Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy

Poker Hand Of The Week: 9/5/13

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

You are down to the final two tables of a big buy-in major event as one of the chip leaders with 10.5 million in chips. With blinds at 40,000/80,000, you are in early position with QSpade SuitQHeart Suit.

You raise to 200,000 and are called by the player in the cutoff who you have very little history with. The flop comes ADiamond SuitAClub Suit10Club Suit and you make a continuation bet of 200,000.

The player in the cutoff raises to 610,000 and you call. The turn is the 2Heart Suit and you check. The player in the cutoff moves all in for just over 4.1 million in chips.

The Questions

Should you be betting this flop? If so, what is your bet sizing and why? When faced with the raise on the flop, should you fold, call, or three-bet? What range are you putting him on when he raises the flop? Are there any physical tells you would be looking for while contemplating your decisions on each street? When he moves all in on the turn for such a big over bet, what is his range and do you call or fold?

Ray QartomyWhat Actually Happened

At the 2013 Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open, Ray Qartomy bet his pocket queens and called a raise from Derrick Cutler on the flop of ADiamond SuitAClub Suit10Club Suit. When Qartomy checked the 2Heart Suit turn card, Cutler moved all in.

Qartomy went into the tank for several minutes before asking if Cutler would show his hand. When Cutler said he would not show, Qartomy mucked his hand. Cutler ended up tabling his hand anyway, showing pocket tens, giving him a full house and the pot.

Qartomy still had 118 big blinds at the conclusion of the hand, sitting on a stack of 9.5 million while Cutler increased his stack to around 6 million. Qartomy went on to final table the tournament, finishing in fourth place for $639,925. Cutler finished in eighth place, cashing for $232,700.

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.



almost 9 years ago

The resd on the opponent would for sure factor in big for me. Not the physical tells, but what type of player I think he is and what he's capable of doing. This is usually based on age and physical appearance if no other information is available about the player. Older=less moves
In shape and neatly dressed=less moves than a sloppy looking "gambler type"

As for the the hand itself, I am checking raising this flop to rep a big hand and see where Im at with the plan to shut down if called or reraised. It would to major guts to continue without a decent Ace at this stage of the tournament. If he elects to check behind, I check again on the turn and may call a bet looking to get to a showdown as cheap as possible.


almost 9 years ago

1 & 2) Yes I CB the flop. There is 610k in the pot on flop Id bet 300k just under half pot to force out possible small to medium pocket pairs, straight draws (KQ,KJ,QJ) n make it more if chasing flush than a CB thats 200k. Little bigger bet would give me better info if he was to flat call... 3) If I bet 200k n he re-raised to 610k flat calling would not be an option. This is where question 4 would come in. Im always looking for tells on every street, of every hand. But I would based on the read I was getting on my opponent when the flop hit, when I led out and when he raised, I would base my decision to either Fold or Raise. Flat calling would not be an option due to the fact it would give me zero information, he could be strong, he could be weak n just re-raising my CB in position with any hand. The range I would put him on with his flop raise is no Ace, I think if he has A he flats even tho the flush out there to let me keep betting. K-10,Q-10,J-10,9-10 all suited n off suit to try n pick the pot up right there if I dont have an A n also find out where he is.. I think he flats with almost all flush draws except KQ-KJ-QJ club so that is in his range for this raise.. depending on only my read of him while making this play would I put medium/small pocket pairs raising to see where he is to represent an A or to see if my raise was just a CB or actual strength, 10-10 raising hoping I have an A.... Q-5) When he shoves on the turn for a massive overbet of the pot betting 4.1m into 1.3m pot.. The range I put him on due to the fact that this player knows what he's doing, he's deep in a $10k, I cant beat much that he would be making this play with cuz If I have an A n slowplayed by just calling the flop to check the turn or I have 10-10 n did the same.. The Only range I put him on in this spot is a monster 10-10, A-10, AQ, AJ not AK cuz would have reraised pre if AK thats his whole range to me in this spot.. I see this play is see thru n done to give off the thought that weak but really strong n even if not that strong what can I beat and being one of the chip leaders I dont want to risk half my stack in a pot I only have 820k invested


almost 9 years ago

Preflop, with almost no history on this person, it's hard to decide whether they would call preflop as a float to bluff later. If I suspected this, I would have checked the flop and then tried checkraising, getting the same money in but showing more strength.
But back in this situation, if I did c-bet and got raised, my decision whether to call the raise would have been based on whether I thought I was likely to be beat; if I called, seeing this as a bluff or simply a pair of tens. I'd stick with my decision to the river, wouldn't have folded to the turn shove.

But I would not have called the flop raise in the first place.

