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Poker Hand of the Week: 10/30/14

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 five players remaining in a major international tournament. Each player is guaranteed at least £133,800. The winner takes home £499,700. The stack sizes are as follows.

Player no. 1 — 9,025,000
Player no. 2 — 4,135,000
Hero — 3,590,000
Player no. 4 — 2,075,000
Villain — 1,330,000

You look down at QSpade SuitQClub Suit under the gun and min-raise to 200,000. The action folds around to the villain in the big blind, who makes the call. The two of you have been involved in several hands recently, the last of which saw you double through him on what was essentially a coinflip.

The flop comes down KSpade SuitKClub SuitJHeart Suit and your opponent checks. You bet 230,000 and he moves all in for a total of 1,120,000.

The Questions

Do you call or fold? If calling, what kinds of hands do you expect your opponent to show down that you are beating? Would your opponent be likely to play a king in this way? If you were the villain, how would you play a king? How would you play a jack? Does the villain have enough fold equity to do this with any two cards? If you are the hero, is checking the flop behind a better option to maintain pot control?

What Actually Happened

At the 2014 EPT London main event, Kevin MacPhee made the call with his pocket queens on a flop of KSpade SuitKClub SuitJHeart Suit and his opponent, Jake Cody, showed down a superior KDiamond Suit10Diamond Suit.

The turn was the QHeart Suit, however, giving the advantage back to MacPhee. Cody needed a jack, ten or king on the river, but the 2Club Suit sent him to the rail in fifth place.

Cody earned £133,800 for his finish. MacPhee eventually went on to finish in second place, banking £308,500. The winner was Germany’s Sebastian Pauli, who earned £499,700 and his first EPT title.

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

jeff057
almost 6 years ago

Depending on how the Hero (I) and Villain have been playing, I make the call. I probably call 75% of the time. The Villain may be steaming after losing a race. I expect to beat AQ and Q10 draws and AJ, QJ, 10J although maybe they would have reraised preflop w/ AQ and AJ. With a K, I would expect the Villain to give me more rope to hang myself with a call or min-raise, even though they are getting pretty committed at that point. Taking the likelihood of them having a Q out w/ my 2, it really becomes a K, J or bluff, just depends on how aggressive they are. Bottom line is that play smells a lot weaker and desperate than a K so well played by Cody since he guessed correctly he would get a call from MacPhee.

 
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Paul38
almost 6 years ago

Fold

 
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gjpure
almost 6 years ago

Easy fold and we also could justify checking behind because any bet we make is likely getting called or shoved by better. If our opponent checks the turn then perhaps we could be for value over a jack or check again with good showdown value.

 
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fezjones
almost 6 years ago

im never folding

 
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BBPCFNDR
almost 6 years ago

To answer the call or fold question, for me the play came down to what hands my opponent must be putting ME on, as well as what I put him on. Based on how he played his hand, he's giving me about 2:1 on the all-in bet. My pre-flop raise UTG would suggest a decent hand, even six-handed. I doubled up on him recently in a coin flip, which I'm assuming means I had a good hand. We've played several hands together. Based on the stacks, I'm assuming I've been getting the better of the exchanges. He's probably wanting to catch me and get his chips back. Unless he's a stone-cold poker pro, this is just basic human nature. He's very short stacked, but can still hurt me, so I don't want to play a big pot with him unless I've got the near nuts.

Given the above, I would've checked behind on the flop, and see what happened on the turn. I'd try to keep the pot small or improve my hand strength. With 36 BBs still, one pair is not a big pot hand for me at this point.

The villain's call pre-flop would suggest to me a middling hand, not a premium one. These would include KXs, AJs-A9s, Medium pairs, not including JJ, maybe some suited Queens or Jacks. I think with AQ, JJ or better, he's pushing the action pre-flop.

So what hands does he put ME on? Based on my position, and his post-flop check-raise, I think these would boil down to AK, AQs, big and medium pairs. Marginal hands I could have may include KQs, but this is unlikely. With KQs, I would probably have checked the flop to induce a bluff on the turn.

So, check-raising me all-in suggests he's not afraid of giving me 2:1 odds with two cards to come. This is a way-ahead, way-behind situation, and I just don't believe the odds of this being a bluff are anywhere near what I need to call. He could be making this play with AJ, but again, my chances of having AA, AK or a bigger pair than JJ (QQ), are just too good for him to make this play with a weaker hand than a King. QT is the only other hand I could put him on, but he would likely have bet the flop to try and control the pot with his draw and/or win the hand right there. The check-raise is just too strong a play.

I should've checked behind on the flop, but now, I almost certainly beaten and need to lay it down. If I lay it down, I'm still in OK chip position. If I'm wrong, I've got one foot in the grave, or need to get really lucky to win the hand.

 
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scyan
almost 6 years ago

I would call, even though I know with the villian going allin the villian is bound to be holding a K.

Reason: I want to see the turn and river and just maybe my gamble will pay off or maybe not... ;-)

 
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scyan
almost 6 years ago

I would call, even though I know with the villian going allin the villian is bound to be holding a K.

Reason: I want to see the turn and river and just maybe my gamble will pay off or maybe not... ;-)

 
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scyan
almost 6 years ago

ooops cant edit not sure why it posted twice. *villain not villian.. apologies for typo.

 
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EvilJade
almost 6 years ago

Agree with BBPCFNDR analysis but when you fold to the villains all-in turn shove on a paired board, in future similar situation you need to be more callee else a smart villain will used this to exploit you.

 
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