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Poker Hand of the Week: 7/30/14

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 35 players remaining in the biggest tournament of the year. You currently have a stack of 5,210,000, which is right around the average stack. With blinds of 50,000-100,000 with a 10,000 ante, you have 52 big blinds to work with.

The action folds around to you in the hijack seat and you look down at AHeart SuitQHeart Suit. You minraise to 200,000 it folds to the button. The button is perhaps one of the best three players remaining in the tournament, based on his past tournament results and has 12,370,000 in his stack. He is known for being aggressive, but doesn’t often make too many mistakes.

He three-bets to 500,000. Wanting to take back control in the hand, you four-bet to 1,200,000. He calls and the flop falls ASpade Suit5Spade Suit4Club Suit. You have 4,000,000 remaining.

The Questions

Do you check or bet? If betting, how much? If checking, what is your plan if your opponent bets? Do you check-raise? Do you check-call and wait for a safe turn card? Your opponent three-bet you in position and then just called your four-bet. What does that say about his hand? Is it safe to give him a free card?

Martin JacobsonWhat Actually Happened

At the 2014 World Series of Poker main event after seeing a flop of ASpade Suit5Spade Suit4Club Suit, Peter Placey opted to move all in for his last 4,000,000 holding AHeart SuitQHeart Suit, despite the fact that the pot was only 2,630,000.

His opponent, Martin Jacobson, snap called with AClub SuitKHeart Suit, leaving Placey drawing thin. The turn was the 2Heart Suit, giving him additional chop outs to the wheel, but the river was the 6Club Suit, ending his tournament run.

Placey finished in 35th place for $230,487. Jacobson went on to make the final table. He is currently in eighth place.

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.



7 years ago

Tough on and probably a cooler you can't much avoid once you get to this point. All I can say is that I try to play some small ball by leading out small or checking the flop. I do know that I am not concerned about giving him 'free cards' on a flop like this with the preflop action. You are either dominated by AK or AA or way ahead of mid to high pocket pairs. I probably check the flop to induce a bet from a lessor hand and to keep the pot as small as possible if he does have AA or AK. In doing this, he may put you on KK QQ, etc. and only value bet it down, leaving you with some chips to still play with after the hand. Either way, you can better make decisions from that point forward based on his actions.

Moving all in on this flop is absolutely stupid. You are most likely only getting called by AA, AK, and maybe chopping against AQ. You want to induce a bluff from a lessor hand or get some value out of your bets from a lessor hand. The sizing is terrible here as it stands IMO.


7 years ago

My thoughts exactly... if you knew the opponent was solid as in this case, playing this very cautiously would be the way to go. Jamming the flop is the worst possible option - what is he calling with that you beat? And what are you trying to push off - I can't think of 1 hand that calls this that you have beat and he doesn't fold AK because you don't jam a set here.


7 years ago

i think his best line would be to check and call the flop..hes most likely way ahead and if he bets, all hands drawing nearly dead, will fold. if hes behind hes going broke anyway due to stack/pot size and the dynamic of the hand (both players are way ahead of their opponents range)so he might as well check to induce action from hands in bad shape that may bet when checked to but folding to heros lead out flop bet.i dont see much value in leading flop unless villain has AJ, AT- in which case the money is going in short i check call flop and check call the all in turn bet from villain. if turn went check check i ship river for value trying to look bluffy and maybe get a loose call from a large stack with a worse pair..hes going broke in this cooler hand regardless, but the line id take would allow me to win chips when i got villain in bad shape. his flop ship is a bad play..why ship? to protect vs flush draw? a flush draw is a very small part of villains range so shipping flop cant be justified.hes going broke unfortunately, but shouldve given himself to extract chips if he was ahead..thanks for reading.


7 years ago

Baring some crazy run out I don't think we can avoid getting it in after this flop but I don't like the way hero played.

Since the villain called our 4-bet he obviously wasn't 3 betting light. By shipping we are likely only getting called by equal or better (AQ, AK, one combo of AA) and folding out hands we dominate like 10s-Qs.

I think I like checking here. It makes our hand look like a medium to big pair that doesn't like the Ace on board or a hand that we 4bet light with and are giving up on after getting called preflop. This might give our villain enough bait to try to bluff us off our hand. Or we might be able to extract value from hands like 10s-Ks on later streets.

Obviously, with his actual hand, our villain will likely bet if checked to. I think we call and likely call a turn bet too, even if it puts us all-in. As I said earlier, I don't think we can get away very often and we'll likely end up all-in and out of the tournament, but at least my plan get extract some value while we are ahead, where as in my opinion, the hero's line doesn't accomplish that.


7 years ago

Way to scary of a flop with an average stack. A nice follow up Bet and pray you don't get called. If you're not already beat by big slick you're gonna have a hard time seeing safe cards on 4th and 5th street. If your follow up bet gets called get out asap and live to see better flops.


7 years ago

That late in a tourney and guy is one of the few that has you 2 - 1 AND has position AND 4 bets your pre flop raise AND you know he doesn't make many mistakes AND post flop theres flush and wheel draw???? I would have played more conservatively with that many (ANDS). Yeah ok the wheel draw is not too concerning but a small suited connector with that many chips is not out of the realm of pre flop antics. No way I'd shove that close to big $$.


7 years ago

The real problem is the line set pre flop. You are wanting to 'take control' by re-raising to 1.2 with AQ?? That is just pretty bad imo. If he got that deep by playing that way then I'd say he ran pretty well right up until the end.


7 years ago

I don't really like the way this was played to this point. But, going with the scenario, I play the flop like this:

I would bet like 1mil here just under 1/2 pot. Giving the preflop action I am thinking I am not against aa-qq. That leaves my opponent with a big A or pocket pair. If my flop bets gets called or raised, I have to think long and hard. Knowing that my opponent is a solid player, I really don't think he bluffs into me here with the A on the flop. So after a little tank time I think I have to lay this down take my 25% stack loss and live to fight another day. Leaving me 3mil stack to work with in a better spot.


7 years ago

Well you know he is going to bet again. Regardless of weither you do or dont. If he is an aggressor in most hands he could have just reraised you to get you off early and scoop the antes. So once you decided to enter a hand with him you should know that you probably just committed and be ready for it to possibly be your last hand. That deep in a tournament with an average stack you should just avoid being in large stack aggressive players hands unless you have kk or aa. Why risk it when you already know he out plays people. But considering the information I would have checked knowing that he would cont. Bet regardless of weither he made the hand or not atleast you would be able to see what his bet was. If it was value bet size then if you reraise and he goes all in your probably behind. If he goes all in after your is a lot harder to call an all in then to do an all in and maybe it would be easier to get off the hand there. It sounds like he tried to go over the top against the aggressor. Which is one of the only ways to win hands against players with that style. But the problem is...they will have hands they arent always bluffing and it always feels like they are. No point to risk your whole stack there.