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Poker Hand Of The Week: 1/9/14

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 18 players remaining at three tables in a major, live tournament. Only the final eight players will make the money.

With a stack of 552,000, you are near the bottom of the leaderboard, though you still have over 34 big blinds with the blinds at 8,000-16,000 with a 2,000 ante.

The action folds around to you in the small blind and you look down at 9Heart Suit9Diamond Suit. You raise to 45,000 and your opponent, a solid and creative player with 664,000, makes the call from the big blind.

The flop comes down 6Heart Suit5Club Suit5Heart Suit and you make a continuation bet of 55,000. Your opponent calls and the turn is the 7Heart Suit. You check and your opponent bets 100,000. You have 450,000 remaining in your stack.

The Questions

Do you call, raise or fold? If calling, are you drawing or do you believe you currently have the best hand? What is your plan for the various possible river cards? If raising, how much? What type of hand could your opponent be holding in this situation?

What Actually Happened

Facing a bet of 100,000 on a board reading 6Heart Suit5Club Suit5Heart Suit7Heart Suit, Martin Finger opted to move all in for his last 450,000 against Mike McDonald.

McDonald snap called, tabling JSpade Suit5Spade Suit for trips. Finger could still win with any 9, 8 or non-jack heart. The river was the KClub Suit, however and Finger was eliminated.

McDonald went onto just squeak into the money of the 2013 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $100,000 Super High Roller, banking $217,320 for his eighth-place finish.

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 7 years ago

I play it the exact same and therefore also bust. Gotta raise pre, betting the flop seems standard here, so the only real debate is the turn. Checking to me is the better play since we at least try to control the pot size that way even though we are shoving if he bets. We can't get away from this hand since we figure to have many outs against most hands that beat us and it's not really that likely that he has 5 here, even though that's what he showed up with.


almost 7 years ago

check then fold to the turn bet....too many possibilities that can end tournament life...why take the chance on opponent having a blind hand with a five or a made flush?.....just because there are many outs does not justify a push, that would be foolishly gambly at a crucial stage where the last thing one should want to do is gamble.....easy fold to bet on turn.


almost 7 years ago

Unless you plan on hitting one of the three boss outs on the river, the only reason to call here is to find a fold on the river. Almost any other river is going to be scare card, or at best, leave you guessing. Folding here feels way too nitty, unless you really think he has TT+, a flush, or better. If you have been cold decked, so be it. Planning to fold overpairs against creative opponents on this board texture is losing poker, IMHO. Don't play 99 OOP BvB if you have this inclination.

Raise is the best play and all in is the right size. This gives you the best chance to get a fold vs hands with decent equity (i.e. bigger flush draws and over cards) or one pair hands that you are losing to.

Obviously, the player in the big blind seems motivated to play a pot with me in position. With such a meager holding, I suspect he either has an inflated sense of his own skill or no respect for mine. Either way, I like it when my opponent underestimates me. It is unlucky to get a questionable defend that ends up flopping a disguised huge hand. That happens from time to time and in reality you want these calls because you have a big edge over time.


almost 7 years ago

Like that analysis a lot gyndok, particularly the last last paragraph.


almost 7 years ago

Totally agree with this comment gyndok - Villain gets a lucky flop disguising the strength of hand. By contrast Hero has juicy draws and the shove is probably the correct play. Its why we love poker