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Poker Hand Of The Week -- 11/30/12

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 three-handed and on the short stack for a major tournament title. The blinds are at 150,000-300,000 with a 50,000 ante, and with only 5.1 million in chips, you are sitting on 17 big blinds.

The chip leader, holding 55 big blinds, opts to fold on the button. The second biggest stack, sitting with 13.1 million, or 43 big blinds, min-raises on the button to 600,000 and you make the call from the big blind with 6Diamond Suit 6Heart Suit.

The flop comes down QClub Suit QSpade Suit 7Heart Suit and your opponent puts you all in for your last 15 big blinds. If you call and win, you’ll have 10.25 million and will be sitting comfortably in second place.

The Questions

Do you call or fold? How much does your stack size and the mounting blinds and antes factor into your decision? Why would you just call preflop with a hand as strong as pocket sixes? Were you planning on moving all in over the top of any continuation bet? How does the flop texture change your decision? Are you comfortable calling all in and possibly drawing dead to two outs?

Jeff Gross Finishes In Third PlaceWhat Actually Happened

Three-handed at the inaugural WPT stop in Montreal, American pro Jeff Gross snap-called all in with his pocket sixes on a flop of QClub Suit QSpade Suit 7Heart Suit and his opponent, Canadian Pascal Lefrancois, could only show down pocket threes.

The turn and river came 5Spade Suit 7Diamond Suit and both player’s pocket pairs were counterfeited. Gross won the hand, however, with his six high.

Ultimately, the double up wasn’t enough and Gross was eliminated in third place, good for $319,238. Lefrancois finished runner-up, banking $473,572. The winner was Canadian Jonathan Roy, who picked up his first WPT title and the top prize of $784,101.

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.



5 years ago

I'd lay it down. 15 BB's left and time to play. The mistake made was when the "villain" min raised pre flop, "Hero" should have pushed all in. Then pocket 3's can't call or if he did, he'd be way behind. Still better to win a small pot than lose a big one.


5 years ago

First I'd like to point out that your graphical representation is throwing me off because if I'm playing from the Big Blind, shouldn't the Small Blind be on my right?

The quick answer is that I wouldn't have called the min raise from the Small Blind. I would have pushed with my pair and taken the risk that the small blind will fold his overs.

Now had I played the hand as written, the smart move is to fold on the flop push by the small blind, and wait for better cards. The deciding factor is the 7 on the flop. The odds that my opponent got lucky enough to have a Q are high enough that I might consider he is bluffing, but three handed poker is usually won by high card or best pair on a showdown. It is very likely he hit his A7 K7 or any thing with a 7 and he's playing his pair aggressively against my short stack. Easy... FOLD and wait for better cards or situation. You never know maybe the two big stacks will get in a brawl in the next 15 Big Blinds and give me second place.. It has happened many times.

- Dan Little


5 years ago

This is close but I think it's a call. We have to ask ourselves what range Villain is representing with such a huge overbet. He is shipping 15BB in to win 4BB + antes. I'd lean toward this bet sizing not representing value. He is highly unlikely to take this line, of min raising preflop and shipping the flop with the following hands:

AA,KK,QQ,JJ,TT,99,88,77, any Q (AQ-Q2)

The pairs in this range are likely raising more preflop for value,to play for stacks and to compensate for being out of position. Also, the top part of this range after the flop is not open shoving 15BB into a 4BB pot (+antes) on the flop. Villain is much more likely to play them for value. This leaves a range for Villain that should look something like this

A7,K7,55-22, + a lot of random air. This is a mix of hands that want to protect against overcards or use first-to-act position to move our short stack off our hand on a dry board. Villain almost never turns over a monster here.

Think about this flop from villain's perspective. It's highly unlikely to hit OUR range. We didn't reraise preflop all in on a short stack, so Villain is not putting us on AK-Ax or any pair. He min raised preflop to fold out our worst hands on the cheap. He is now taking the wide range he can do that with and turning alot of it into bluffs on a board that misses most of our range.

