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Poker Hand Of The Week -- 4/11/13

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

There are eight players remaining in a big buy-in six-max tournament, leaving four players at each of the final two tables. With 343,500, you are among the chip leaders in the event and are stacked with over 68 big blinds at the 2,500-5,000 with a 500 ante level.

The action folds around to the small blind, another big stack with 305,500, who raises to 13,000. You look down at 2Spade Suit 2Diamond Suit and make the call.

The flop comes 4Club Suit 3Heart Suit 2Heart Suit and your opponent continues with a bet of 15,000. You raise to 50,000 and your opponent calls. The turn is the QHeart Suit and your opponent checks.

The Questions

Do you check or bet? If checking, are you looking to induce a bet on the river, or are you looking for a safe card before proceeding? If betting, how much? Are you betting to protect against the possible straight and flush draws on board or are you betting for value and/or information? Given your opponent’s willingness to call your flop raise, what types of hands are in his range? Is it possible he has turned a flush? If he’s drawing, how likely is he to call a turn bet and how much should you bet to properly price him out?

Aaron LimWhat Actually Happened

During event no. 4 of the WSOP Asia Pacific $5,000 six-max no-limit hold’em event, Jason Gray decided to check behind on a board reading 4Club Suit 3Heart Suit 2Heart Suit QHeart Suit with bottom set.

The river was the worst card in the deck, the 6Heart Suit. Gray’s opponent, Jan Suchanek, bet 100,000 and Gray was forced to fold. Suchanek showed him KDiamond Suit 5Heart Suit, making both a straight and flush on the river.

Gray limped into the unofficial final table of seven before busting, earning $27,722. Suchanek played his way to a third-place finish, banking $103,766. The event was eventually won by Australian Aaron Lim, who picked up his first gold bracelet and the $233,800 first-place prize.

*Photo courtesy of the

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 7 years ago

the result barely matters - I would have played it the same way - the money jumps are huge at this point and the board was too scary. I'm on the fence about whether shoving on the turn would have been the right play - opinions?


over 7 years ago

I didn't even realize you could get paid in X, but hey, Asia, right? Nice pic of Aaron Lim, every article should have his pic for no reason.


over 7 years ago

You have to bet the turn to protect against a fourth heart landing. You don't need to be too afraid of a made flush on the turn, he only has that hand about 5 percent of the time, but a 4-to-a-flush will kill you. You need to bet that turn hard, maybe even all in.

Villain's starting range from the SB is pretty wide, but you would expect it to be pair, ace and king heavy. The SB's C-bet on the flop doesn't narrow his range much. Once he calls your raise, i'd include decent overpairs, a draw and big card, a combo draw, and a small chance of a made straight,a flush or a bigger set.

When villain checks the turn, i'd drop the overpairs out of the range and say his range is a draw that might be willing to fold or a big made hand. I think it's a pretty big mistake to check that turn. Bet big to protect.


over 7 years ago

After the check - is he giving him a flush/QQQ and hoping to get river cheaply ?

I can't see a how a check here makes any sense - if he's worried about a jump in $$$ - don't play 22. Is he worried that he called the raise on the flop and is trapping - maybe but you'll never know until you fire that bullet on the turn.

I think he has to bet the turn 1/2 to 3/4 and then play the hand accordingly - if he gets raised then it's decision time. But with that holding - it'll have to have a hell of a read to test him again and expect to win it on the turn.

I just don't see the hand played out making any sense at all -
unless he was hoping that the river was blank and to invoke a bluff bet. But again to give him a free crack - I don't like this line at all.


over 7 years ago

This is a close one IMO- small blind had a nice stack- he was double gutted on the flop and thought maybe his K was an out against 88,99,1010- the issue is that we don't know the history of Aaron and the SB. If SB was putting Aaron on middle pair, would he really make such a raise on the flop with such a dangerous board? Had Aaron or SB been loose/aggressive? Without this information, and looking purely at the cards, SB was only getting 2.5 to 1 on a call after Aaron's raise with potentially only 8 outs for a straight plus potentially another 3 outs for the K--and if Aaron is making such a raise with that board a set is definetly a possiblity. SB made a questionable call on the flop…with more background info the situation could become clearer. I agree with the check on the flop by Aaron…a $100k bet on the turn may not have been enough to get SB off the draws- after adding another 7 outs- plus if you get check raised after a big bet on the turn you have to fold anyway.


