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Poker Hand of the Week: Jason Koon vs. Charlie Carrel

Let Us Know How You Would Have Played The Hand

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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 Hand

At the PokerStars Championship Bahamas $100,000 super high roller event, sitting on more than a 3:1 chip lead heads-up, Jason Koon limped in on the button and Charlie Carrel checked his option from the big blind. The flop came down KDiamond SuitQSpade Suit2Spade Suit and Carrel checked.

Koon checked behind and the turn was the 8Spade Suit. Again, both players checked. The river was the JDiamond Suit and Carrel bet 400,000.

Koon then moved all in, leaving Carrel with a decision to make for his final 2,410,000 in chips, worth about 20 big blinds. Eventually, Carrel called off the rest of his stack, showing down KClub Suit7Diamond Suit. Koon turned over QHeart Suit8Diamond Suit, however, for two pair and the winning hand.

The Questions

What do you think of Koon’s preflop limp? What about his check on the flop with second pair? What about his turn check with two pair? Should Carrel have bet the flop with his top pair in an unraised pot? Should he have bet the turn? Was it wise for him to disguise the strength of his hand? Can Carrel realistically get away from his hand on the river? What hands are in Koon’s range that Carrel can beat?

The Aftermath

Carrel’s elimination in second place was still worth a whopping $1,191,900, the second largest score of his career. The young Brit now has just over $5 million in career live tournament earnings.

Koon picked up $1,650,300 for the victory, continuing a hot streak that started last summer and saw him finish 17th in the 2016 Card Player Player of the Year race. The West Virginia native now has $8.1 million in career live tournament earnings.

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

taodungchi
almost 4 years ago

taodung says koons preflop limp was weak
taodung says koon should have raised 2.5 xbb
taodung says koon check on flop was weak
taodung says koon should have made 65% of pot side value bet

taodung says koon check on turn was weak
taodung says koon should have bet made pot size value bet

taodung says carrel should have made a bet on flop 65% of pot
taodung says carrel should have bet the turn 65% of pot
taodung says carrel slow play was wrong
taodung says carrel bet on river was ok calling allin shove by koon was wrong
taodung says carrel can only baet second pair or weaker top pair

taodung says both player are tight passive ( trappers)
taodung says carrel had 31% equity on flop 25% equity on turn and 29% equity on river
taodung says koon had 24% equity on flop had 32% equity on turn and 38% equity on river

 
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cory_costa22
over 3 years ago

What he said^^

 
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Andrew44
over 3 years ago

What do you think of Koon’s preflop limp?
A: I don't think it's awful, being in position with a big lead I expect him to raise a wide range of hands, any ace, any decent king, all suited connectors, all Broadway cards, so the fact that he just limps with Q8 offsuit makes some sense, being in position, opponent can easily shove a lot of hands you don't hold blockers to, don't want to bloat the pot or raise fold to a shove.
What about his check on the flop with second pair?
A: Checking behind I think is a mistake, heads up it's going to be the best hand fairly often, any better queen or a decent king is raising pre, if Carell check shoves it's a clear fold and we don't play a big pot and get away pretty cheap bet folding and not letting a free card roll off for our opponent. Carell doesn't really have a stack to play a lot of deep pots calling or betting three streets, I like the standard big stack pressuring short stack move. Especially with two spades and us holding none.
What about his turn check with two pair?
A: Given the situation, and pre-flop and check check flop, this turn card is almost always good enough to be the nuts. Extremely unlikely Carrel has a better two pair, any set definitely bets by the turn if not raising pre, and being that Carrel has played the hand so passively, I don't think a check behind is the worst now because he's unlikely to have anything to call with, hopefully he improves his hand on the river and we can get stacks in.
Should Carrel have bet the flop with his top pair in an unraised pot?
A: yes. This I think is a mistake checking. Top pair is the best hand here nearly all of the time, any better king is raising pre, any pocket pair is raising pre, with his holding he's really not likely to improve much other than two pair or a set, so I think protecting top pair, especially when we have such a short stack, is very important. Not betting top pair and having no draw is just trying to get to showdown cheaply I think, out of position with the turn and river to play.
Should he have bet the turn?
A: It's not a complete brick, putting three spades out there, perhaps if we held a blocker as well as top pair I like betting the turn as its still pretty likely that top is good, maybe we get stacks in on a flush draw or a queen, checking again looks very weak, as if we have no showdown value when we have quite a bit.
Was it wise for him to disguise the strength of his hand?
A: If he's not going to bet at the flop, I think with the weakness Carrel has shown thus far it's fine, knowing Carrel cannot bet fold a lot.
Can Carrel realistically get away from his hand on the river?
A: Pretty gross spot, although not completely unexpected given our stack size. The entire hand has played so passively to this point, any hand we bet with our stack should be regarded heavily towards value holdings such as top pair here. If we do bet with our stack size I think we're calling it off a lot.
What hands are in Koon’s range that Carrel can beat?
A: Koon could possibly have a worse king, especially if that is the king of spades blocking some flush draws, a lot of Queens, some combos of jacks like one and double gappers. Given the fact its played so passively and Carell on such a short stack he should be fairly committed, any bet, especially on the river should be a value holding. I don't think Carell was expecting to face a shove, Koon could easily be trying to blow him off a hand like he has and pressuring the short stack, but the way it played out it's pretty hard to find a fold unless we commit to just bet folding river.

 
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