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Poker Hand Of The Week

You Decide What's The Best Play

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Give us your opinion in the comments section below for your chance at winning a Card Player prize pack.

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.

The Scenario

You are seated at a six-handed final table and are dealt ADiamond Suit 6Heart Suit on the button.

The action folds around to the cutoff who raises to 35,000. You call, as does the big blind.

The flop comes AClub Suit JDiamond Suit 2Spade Suit and everyone checks to you. You bet 50,000 with top pair and only the big blind calls.

The turn is the 9Club Suit and your opponent checks. You bet 50,000 and he raises to 200,000.

You call and the river is the 3Diamond Suit. Your opponent bets 600,000 and you have 1,431,000 left in your stack.

Your opponents in the hand are young, successful online pros who show a lot of creativity in their games and you are perceived to be an inexperienced amateur.

The Questions

Do you call, fold or shove? How often is top pair, medium kicker good in this spot and what kind of hands is your opponent check-raising on the turn and firing on the river with?

The Argument For Calling

Obviously, a call is only justifiable if you can put your opponent on a hand you can beat. This includes most combinations of jacks, A-4 and A-5, as well as all busted draws and complete bluffs.

The problem (or benefit) is that you haven’t really defined your hand to your opponent, since you decided to bet super small on the turn. Your opponent could have easily read this as weakness and therefore decided to try and raise you off your hand. This essentially turns your hand into a bluff catcher, but only if you follow through and catch the bluff.

Also, should you call and lose, you’d still be left with 831,000, or 52 big blinds. Should you win, you’d be chip leader.

The Argument For Folding

Even though you under represented your hand, you still don’t beat much as far as value hands are concerned. Even if your opponent had a hand like KClub Suit JClub Suit or QClub Suit JClub Suit, it’s not guaranteed that he’d turn them into bluffs, since he has some showdown value.

Your willingness to call the turn check-raise should also discourage any big bluff attempts, which makes it more likely that your hand is beat. Most players at the final table of a major event would hesitate to pull that trigger twice, even aggressive, young online pros.

If you fold now, you’d still be left with 1,431,000, or 89 big blinds. Plenty of chips at this point of the tournament.

The Argument For Shoving

This option should only be considered if you believe you have any fold equity, since your opponent will almost never call you with a worse hand. In other words, you wouldn’t be shoving for value, you’d be turning top pair into a bluff.

After betting 600,000, your opponent has 867,000, which is still 54 big blinds.

So do you think that your image, combined with the line you have chosen to take, can get a better hand to fold? If so, what hands? Does a shove get hands like A-K, A-Q, A-10, A-8 and A-7 to fold? What about stronger two pair hands like J-9? After all, a shove would be putting your opponent to the test for pretty much their whole stack.

What Actually Happened

Matt JuttelstadIn the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Lucky Hearts Poker Open, Matt Juttelstad raised to 35,000 from the cutoff and Gigi Gagne called from the button. Keith Ferrera also called from the big blind and the flop came down AClub Suit JDiamond Suit 2Spade Suit.

Action checked to Gagne who bet 50,000. Ferrera called and Juttelstad folded. The turn was the 9Club Suit and Ferrera checked again.

Gagne bet another 50,000 and Ferrera check raised to 200,000. Gagne called and the river was the 3Diamond Suit. Ferrera bet 600,000 and Gagne called with ADiamond Suit 6Heart Suit.

Ferrera showed ASpade Suit 2Club Suit and took down the pot with two pair. He would go on to finished sixth for $42,185. Gagne finished second, earning $158,194 and Juttelstad won it all, banking $268,444.

UPDATE: Congratulations to milehi5oh, this week’s winner of the Card Player prize pack! If you didn’t win, don’t worry. We’ll have another Poker Hand of the Week ready to go this Saturday.

 
 
 
 

Comments

darthwager
9 years ago

as played i muck. I think the flat pre is a mistake as your opening your self up to squeezes and my be forced to fold the best hand. i think you raise fold pre. as stated the bet on the turn is kinda weak and you cant get much info from it. he can float with the sure intention of bluffing the river, were as a bigger raise would make this much harder. but like I said as played i just fold we beat nothing hes betting that with but air. I don't mind mind going with your gut and making big calls, but this doesn't seem like a value bet sized bluff. the 600k seems to mean business. now 100 or 200k is a different story.