over 7 years ago

Ok we're missing a ton of info. What has been the dynamic between these two? Given the info we've got, I think I bet 65,000 on the turn to 1) see what's up and 2) protect the hand. However, it depends how aggressive the sb is. Is he the type that fights for every pot? Is he gonna check raise me w draws/air? These tendencies would determine my line. As played, I fold the river as well. It's hard to answer the queation what's in sb's range. We don't know anything about him. He could have any and all pairs. He could have hit the flop with a draw. He could have flopped a straight. He could have A high with a heart. He could have anything. By the way I hope u all realize his bet on the river is a bluff. I'm not saying I would do this but how bout a shove on the river if u can get a read on his weakness??


over 7 years ago

The raise preflop was only 13k with a 2,500/5,000 500 ante.. only 2.5x the big blind, rather small raise, from a very big stack, and from late position.. This range is VERY wide here i would say.
After flopping bottom set you have a monster, the raise on the flop is decent sized. When the Queen falls on the turn, yes it's a scared card, but considering you have bottom set with a straight/flush board all over it, a 75-100% pot sized bet would be accurate here. If you think about it mathematically, 3 of the hearts are on the board, and it was heads up to the flop, meaning your opponents odds of having a made flush are small. Plus with his WIDE RANGE there's a TON of hands he would call the flop raise with.. Tons of straight drawy/A of hearts type hands, So there's an absurd amount of cards you will hate to see on the river, Any heart and you'll lose this pot, any A, 5 or 6 and odds are he's made some kind of straight .. Checking here just gives your opponent way to many options to outdraw you, if he has the flush already he has two options when you pot the turn..One is to smooth call, and check the river to you, The other is to re-raise you on the turn (which puts you in a very bad spot, but probably can get away from it) -- Either way, if he calls the turn and checks the river to you, you can check behind and save your stack, or let the hand go if he re-raises and save your stack .. But i would feel that more often than not, you will have the winning hand here, so a pot sized turn to stop him from drawing further would be the most profitable and appropriate play here.


over 7 years ago

Given our previous check-call, isn't the third heart scarier for our opponent than for us? we could have made a small flush and a 3/5 pot bet could look like it was protecting against a fourth heart making a higher flush for our opponent.


over 7 years ago

Do you check or bet? Bet

If betting, how much? About half the pot

Are you betting to protect against the possible straight and flush draws on board or are you betting for value and/or information? I'm betting to protect my hand and for value. At this point, I figure that I'm still ahead, and I want to price out any draws.

Given your opponent’s willingness to call your flop raise, what types of hands are in his range? Most likely an overpaid, a flush draw or a straight draw.

Is it possible he has turned a flush? Sure.

If he’s drawing, how likely is he to call a turn bet and how much should you bet to properly price him out? If he is drawing, you want to bet enough for him to fold. 1/2 pot is probably right. You can always check behind (or fold) the river if it's a scary card.


over 7 years ago

I agree at this point you are either there to win or lose for me at least thats how Im gonna play it, Im not gonna call 22 and not rock it super hard if I hit trips, the second he called 50k on the flop Im going all in on the river either he has it or he doesnt, if he doesnt and its just a draw he is most likely to fold giving me the hand. a free pass was not only if he is playing it safe and protective but giving your target a signal you have a weak hand where he is likely to bluff you out reguardless of the turn. But what it really comes down to is how the other guys been playing, is he reserved or agressive does he bluff allot or well mostly top end hands. I think a smart player at this point stops playing the cards and should have a great deal of knowledge about the people at his table and know exactly what to do here, but its poker and no one way it the right way because you cant 100% predict what the other guy will do, you go all in there and the guys open ended with a flush draw and he just might be tired of sitting all day and be ready to win it or lose it and say heck the odds are there and call, If that had happened the outcome would have been worse and maybe another player wins in the end. Im still saying Id go all in but, thats because Im agressive and I believe at this point I have the best hand and 9 or of 10 times I will win.