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Poker Hand Of The Week: 2/27/14

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 16 players left and you are in the money in a major tournament and have already locked up more than three and a half times your buy-in in prize money. With a stack of 1,303,000 and blinds of 10,000-20,000 with a 3,000 ante, you have over 65 big blinds and are among the chip leaders.

The action folds to you in late position and you down at ADiamond SuitAHeart Suit. You raise to 50,000 and the player in the big blind, holding a middle stack with 729,000, three-bets to 120,000.

Knowing you can take a flop in position, you opt to just call. The flop comes down 7Spade Suit7Diamond Suit2Heart Suit and your opponent bets 180,000. You call and the turn is the 7Club Suit, giving you a full house.

Your opponent checks. He has 426,000 remaining.

The Questions

Do you bet or check behind? What kind of hand could your opponent be holding? Does his flop bet and turn check indicate that he is giving up on the hand? If so, what is the best way to get value from your hand? Do you check behind and hope he catches up, or bet for value before a scare card hits the river? If betting, how much?

What Actually Happened

At the CAD $5,000 buy-in WPT Fallsview Poker Classic in Niagara Falls, Canada, Jason James decided to check behind with his pocket aces on a board reading 7Spade Suit7Diamond Suit2Heart Suit7Club Suit.

The river was the ASpade Suit and his opponent, Shaun Roberts, moved all in for his last 426,000. James immediately called with his aces full and Roberts could only show down a cooler with his AClub SuitKClub Suit for sevens full.

Roberts was eliminated in 16th place, earning CAD $18,506. James took the chip lead and parlayed it into a third-place finish for CAD $147,090.

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

First off what a turn card. If I'm in that position, I'm thinking that villain has maybe a pocket pair of any size or ace-high, and checking the turn to keep the pot-size down (ace-high) or with the intent to push to a bet (pocket pairs 1010 or above). Because we opted to only call a 3-bet in position our hand is hid pretty well, so I would be opted to bet small, maybe ~100,000. With the range of hands I put villain on and he is likely to put us on, I don't think he can fold, and I think a bet here would be interpreted by villain as a weaker play, maybe a steal attempt, whereas a check might give away the actual strength of our hand.

As it is played, I don't think we would have got more value out of the turn check if the A doesn't fall on the river. A river card besides the A or K villain is likely check-folding, thus for all other possible combinations I believe a small turn bet maximizes value, as well as sets up future instances where we could bet small for value or steals, assuming it went in on the turn and players can adjust to the line we took after seeing the cards.


over 7 years ago

I would have taken the exact same line as Jason James except I would have won the tournament instead of finishing in third.


over 7 years ago

I would bet $150K.

Given the pot and stack sizes it would be very tough for him to fold to that bet with any two cards. Also, it puts enough in the pot to get him to either fire on the river when he misses or, for sure, to make a river bet if he hits. Or, he could even call a river bet with an inferior hand.


over 7 years ago

I don't agree that a bet is necessarily the best play. Lets say we make a small bet of 100K. Having already commited 300K to the poat, I don't see villain calling. He's either moving in or folding.

So, what can villain have? Depending on table image etc. I would put him on AJs+, A10+, KQs, 22+. All hands we beat a part from the off 7, which is highly unlikely. Unless he's got a pocket pair, there is a real chance he'll fold, even to a small bet (which I think looks rather strong).

I would check for 3 reasons;
1. To look like a hand he can beat (A-low, K high etc.) so he feels he's ahead.
2. To give him a chance to bluff any AX type hands.
3. To give him a chance to hit the river, and take all his chips.


over 7 years ago

I'm inclined to check. With his stack being 2/3 of the pot, it doesn't seem very likely he'll just call even a small bet. More likely, he'll shove or fold, even with nice pot odds.

If he's going to check-fold, I lose nothing by checking behind.

If he has a pair and is going for the check-raise shove, he may shove a lot of rivers anyway. Worst case, if he has an overpair to the board, he's drawing to just two outs. One might argue that he'll shut down if the river looks like a danger card, but many if not all those cards can be danger cards for me too.

If he has overs and intends to check-raise all in as a bluff, it seems at least as likely that he'll bluff-shove the river if I suggest weakness by checking behind, plus there's the chance he'll river an inferior boat.

So overall, it seems more likely I'll get more value from him (probably his stack) by checking than that he'll double up by hitting his two-outer.