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Poker Hand Of The Week: 3/6/14

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 43 players remaining in a big buy-in tournament and you are already in the money. With a stack of 123,000 and blinds of 4,000-8,000 with a 1,000 ante, you have 15 big blinds and are among the bottom half of the players on the leaderboard.

A player with 258,000, or 32 big blinds, raises to 20,000 in middle position. You look down at AClub SuitASpade Suit in the cutoff and decide to just call. The flop comes down 10Club Suit9Spade Suit3Heart Suit and your opponent checks.

You bet 32,000 and your opponent calls. The turn is the 8Diamond Suit and once again, your opponent checks. You have 70,000 remaining.

The Questions

Do you check or bet? If betting, how much? If checking, what is your plan on the river? What river cards would concern you? What kind of hand is your opponent holding after check calling the flop? Do you regret not three-betting preflop?

Jason MercierWhat Actually Happened

With just 70,000 remaining in his stack at the 2014 WPT L.A. Poker Classic main event, Jason Mercier opted to move all in holding AClub SuitASpade Suit on a board of 10Club Suit9Spade Suit3Heart Suit8Diamond Suit.

His opponent, Kumar Parminder, snapped him off with QSpade SuitJDiamond Suit for a turned straight. The meaningless river card was the QClub Suit and Mercier was eliminated in 43rd place for $26,660.

Parminder was eliminated later in the day in 32nd place, earning $31,270.

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 8 years ago

I would 3bet to 40k, and call a jam. let him rejam a lil wider.
pretty standard. 15bb poker. jamming is also effective, but 3bet calling is much more optimal. reason being 55 will instamuck if u jam, if u 3bet call (20k to 40k is fine) he can find a reason to rejam, also hands like AQ and AJ will be much more inclined to stack off, since I will be 3bet calling off with hands like 77-AA/QK/AT-AK.

(( As PLAYED I would bet flop and jam turn - too many scarecards, you are pot committed and your edge here is great, especially on such a board. not many hands im worried about, 89 QJ TT? k get it in. but i wouldn't flat here, seems like a case of fancy play syndrome. we've all been there.

I feel like not 3betting on 15bb is suicide. You're implied range is 66-AA/JTss++ in most cases. Random KJo etc, some AK. He is ITM, Jam when your implied range is wider.

That being said, I didn't scroll down and see the results til after, and felt a 3bet to ~38000-42000 is 100% needed, since i will be 3bet calling AJ, 88, hands like this.

With a check call, I am very concerned I am up against a hand like A9, JJ, Tx, 77, and a few QK,KJ,JQ hands.

Although when the JQ just flats, its the optimal play. here is why. when you flat with 15bb in a tournament, your range is literally KK AA or a small setmining hand. The second Jason bet the flop, JQss is more appropriate to flat, unless there are 2 spades of course, where he can just check jam to beat on the 77, jason may have a small % of the time although he is jamming that pre the flat by Jason in this scenario, is just terrible.

Almost every mistake comes down to preflop poker. If you have 15bb and are ITM in a MTT, Even if you are a nit, 3bet calling or rejamming is always optimal. In the online world, I make it 38255, in the live world, i make it 40k even.

hope tihs helps someone.


almost 8 years ago

i would have busted too....likelyhood is that hes playing an overpair or maybe AK,AQ, or even AJ....could have been on several draws as well.....what is the likelyhood that he has the one hand that is gold QJ?, shoving the turn should shut down the draws.....far too many other more likely probabilities than i would have dominated than the one possibility of QJ that would be disaster....hes probably thinking i'm playing AK,AQ or some other less premium i too would have pushed the turn and as it would have turned out only to go down misery road.


almost 8 years ago

I think you have to move all in preflop. The preflop raiser raised from middle position so he should have a good amount of value hands in his range. Also we are in the cut off. With only 15BB, it looks super suspicious to only call. I think for that reason we have to move all in as this will actually disguise the strength of our hand better. I think the only way a preflop call doesn't look suspicious is if we were in the blinds and getting a discount to call.

I think I understand what the hero was thinking here. Sure our stack is only 15 BB, but it represents half of the villains stack. For this reason the villain isn't likely to call an all in raise from hero and so he flat called preflop. But again, I just think this looks too suspicious. Plus the villain raised from middle position so he should have a higher percentage of value hands that he might actually call us with.

Once we actually do get to the flop, I do like a bet after the villain checks (btw I think there is a good chance villain checked here because our preflop call with only 15BB looked suspicious). The pot should be about 60K, so I like a 30 to 35K bet here. If called the pot will be 120K+ on the turn and we will have under a PSB and can easily ship most (or even any) turn).

The 8 on the turn completes a straight for QJ and makes two pair for 98 and 108, but this only represents a small part of the villains range and I think we have to go ahead with the plan and move all in the on turn.


almost 8 years ago

With 4,000/8,000 blinds and 1,000 antes, there is already 20,000 in the pot (assumes 8 players). After the 20,000 raise, there is 40,000 in the pot and Jason has about 3X this amount in his stack. This is an obvious all in situation unless you want to get fancy about it and call to induce someone to try a squeeze play.

After no one squeezes, there is 60,000 in the pot and Jason has 103,000 left. After opponent checks, an all in overbet makes sense because the board is wet (straight draws) and hands like AT or A9 are probably calling.

Jason decided to get tricky and bet half of the pot which priced in (with implied odds), the straight draws and of course the made hands. Jason gets unlucky but his play makes sense but it allows his opponent to easily call to take another card with his draw.