, break it down and show that there’s more than one way to get the job done.
Your at the final table with six players remaining and have a comfortable stack of 866,000, or 36 big blinds. You are dealt J 10 in the cutoff and raise to 70,000.
Your opponent in the big blind, who has you slightly covered, makes the call. The flop comes down 10 10 8 and your opponent checks. You continuation bet 70,000 with trips and get quickly check raised to 170,000.
You have 726,000 remaining and 626,000 behind the raise. Your opponent has 696,000 behind, meaning he covers you by 70,000.
Do you call or raise? If calling, do you raise the turn? Are there any turn cards that you wouldn’t raise? What kind of hand is your opponent check raising the flop with, out of position? Assuming you have the best hand, what is the optimal play to get maximum value?
The Argument For Calling
You’ve raised in late position and continuation bet the flop, at this point in the hand, there has been no indication of real strength. Calling this flop bet narrows your range only slightly and allows your opponent to continue on the turn with his entire range, including bluffs. Raising the turn could get you maximum value and possibly a full double up.
The Argument For Raising
As strong as your hand is, it is still vulnerable to a number of drawing hands, which you must protect against. Flush draws and straight draws make up a large portion of your opponent’s range and you want to make him pay for those draws. Furthermore, if he’s holding something like a pair of eights, he may pay off a raise. Waiting for the turn, he’s likely to see a number of scare cards which will kill your action.
What Actually Happened
At the World Series of Poker Circuit main event at Harrah’s Chester, Cory Mascagni decided to just call the flop raise of Eugene Fouksman. The turn was the 7 and Fouksman bet 220,000.
Mascagni quickly moved all in and Fouksman snap called with Q 10, a far superior hand than Mascagni’s J 10.
Mascagni needed the board to pair, a jack or a nine to stay alive and got it when the 9 hit the river, giving him a straight. Fouksman was crippled and eliminated shortly afterwards, earning $20,845. Mascagni moved up the pay ladder to fourth place, picking up $36,407.
The eventual winner was Christopher Bonn, who pocketed $109,760 and his first WSOP Circuit ring.
What would you have done and why? Let us know in the comments section below and try not to be results oriented. The best answer will receive a six-month Card Player magazine digital subscription.
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