Here's the bottom line: An ace with a low kicker or pocket tens or AT is at the core of almost anyone's preflop cold-calling range, more likely than a ten with anything else except maybe a Jack. So it makes sense for the villain to have a better hand and to make the plays he did.
So, especially in a tournament, and especially out of position for the next few streets, If I had c-bet 1/3 pot like this, I would have folded to the pot raise. I don't have the implied odds to wish for a Queen on the turn or river.

The main problem here is not making the decision earlier: decide on the flop, not on the turn, that he might have one of the three better hands that were likely after the preflop cold call.


almost 9 years ago

I can make a case for betting or checking this flop. It depends on what I know or think about my opponent and his range, his likelihood to bet a worse hand if I check, or if he will call a bet with worse. The board is reasonably dry, but does have draws and made hands that hit a tight range. It doesn't say how many players are at the table so I'm not sure what the pot is at on the flop, but any bet size between 1/3 and 2/3 is reasonable. My goals with a hand like this on that flop are to charge draws something, and get value from a ten or weaker PP that might call a street or two. I would probably bet exactly 1/2 in this spot. Any hand I beat that will call a 1/3 sized cbet, will very likely call a 1/2 sized. So I bet 1/2 for value, and fold equity against a draw that doesn't want to stick around on a paired board.

When faced with a raise approximately 3x on the flop, I would not put the opponent on a full house. This was definitely a tricky play by the villain. I would have to consider how aggro or tricky I considered the villain to be. This is a board that could be played back at very light, with trips for protection against a draw, or with a draw looking to induce me to fold here or check the turn so that villain could check back and get a free river, in the case of not hitting a draw on the turn. Normally a raise like this would be very polarizing, but in this case, I feel it can represent a very wide range, except perhaps a pair of tens (not pocket pair, but a pair on the flop). I think folding here 100% of the time with QQ is very exploitable. If I think the villain a nit, and is more prone to raising for value and protection against draws than bluff raising with air, I can find a fold. If it is an aggressive player who may be semi-bluffing, I would call and look to call down safe turn and river as long as the bet sizes are 2/3 or less.

I would look for a shaking hand that reps a monster on his flop raise and turn shove. I would try to analyze his level of thinking, and consider what the opponent wants me to do in this spot, and try to do the opposite of that.

Once he over-shoves the turn, which is a complete blank unless he was playing around with 22, my decision becomes a lot easier. He should realize that my range of preflop holdings have stronger aces than his, considering our position at the table. Because of this, and how it's been played, it seems likely that his range consists of very strong trips, an aggressively played full house that he flopped or turned, or a bluff. I don't think it is likely that the villain is semi bluffing on the turn, unless he has a specific read that I don't have at least an ace here. I think if he has a draw on the turn, he would have checked it back, considering his raise on the flop. I can't find a call here at this point in the tournament for so many chips, without a very specific read or history with the villain. The bottom of my calling range here would be AQ against an unknown, as this seems like a very unorthodox spot to bluff, and I can't beat overplayed trips with a weak kicker. I don't put a ten in his range as played. So he is either running a crazy bluff, has trips, or an extremely aggressively played FH. I fold turn and look for better spots. Against a small percentage of opponents, I fold the flop to the raise.


almost 9 years ago

Top analysis that Cody4.. My beef with this was the all in on the turn by the 'villain', I believe it was a poor more with a FH.

Your breakdown shows how poker players should be thinking at the table.

Top stuff.


almost 9 years ago

Yes, I am betting this flop. This is a decent flop for pocket queens and you will have the best hand a high percentage of the time. I would bet about 250,000. I feel like it should be slightly more than the original pre-flop raise (200,000) while not risking too many chips. Getting raised on the flop, it is an uncomfortable situation. I do not feel like folding would be the best play. The opponent could easily have JQ of clubs or KJ of clubs or even be bluffing with air, in the belief that the paired board did not help you.

I can see an argument for either calling or 3-betting but I would call in this situation and then bet the turn if a non-club hits the board. With 3-betting I think a club draw will call you a good percentage of the time, but if you make a decent sized bet on the turn and all your opponent has is a club draw, then you should win the pot. If a club comes on the turn I would basically give up on the hand and check-fold , with maybe a hero call if it gets to the river if I can really sense weakness from the opponent.

When he raises the flop, I am basically putting him on trip aces, a semi-bluff with a flush/straight flush draw, or air. As far as physical tells, you should look to see how he looks at the flop, if he checks his cards for suits and how long he looks at the flop. These are basic noob tells which may provide useful information. When he overbets the turn, I think he either has air (slim possibility), a flush draw (slim), trip aces(decent possibility) or a full house(decent). I would include the full house in the range now, because it seemed unlikely on the flop and turn, but since he overbets so much it must be included as a possibility. I think overall this overbet is a noob play, but I think it is more likely he has a monster like a full house, than him putting in 50 big blinds as a bluff.


almost 9 years ago

to be more clear, i think the main reason calling the flop is better than 3-betting it is 'pot control'