 
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William2
9 years ago

Only other option I see would be to tank and shove on his re-raised turn, trying to rep a set, since a tricky internet player at a 6 handed FT might well play any pair strong, would surely re-raise with any high PP, AK, AQ, pre-flop...we re-raise his check raise he has to assume we have a hand...thinking we are an inexperienced amateur....which I will technically be my 1st big final table, is not going to push for their tourn with a bluff, and the re-raise screams a set, since we are against a pro who can make tough folds....in this case 2 pr seems an easy fold to a shove since now he can only beat a donk play assuming we are overplaying top pair, which to me would be a horrible assumption on anyone making the FT of a big tourn....Top pair maniacs usually get used pretty quickly. So fold Pre or shove his check raise and let him squirm.

 
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Robert2
9 years ago

Well, I believe top pair with medium kicker in this spot is good. REASON: BB didn't raise preflop, young online players are usually eager to raise with high starting hands especially in early position. Know, the hero played the hand like an ace with a weak kicker which leads me to believe the villain had a drawing hand, mostly in the Q10 range and felt comfortable calling the small 50k bet since a straight would eliminate his pair or any other range of possibilities that could not beat a straight. When the 9c hit on the flop, it opened up four more outs turning his belly buster into open ended with any K or 8. The hero showed inexperience here again by betting so small with another 50k bet opening the door for creativity for the villain especially if his hand was suited clubs yet giving him even more outs and more reasons to check raise to 200k. The hero really never had any control over the hand with his small bets, giving the villain so many opportunities even if he had a pair of jacks or a straight bluff and the villain took advantage of that. Now, again the hero allowed him to keep control by only calling the 200k not having a real understanding of where he stood in this hand. The 3d hit on the river which leaves them in the same exact situation as the turn, not really changing anything. If I was the hero, I wouldn't worry about pocket 3's. So, was the villain banking on hitting one of his many outs or did he actually have a good flop, with lets say Jc2c which is very possible considering he was the BB and with him holding to clubs gave him more reason to bet big on the turn. If I was the hero, looking at a 600k bet into an 800k pot what would I do? Folding is out of the question. Calling here would mean I believe I have the best hand but I wanna see what the villain had because information is extremely important in tourney play but so are chips! Raising here would mean not believing the villain and not wanting to show my hand. Here is what I would do, 800k is not a great pot for 600k investment but with all the info I gathered, like, the villain being the BB, the board showing busted straight and flush possibilities, a raise is not necessary since if I am beat by two pair why throw away 700k for the next hand. So, CALL is my choice. Hope I'm right?

 
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Kotho
9 years ago

Being pretty much an inexperienced amateur, I would like to know how previous hands had been played. If the villain would have been trying to push me around earlier, I would have tried to get a read from those hands. In the end though, I would have likely dropped seeing how it would have been almost half my stack.

 
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Qwerty1
9 years ago

In my opinion this hand was played really bad, calling instead of a smal 3 bet is not a huge mistake , the only problem is that we can be dominated , or in best 60 40 without the iniciative, when the bb call he has a pretty small range, pocket pairs, j9ss, Qkss, A10, etc, when the flop is cheked to us is really standart to bet our pair of aces, but when we bet the turn and the bb check raise hes never bluffing, our hand screams Ax , in the best scenario he has a really good combo draw, so ii think the worst option is calling, folding is the best, but i rather shove instead of calling,' even if we are ahead , hes going to be betting almos any river card, so in the turn we convert our hand in a bluff catcher, this and that we are on a final table, i would fold the turn and wait for a better spot to get some chips

 
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milehi5oh
9 years ago

Folding would have been the better option there I believe. That being said, I think the bigger mistake was the weak play post flop and on the turn. Betting so small showed major weakness, regardless of what the villian had. Had the hero wanted to show some strength and confuse the villian while costing a similar amount of chips would have been reraise the 200k bet the villian put in on the turn. It could have conveyed the hero was baiting the villian and put the pressure on. When the hero just flat called it said a lot about how much he worried about his hand. It was unlikely that the villian flat called preflop with A10, AJ, AQ, AK or any middle pair. I don't think the hero really put the hand together well. The BB could have called preflop with a large range of hands considering the bet size. On the flop, the check call made me think the villian, who was in the BB, might have hit the J and figured the 50k brought the pot to 170k, getting 3:1 odds to maybe pair up or hit a set. The 9c could have very easily, in my mind been that two pair the villian was looking for. It could have been easy for the BB to have called with pocket 2s and hit that set on the flop. The check raise on the turn, combined with the large bet on the river showed the hero the villian was strong.

