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Poker Hand of the Week: 5/13/16

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 31 players remaining in a major European tournament and you are in the money, guaranteed at least €22,740 from your initial €5,000 investment. You have 886,000 in chips with the blinds at 12,000-24,000 with a 3,000 ante, giving you 37 big blinds to work with. You have a reputation for being overly aggressive, but you are very accomplished and are arguably the best player remaining in the field.

A player who started the hand with 1,367,000 raises from under the gun to 54,000. Keeping up with your aggressive mindset, you three-bet directly behind him to 121,000 with KClub Suit4Club Suit. The action folds back around to your opponent, who makes the call.

The flop comes down JSpade Suit10Club Suit3Club Suit, giving you a flush draw. Your opponent checks and you check behind. The turn is the AHeart Suit, which adds a gutshot straight draw to your hand. Your opponent checks and this time you bet 142,000.

Your opponent calls and the river is the ADiamond Suit. Your opponent checks and you have 620,000 behind.

The Questions

Do you check or bet? If checking, how often do you expect to win at showdown? If betting, how much? What realistic value hands are in your range given your line? What hands are in your opponents range given his line?

What Actually Happened

Jan BendikAt the 2016 EPT Grand Final main event in Monte Carlo, Vanessa Selbst found herself holding KClub Suit4Club Suit on a board reading JSpade Suit10Club Suit3Club SuitAHeart SuitADiamond Suit.

She decided to bluff 370,000 and her opponent, Joao Vieira instantly called with pocket tens for a full house. Selbst was left short stacked with just ten big blinds and ultimately busted in 26th place, earning €26,850. Vieira lasted until 13th place, picking up €53,310.

The eventual winner was Jan Bendik, a poker player from Slovakia, who pocketed €961,800 for the win, the largest score of his career. Previously, Bendik had finished in fifth place in the 2011 EPT San Remo main event.

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 6 years ago

once the river hits and i've missed my hand the only way to win the pot is to bet at this point i would have made a bet trying to make it look like a bait for an easy call, something suspicious like 125,000....either opponent is way ahead or must fold to a hand with aces+....unfortunately he had a monster and would certainly call any bet....with this approach if it didn't work i would have still had something in chips to work with.


over 6 years ago

Agree with x19 although I was thinking bet around 240k; still small but not so small he can easier call off with the hands you're trying to get to lay down.


over 6 years ago

I feel like checking is the right play here for a couple of reasons.

1) We checked the flop.

When we have the image of being an aggressive player, it might seem that checking the flop would indicate a strong hand. However, what made hands would we check and then improve on with an A A run out? Even still, I argue that a world-class player is going to bet a wet board like that with JJ+ and especially with AK. The only hands that make sense to check would be hands like the one we have, near nut draws that we can check for strong deception. I believe we bet all of our air hands, moderately strong hands, and nutted hands.

2) Our opponent doesn't have enough draws or non-made hands that will feel enough pressure to fold.

We have two clubs, discounting flush draws. KQ got there. 89 and Q9 are not in their range given the raise/flat pre. I guess hands like 88+ make sense, but based on my argument above in 1), I just don't believe we put enough pressure on them to fold the river if they have, say JJ. For our opponent, who has more chips, these are prime spots to pick off bluffs against an overly aggressive player. Why would we 3bet any hand preflop with an ace in it and then check the flop?


over 6 years ago

preflop play hero 3bet is dumb (utg2 is not the place to play k4s against utg1 raise open bet ) but thats what bullys do
flop play
great flop showdown equity (12 outs) 46%
what no cbet from hero thats dumb move number 2
turn play
hero bets (delayed cbet i guess ) bet size too small should have been 70% of pot not 50% (dumb move number3 )
river play
hero should kill herself now /hand played so bad i guess 1 more dumb move is in order hero bluffs river (dumb move number 4)
our hero is highly over rated and no skill only dumb aggression ( a bully )


over 6 years ago

I think with a hyper aggressive image your not getting very many hands to lay down that beat you there. Maybe KQ, and KQ might call there. Betting on the river there has negative expectations.