We are 47/53 (1 to 1.12) against A7,K7,55-22 NOT including air and we are getting somewhere around 19.5 to 15. (1.3 to 1). If you add alot of bluffs, we are even better. Plus if you think he also shows up with JJ-88 sometimes here, the air offsets alot of that range, although, again, I think he is going to try to build a pot with those hands preflop.


5 years ago

I call pretty much without any hesitation. Short of a 6, that flop is about as good as I want to see it. Villain is making that move with any 2 cards and the majority of them we will beat.

The pre-flop call pretty much committed me to making this decision as well. Not sure why we called pre if we are then going to fold on this flop.


5 years ago

after calling pre i think you have to call the shove. if he had a big hand he probably would bet less.

to avoid this altogether though im shoving pre


5 years ago

would have gone all in pre flop. Period !!!!


5 years ago

As others have mentioned, I ship this pre-flop. We're almost always coming in slightly ahead of the villain and very frequently will encounter hands such as K-rag and A-rag that we're 70+% against - and very occasionally we'll be monstrously ahead as we are here.

As played, a simple call with pocket 6s almost always gets us into scenarios such as these where the villain gets to attempt to push us off the hand by virtue of a chip stack large enough to afford a loss on the quite small chances that we've gotten a piece of a paired flop. With 15BBs behind this is a snap call for me. I don't think there's any waiting for better cards to do here - there's not enough flexibility to make any bets post-flop that you aren't comfortable going all-in with.

Considering villain will ship with a wide range on this flop, much of which our pocket 6s are far ahead of, and if we win this hand we're restored to a chip stack where we have the flexibility to play post-flop beyond shove/fold which greatly widens our potential playable ranges, this is a very easy call.


5 years ago

Before answering the question of call or fold, you have to ask "who is the Villain - how does he or she play, what type of player do they think you are, and why did they move all in on the flop? Would they do that with a Queen or 7? Many players would make that bet with a 7 but not with a Queen, as they want to get value from the Queen but are afraid of an over card hitting against the 7 (if they were to check and it was checked behind them, or if they bet small and got called) and therefore bet to protect their hand. With you holding 15 big blinds an all in by them makes sense with a 7. But if the Villain is an aggressive bluffer, they may make this same bet on a bluff almost every time under these conditions when your tournament life is at stake, particularly if they view you as tight or conservative. Therefore, my answer is "it depends". If Villain is an aggressive player that thinks they can run over you (think Vanessa Selbst) then I would call. If Villain is a conservative player (think Mike Sexton) then I would fold. I would not call a min-raise with pocket sixes unless I had a good read that my opponent was super strong and I was set mining. Sixes are too hard to play post-flop against a random hand, which is why I would shove with them pre flop and take my chances. I would not play sixes to call or go all in with any flop. Having two of the same card and therefore 2 over cards is a positive vs. 3 over cards and makes it less likely Villain hit their hand. But this is not a cut and dry situation and you've got to use your poker reading and opponent knowledge skills. I am comfortable drawing thin if I call a very aggressive player that happened to hit their hand - that's poker, folks!


5 years ago

fold and wait for a better spot


5 years ago

We don't know a lot about the players, but just by nature of knowing they've made it deep in a large tournament means I can assume they are strong.

Regarding pre-flop action, the min-raise could have been done with any two cards. I've never played for a six-figure score, but it seems standard to keep pots small. If I do shove I'm likely at best in a coin flip, so I'm probably better off calling and evaluating after the flop.

My initial instinct was to insta-call, but my additional analysis showed it wasn't so obvious. About 24% of hands contain an over-pair, Q, or 7 - and in these situations we are drawing very thin. An additional 22% of hands have 2 overs, but we are not overwhelming favorites against those (65% win rate). My hand against any 2 random cards wins around 58% of the time, but against only pairs and 2-overs it is only 38%. With the pre-flop bets I need a 43% win rate to make a profitable call, so
I have to believe he would take this line with at least one under, or discount the chance that he would make this move with a monster. Both of these seem like reasonable assumptions given my stack size and their skill level. I make the call and hope I don't have to sweat the turn/river too much.