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Poker Hand of the Week: 9/23/16

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 21 players remaining in a live poker tournament and with 1,110,000, you are in the middle of the pack. The blinds are 15,000-30,000 with a 5,000 ante, giving you 37 big blinds to work with.

A player raises to 65,000 from middle position and it folds to you on the button. You look down at 9Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit and make the call. The big blind also calls and you see a three-handed flop of 9Spade Suit5Diamond Suit2Diamond Suit.

The big blind checks and the villain bets 115,000. He has a total of 455,000 behind and you have him covered by an additional 470,000.

The Questions

Do you call, fold or raise? Are there are any reasons for folding? If calling, what is your plan for turn if you improve? What if you don’t improve? If raising, how much? Are you raising for value or to take advantage of your fold equity? How likely are you to have the best hand right now? What kind of range has your opponent established so far? Does the presence of the big blind in the hand change your decision?

What Actually Happened

In the 2016 WPT Borgata Poker Open main event, Leif Hetland opted to raise Zachary Gruneberg’s bet of 115,000 to 250,000. The big blind, Daniel Zack, quickly folded and Grunberg moved all in for 570,000.

Hetland called with his 9Diamond Suit7Diamond Suit, but according to the Card Player Poker Odds Calculator, he was just a slight underdog at 45 percent to win against Gruneburg’s QDiamond SuitQClub Suit.

The turn and river fell 8Spade SuitQHeart Suit and Gruneberg doubled up. Hetland was left short stack and he was ultimately eliminated in 17th place, earning $20,191. Gruneberg went on to make the final table.

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 4 years ago

I call. He has to have a higher pair or two Broadway cards.. If I raise, he's going to go all in with such a short stack. This is a case where having a pair and a flush draw is not sufficient to risk a shove. You are only getting called by better. If the turn gives you the flush, I'd bet if he checks and I'd call again if he bets since it's unlikely he'd have bet the flop with a flush draw - to encourage him to bet the river.


over 4 years ago

well played i agree


over 4 years ago

I move all in, over the top of the villain. I have him covered by a significant amount, there's plenty of fold equity if he's not holding a big overpair (and a diamond to boot), and it's better to be applying pressure than calling off. I really hate how the actual hand went down as he's put himself in a position where he has to call off due to the size of the pot. Unfortunate that he went out 17th, but lets not be results oriented. Shoving on the flop is the right move.


over 4 years ago

tao will speak
tao says preflop hero play is ok ( position makes it ok )( suited connectors
tao likes a cheap flop (unraised pot) with 2 limpers

flop play
tao says size of pot and size of villian and hero stacks is important ( the
ratio between the pot size and villian stack make this a big pot)
tao says hero plan is to play a big pot ( that means get all the villians chips
into the pot)
tao says hero has flop top pair no kicker, plus flush draw equity is 66%
villian bets
tao says villian has just committed himself to the pot
tao says hero should min raise and let villian reraise shove allin or call (and let
villian hang himself ) (either way all the chips go into pot) now (flop)
or on the turn with a pot size bet
tao has spoken


over 4 years ago

I like a big raise on the turn. Try to fold out hands your ahead of but are drawing live, (like bigger flush draws or AK. Gamble with the players that have a over pair like QQ. Put your opponent to the test. No hard decisions on later streets.


over 4 years ago

Pot- 360k (15kSB, 195k Pre flop raise, 35k antes, 115k flop bet)

There is only 1 move and that is to flat call.

We can only expect the villain to be raising pre flop with high Kx's, mid-high range Ax's, as well as any pair. When the villain leads out for 115k in to a 245k pot we have to assume A9, A 10+ suited (unlikely as we have a 9 and 2 diamonds), a pair of 10+ (most likely since we are always calling on the button with our stack size), or a set (unlikely as the villain would bet the pot).

We are getting a good price to call, we need 2.3-1 (33/14) to call and we are getting 3.1-1 (360/115). This means we should ONLY call, there is no justification in raising as we are getting a good price to call, knowing we are behind, and we have to assume the villain is shipping the turn anyway.

When we call, the pot size will be 475k (360k + our 115k), the villain only has 455k left, so we are certain that they are shipping the turn. We would be risking a total of 180k (65k + 115k) to win 750k (65k + 115k + 455k + 115k) giving us an amazing 4-1 (735/180) return on our investment if we hit our outs.

If we miss the turn we can fold leaving us with 935k, the villain will have 930k, this would still leave us in good position with 21 players left, not to mention always having position on our villain.


over 4 years ago

tao will speak
to yourmistake thank you for using poker math
tao big believer in poker math
tao says a call is a reasonable move (getting pot odds of 25% and 28% equity to improve)
tao says your poker math of pot odds can often tell you whether calling a bet
is profitable , they do not say by how much so you need the concept of
expected value using showndown equity and fold equity
tao says your showndown equity is 56% but if you raise the villian my fold
(better know as 2 ways to win) your fold equity is 10% for a total of 66%
equity which makes a raise the best move (risk %25% vs reward 62% )


over 4 years ago

Taodungchi being able to identify our villains range is what allows us to make a more informed decision that determines whether or not we should call, raise or fold.

With 21 players left and with our mid range stack size we do not want to raise with the big blind still to act after us. Our hand is not great against a check-raise from the big blind or a re-raise from the villain.

*I have assumed the big blind will fold to the 115 000 raise. But if they flat call it will not change anything for us (apart from adding value to the pot) because if we do miss the turn we are folding anyway.*

i have to stress this point we really do not want to induce a raise that will lead to us having to "gamble" for potentially half our stack, leaving us in a bad position if we are 'unlucky', even if we are statistical favourite.

The rational choice is to flat call because we are only risking 180k in total to potentially win 750k if we hit our outs, while still leaving us in a good position for a much better spot in the future if we miss.