Poker Coverage: Poker Legislation Poker Tournaments Daily Fantasy Sports Poker Stories Podcast U.S. Poker Markets

Poker Hand Of The Week -- 8/25/12

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.

The Scenario

You are approaching the final table bubble in a live tournament with a whopping 84 big blinds. As it currently stands, you are in decent shape to make the final table with 14 players remaining.

An aggressive opponent raises to 65,000, just over a min-raise, from under the gun and you make the call in the cutoff with KHeart Suit QHeart Suit. The big blind, another aggressive player, calls as well.

The flop comes down KDiamond Suit QDiamond Suit JSpade Suit and the original raiser bets 100,000. You call, as does the player in the big blind.

The turn is the 6Diamond Suit. The big blind checks, the original raiser bets 300,000 and you call. The big blind folds and the river is the 2Spade Suit.

Your opponent then moves all in for his last 1,190,000. You have 2,072,000 remaining in your stack.

The Questions

Do you call or fold? What hands could your opponent be holding? Is your opponent betting as a bluff, or is he betting for value? What value hands can you beat?

The Argument For Calling

Why call on the turn, only to fold the river? If you thought you had the best hand when the third diamond hit, then what’s stopping you now? You have top two pair and your opponent could be moving all in with any number of two pair combinations which you have beat, along with pocket aces, A-K and a slew of busted draws turned bluffs. Furthermore, even if you call and lose, you’ll still be left with a very manageable 29 big blinds.

The Argument For Folding

This is a crucial spot in the tournament, so it’s important to evaluate your opponent objectively. He raised from under the gun and then bet all three streets on a very wet board. There are a number of hands that beat you, specifically five different sets, two straight combinations and all turned diamonds. By calling the turn, you were hoping for a cheap showdown that’s not going to happen. You have 69 big blinds left in your stack, so fold and start putting them to use.

What Actually Happened

In the EPT Barcelona main event, Aku Joentausta moved all in with a board reading KDiamond Suit QDiamond Suit JSpade Suit 6Diamond Suit 2Spade Suit. Ole Schemion went into the tank for about five minutes before eventually deciding to call with his KHeart Suit QHeart Suit.

Joentausta couldn’t beat it, showing AClub Suit 4Diamond Suit for a bluff. He finished in 14th place, earning €40,400. Schemion took the massive pot, chipping up to 4,200,000. He failed to make the final table, however, busting on the bubble in ninth place for €55,100.

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.



over 5 years ago

The article doesn't say what my table image is, my emotional IQ level, what players are left in the tournament and if I know them or have history against them. Frankly, I really don't know from the article what my history is against the UTG and BB. There are so many variables to consider that are not explained in the article to try to make a rational aggressive decision. With that said, I raise the turn to around 800,000. I make this raise to see where I stand at this point. If the BB moves in I have a tough decision because I give him the option to squeeze. Highly unlikely though. If he folds, what does UTG do and how do I see the river playing out if he calls or three bets? What happens if he moves in? At this point, he has really polarized his hand as being the nuts or a straight bluff effectively. Since I have position - I might be able to judge his emotions and body language to make the call. I'm trying to shut down this hand on the turn without losing much ground and collecting a nice size pot. Pressure, pressure, pressure at this point. Need to use it to my advantage.


over 5 years ago

no point in raising the turn. if he has it your just making the pot bigger for him and if he doesn't have it your taking the bluff away from him. plus your in position with a big hand. and yeah u raise turn to see where he is but your not getting to much info there since the turn is a pretty poor card for you. if your raising anywhere this hand its on the flop


over 5 years ago

I would most likely call in this situation.

The hands my opponent could have to beat me:

A-Xd (most likely AJ, or A10)

With a UTG raise I eliminate A-10o, 10-9, 66, 22; Leaving AJd,A10d,KK,QQ,JJ. Depending on the player, I also would'nt think AJd or A10d would be likely holdings, and I'm paying off KK and QQ. That really only leaves JJ to fear.

