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Poker Hand Of The Week: 12/5/13

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 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 a little over 300 players remaining in a major tournament and only 99 will make the money. With a stack of 147,000 and blinds of 800-1,600 with a 200 ante, you have 91 big blinds and are sitting well above average. You are known for being hyper aggressive and creative.

In early position, you look down at ASpade SuitAClub Suit and minraise to 3,200. The small blind, a player with just 27,000, calls. The big blind, sitting with 115,000, calls as well.

The flop comes down 10Heart Suit5Heart Suit4Diamond Suit and both players check to you. You continuation bet 4,700 and the small blind check-raises all in for 23,600. The big blind calls, leaving himself with 88,000 behind.

The Questions

Do you call, raise or fold? If calling, what is your plan for various turn cards? If folding, what do you expect to be up against. If raising, how much?

What Actually Happened

Facing a check-shove and a cold call from Michael Noor and Jerry Wong at the WPT Montreal main event, Vanessa Selbst opted to raise all in holding ASpade SuitAClub Suit on a flop of 10Heart Suit5Heart Suit4Diamond Suit.

Wong folded and Noor revealed 5Spade Suit5Club Suit for middle set. The turn and river fell 2Club SuitKHeart Suit and Noor tripled up to 76,000. Selbst was left with 120,000.

Selbst and Noor went on to be eliminated before the money. Wong busted in 33rd place, earning $15,061.

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.

 
 
 
 

Comments

dogman5555
7 years ago

Not sure how there could be "dozens" of ways to play this :) Feels like a standard shove to isolate the small stack. Calling or folding sound equally awful. Interested in seeing other comments....

 
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Michael63
7 years ago

Definite shove. The small stack clearly has a set or flush draw. The only choice late in a tourney is chase out the cold caller with the large stack to lose, and hope to get lucky against the short stack, or catch him bluffing with a hand like top pair, top kicker. Either way, once you chase the caller out you will survive against the short stack, and maybe send him to the rail. Vanessa made the right move.

 
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Joe7
7 years ago

It's an easy shove. There's 11,800 in the pot on the flop. Then you continuation bet $4,700 more.. Now there's $16,500 in the middle. SB check raises all in for $23,000 more. Now considering he's a small stack, there's really no chance he called with 10,4 or 10,5 -- so two pairs are out. Pocket 10's would shove or reraise preflop. So that's out. The hands he's representing are 44's, 55's, Pair and Flush draw, 67 hearts. A, 10, maybe K 10. Perhaps he trapped with JJ, QQ or KK. There's still a ton of hands your beating. and with the draw heavy board like that, you cannot afford to let the other big stack see a free card. You have to isolate by shoving.. The odds of you already being beat, versus the money in the pot, versus the hands you're already beating, and crushing.. You have to get it in, if he flopped a set.. Then you pay him off, it's that simple.. but you never fold here.

 
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Paul1984Farm
7 years ago

Hard to say without knowing how the other two people play (which I don't), though BB is probably on a draw w/the call.

Folding is not a bad move IF you think SB is not totally bluffing - if so you're probably beat or up against a good to great draw, though it's hard to fold AA.

The worst play is calling. If you're think that SB has you beat and BB is on a draw (one of then probably is) then calling gives you a very poor option - few outs vs. SB and (perhaps) even more outs to beat you (& SB too) from BB. It's even worse if the SB is drawing and BB has you beat (but I'd doubt that).

Raising is good here - though I think that a smaller raise - min-30K might be appropriate here. If BB is drawing then getting $ in the pot is good - if a scare card does not come up then going all-in after the turn is mandatory, though it does mean that ya might have some thinking to do after that card comes up!

But that's why shoving would also be valid here. Like many hands there is no one correct play, but (to me) there is one incorrect play...

 
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James50
7 years ago

Well for myself i've learned to fold aces when i feel like i was beaten from the flop. From that board i had to assume (with 2 callers preflop) i was dealing with a 80% set-@0%flush draw, and in my mind i have no problem folding if i felt beatten.

 
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Edgar2
7 years ago

Vanessa over played her aces. I would have called the all-in bet by Noor and checked my hand to Wong on a side pot. Why scare him off with in all-in bet to isolate when you can still take chips from him and hedge your bet? She made a crucial mistake in that instance. Bottom line, she could have blew most of her chips with 90 big blinds left. Thats not being a smart player. That makes her a desperate one.

 
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Rob17
7 years ago

There are only two moves here in my opinion: 1. You fold, because when you are facing a check raise there is usually a monster hand that you opponent is holding. If short stack was willing to risk the rest or their stack with n hesitation you know your losing at that point n the hand. 2. Accept the possibility that the short-stack has you dominated and push all in to maximize profits from the 2nd players remaining 88k. Vanessa can lose the main pot and still end up with more chips than when she started the hand. Of course, if she feels that the player with 88k remaining will cut their losses and fold then she should resort back to option one. The reality that the check raiser is holding trips leaves Vanessa with a hand that wins the main pot about only 9% of the time (drawing on two aces with two cards to come).

 
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TheFly
7 years ago

I think it's just as likely that the small blind shove has a drawing hand like nut flush draw, and the cold call from big blind could've had the flopped set and was just trying to keep Vanessa in the hand. In that case, her shove would've turned out horribly bad. I don't mind over calling here and seeing what big blind does on turn, as well as seeing the turn card.

 
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MadPeepD
7 years ago

I hate the minraise preflop. You give the blinds the pot odds to call with any playable hand, but the only info you get is they don't have total garbage. Also, you're announcing you have a good hand because you are begging the blinds to get in the pot with you. Now you've got a draw heavy flop considering the range the blinds could have called with. It goes check, check, and you are either being trapped by a hand that out flopped you with little chance to improve your own hand, in a coin flip against a combo draw, or you are so far ahead that the blinds will fold to a bet. In any case, you have to bet. Once that small stack puts all his chips in and knows you have to call, you're beat! Actually, since the big blind flat calls, at least you have an opportunity to create a side pot and salvage some value from your hand. I would have made another raise for about 30k planning to shove the turn card if its not a scare card. But again, I'd be feeling dumb for the minraise and telling myself I'm a donkey who can't play aces.

 
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TheFly
7 years ago

The small stack shove could be anything, it doesn't necessarily mean AA is beat. He could have loads of draws, top pair like ATs, etc. But when the big blind flat calls behind the small stack shove, now you have to think at least ONE of them has you beat and you seriously have to consider that one of them may have a set. I'm not saying a hero fold is in order, but you could flat call or just make a normal raise to try to build a side pot in the case your already cooked by the small stack shove.

 
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x19
7 years ago

call and see the turn.....with both blinds in the hand they could have caught any part of the board....2 on the turn completes a straight, could still be two pair or a set in their hand.....fold to everything but a min bet on turn....if still in on the river a fold to any bet because now a flush out there as well......just too many possibilities that crush aces.

 
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Uku-Kaarel
7 years ago

It would be fold for me. I don't expect SB to call a raise preflop with some low flush cards too often and 44 or 55 are exatcly in his calling range. Other possibility is some kind of ATs and maybe having backdoor flushdraw to go with it.
BB range is much wider and basically could have anything on board - flushdraw and he would be probably trapping Vanessa with two pair or set. From that cold call i would be quite surtain that one of them have me beated.
Calling would be definitely out, because every card except Ad would put me in hard position if BB continues on the turn.
Raising might come in play if history with those players show something that there is chance that atleast one of them might just be picking on me.

 
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