 
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Tubbs_BJG
9 years ago

First of all I think your decision should be based off of the tendencies of your opponent and his percieved hand range that you have established based on history and other factors. With that said, the next step is to realize that the guy didn't 3bet preflop so that would rule out hands like 1010+ because if his image at the table was aggro, then he would raise with a big hand since the stacks were so deep. Also I would rule out A10, AJ AQ AK a lot of the time since he didnt 3bet preflop. There probably is a percentage of the time where he would flat hands like big pairs and broadway cards because of the possibility of disguising his hand strength or sqeezing if there is a 3 bet from the button. So he flats the 35k pre as do we; then he checks behind leaving the action to us on the button. When I lead out 50k with A6 on the flop and he flats again, you could think he is floating with total air, but most likely with a small pair or better because of the board texture not being super draw heavy. When the turn comes the 9 of clubs, now there are hands like KJcc Q10cc J9 A9 99 that could be in his range since he check raises to 200k. I think I still flat with A6 here because most draws haven't gotten there yet and you could still be good a lot of the time. The check raise is very suspicious in this spot because a really good player could check raise here with a wide range and would almost always be raising with a pair and a flush draw, and also with a set of 2's or 9's. With hands that are already made, like 2 pair, sets and those types of hands, I could see your opponent raising here because of the club draw coming out or just to see where he is at in the hand. I don't mind flatting with the A6 again tho because of all the drawing hands you could still be ahead of in this spot. When the river comes the 3d and he leads out 600k, I would think this would put up a red flag instantly. Since it is a final table, this most likely isn't a bluff most of the time, and it seems to me like its a bet that is sized to look like a bluff because medium hands like one pair hands can't raise so it puts those hands in a tough spot. However from my experiences, when the opponent takes over the action of a hand by leading out here its going to be a strong hand a lot of the time. medium 2pair hands, and possibly sets, but a set is almost the nuts so I think the bet would have been smaller with a hand that big so the villain could have gotten value for it. I think I fold because its either a big hand or you could even have kicker problems; or it could be air a small percentage of the time. I fold because there are too many hands that I dont beat, and calling off almost half of my remaining stack at this point in the tournament seems bad with mediocre holdings. I FOLD.

 
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Tubbs_BJG
9 years ago

FOLD!

 
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Tubbs_BJG
9 years ago

FOLD!

 
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ironschef
9 years ago

Its no wonder that our hero is "perceived to be an inexperienced amateur"! The preflop play here is absolutely horrible. ESPECIALLY against "young, successful online pros who show a lot of creativity in their games", hero's play preflop should be anything BUT flat-call. Preflop, either a fold or re-raise would be correct, with the re-raise having the potential to fold the aggressor immediately, and certainly makes it more likely the blinds fold - but even if the villain doesn't fold, heros hand is now stronger (because of position and preflop strength shown)

 
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jpitre22
9 years ago

Fold I don't beat much and he easily could have two pair, that is why he floated the turn.

 
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holecardsrwild
9 years ago

As played this is an easy fold. The hero can only beat a bluff here and given the action we're just not going to find one often enough to call a pot sized bet. The key street in assessing the situation was the turn, as up until then both players could actually have had very wide ranges. The hero would likely call a minraise from the button with most playable hands preflop, as would the villain in the big blind. On the flop even most amateurs will bet when checked to, especially those who have made it to a final table, so not much extra info is revealed about the hero's hand here either. Calling the flop bet starts to narrow down the villain’s cards, but the turn raise is where his range is most revealed. At this point his most likely holdings are made hands like A2-A9, J9, and sets, which are raising to protect against draws the hero might have picked up on the turn. He could also be semi-bluffing draw hands such as KJ/QJ clubs, KQ/K10 clubs, hoping to take advantage of the perceived weakness of the hero's bet size. But we can remove most of his mediocre holdings here, because he would just call with those hands looking for a showdown. Complete air is also unlikely because of the fact that he called the flop bet with the original raiser still holding live cards. The hero’s range is also cut down significantly when she calls the turn raise, make her most likely holdings weak Ax hands and some club draws picked up on the turn.

On the river, giving the perceived ranges, the villain is most likely making a value bet hoping the hero is holding the weak ace she has so far repped.

 
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