Other likely holdings he could be betting for value would be AK,AQ,AJ,KQ,KJ,QJ.

The allin on the scare board is an effective bluff since he knows he can probably get me to fold anything but top two or better, and even that sometimes.

With all that being said there are just a few hands that he could be holding that would beat me, even more hands he could be holding that I beat, or be on a complete bluff with something as bizarre as A4o.

I call.


over 5 years ago

His nuts to air ratio is pretty much skewed to hands that beat you at this point. Calling just by factoring the cards alone would be -EV. Calling this would take a live read or game flow considerations into account and that's probably why he eventually made the call after going into the tank.


over 5 years ago

The most confusing part of the entire article is the last sentence. The player fails to make the final table after having a massive chip stack and being so close to it already.


over 5 years ago

I really don't like to call, but I end up calling anyway.

The reason why is not what villain, but what villain puts me on.

I call flop and turn, which looks a bit like a weak king or maybe a queen. If has me beat, he would be better off by checking river, to make me bet. He is only doing this to because I look weak, and he can't win it by checking.

If he fires a big bullet on the river, I most likely will fold anything that he can beat, and only call with hands that can beat him.

I call, but I am not very happy, and I also use my 5 mins to make the decision.


over 5 years ago

personally i'd have folded.....too many chips at stake should he have made a straight or flush or set....ironically while that may have been an error it also was an error to call because although the hand would have won it also eliminated a player which ultimately influenced table dynamics and for whatever reason the guy who called and won the hand eventually spewed what should have been a stack that ensured a final table showing into a humiliating dismissal as while he was right he was also wrong ultimately.


over 5 years ago

I think that the raising point in this hand is on the FLOP, since the only hands that beats you are A 10 , 10 9 or a set i don't like flat calling the flop because you are playing blindfolded the turn, now the villain can represent a flush with the 6d.

The turn call it's ok, but definitely i wouldn't raise the turn if i didn't raise the flop, because raising the turn to gain information it's gonna cost too much chips in comparison to raising the flop to gain information and force the villains to pay for her draws.

I strongly believe that the river call was made by reading the opponent ( psychically) , and probably it's wasn't that hard to call in that spot, but what would happened if on the turn came out Ad, 10d, 9d, 8d????

The hero would NEVER MAKE THAT CALL.

That's why i believe that you can not let your opponents to take control of the hand by flat calling the FLOP, because good aggressive players aren't looking to improve only, the are always thinking . What hands can came out that i can use to bluff my opponent ?

BOTTOM LINE. Don't get yourself in a position to get bluffed.


over 5 years ago

The villain’s all-in river bet in this situation is either a bluff, or it’s better than top two pair. For example, the villain wouldn’t bluff with KJ, because it’d be a hand that had showdown value. Therefore, the hero can only beat a bluff. The hero has to consider matters such as what the villain thinks of him. Without a read, I’d have to fold, thereby maintaining my good stack.


over 5 years ago

I would've made a pot size raise on the flop just to see where my opponent was, about 300,000. There is 238,000 in the pot already when the raiser made a 100,000 bet. If he had anything, a more pot-like bet would've happened. If he had anything for real, he probably would've called also. If he was on a draw, then it would be depending on what kind of a player he was, knowing the final table was close. Seeing the hand played out, the bettor not only raise on the flop, but made bigger bets on the turn and all in on the river. I've seen that pattern more times on a bluff than on a real hand.


dallas jr
over 5 years ago

I really liked the way that hero played the hand to pot-control in position taking into consideration the possible JJ or made straight by the villain which him being aggressive would have played it that way. When the flush card comes on the turn he can only call and hope to spike the K or Q on river,or evaluate the action by the villain.When he is put on the spot to call the river shove he is taking into account the fact that the villain is 100% polaryzed and if he is wrong by calling he still has 29.4 BB to continue on and he can eliminate an aggressive opponent in the process. I would have made the call also.