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Poker Strategy -- Lauren Kling Breaks Down Hand From Full Tilt $1K Monday

Kling Explains How To Get Maximum Value From Flush


Rising online poker star Lauren “SUPERMODL” Kling made headlines two weeks ago when she finished runner up in the UB Online Championship (UBOC) Main Event for $163,244. The score put an impressive cap on an amazing January run where she made final tables at the Sunday Mulligan, $100 rebuy and $1K Monday.

In this interview, Kling talks strategy, breaking down a key hand against Corey “Comandr_Cool” Burbick that catapulted her to a third-place finish in the $1K Monday where she earned $44,760.

Take a look at the interview below.

Event — Blinds/Ante $1K Monday 800-1,600 with a 200 ante
Players Lauren “locoenlacabeza” Kling Corey “Comandr_Cool” Burbick
Chip Count 68,178 65,406
Hole Cards 7Diamond Suit 6Diamond Suit KDiamond Suit QClub Suit

The Hand

Lauren Kling raised to 4,000 in middle position and Corey Burbick made the call from the button. The flop came down AClub Suit QDiamond Suit 5Diamond Suit and Kling continued with a bet of 7,978.

Burbick made the call and the 10Diamond Suit hit the turn. Kling fired 16,000 and Burbick went into the tank.

After some time had passed, Burbick then reraised all in for 53,228. Klind made the call for the additional 37,228 and the players revealed their hole cards.

Klind showed 7Diamond Suit 6Diamond Suit for the turned flush and Burbick showed KDiamond Suit QClub Suit for second pair with the straight and flush draw.

The river was the AHeart Suit and Kling took down the 134,612 pot, sending Burbick to the rail.

The Interview

Julio Rodriguez: You raised it up in middle position with a small suited connnector. Is this a standard raising hand on your part or was the table acting especially passive at that point?

Lauren Kling: Honestly, there is nothing I consider to be “standard” in poker. Each play I make is completely different and for a different reason. Decisions I make depend on the table dynamics, my image, stack sizes, and several other variables, which are relevant at the time. In this particular situation, I had shown pocket nines the previous hand. So considering that I had just shown a good hand and won, I thought raising the very next hand in middle position would look strong. There was already a significant amount in the middle and I would have been happy picking up the blinds and antes, adding roughly 15% to my stack.

JR: Did you have any prior history with Corey Burbick that may have influenced this hand?

LK: I have played with Corey quite a bit and he is a very aggressive and good high stakes regular, who will flat in position. Post flop, he three and four bets a lot and really puts pressure on his opponent. I have seen him four bet fold with a big stack, so I always assume he is capable of anything.

JR: He called you on the button, forcing you to take the flop out of position. Would you pretty much have shut it down unless you connected with the flop in some way or were you planning on a continuation bet no matter what came?

LK: Since both of us have around 42 big blinds, I know he is probably flatting in position with broadways or small pairs and reraising big aces or big pairs, so the texture of the flop is really important when considering whether or not I should continuation bet. Another important factor when continuation betting is stack sizes. If a 15 big blind stack is flatting behind and I don’t hit the flop, often times it is best to check to them because when you continuation bet, you leave them with a perfect stack to reraise jam.

JR: Since you did, in fact, flop the flush draw, what led to your decision to bet? Did you consider check raising, or perhaps keeping the pot small with your draw? What if he decided to raise your flop bet?

LK: I fired because I thought I had the best hand and the ace on the flop is a great card to represent. The best times to try to keep the pot small is in position against an unknown player so you can maximize value and minimize loses. When you’re playing against a regular, there is a completely different dynamic to the hand because you probably know each other and you know the other is a capable, thinking player, so I usually approach the two situations differently.

I didn’t check because checking gives me the least amount of information on Corey’s hand. If he reraises, then at least I can put him on a range of hands such as a draw, two pair, set, etc. Also, if I check and he checks behind, I lose value in my hand if I do hit the draw. When I play, my goal is to make my decisions as easy as possible and the more information I have about my opponents hand, the easier my decisions become. When he reraises, he usually min reraises, so I would have probably called and check jammed the turn when the diamond hit.

JR: He ended up just calling on the flop. When he does this, what kind of hand are you putting him on? Is there any chance that he may have a higher diamond draw than you?

LK: When he just flats behind on the flop, the only type of hand that makes sense for him to have is a broadway hand like king queen with a diamond or a hand like ace ten with the ace of diamonds. If he has two diamonds in his hand, I would assume he reraises me on the flop. He would also reraise a set of fives or a hand like ace queen, but after playing with him several times, I think he reraises preflop with bigger aces like I mentioned earlier.

JR: You hit the flush on the turn and now it is all about extracting the most value. What made you decide to bet again? Were you afraid that if you checked he would suspect something or perhaps check behind and kill your action?

LK: Corey is a more than competent player and I have to constantly apply pressure to see where I am in the hand and to build the pot when I think I have the best hand. If I check jam or check raise, it’s too fishy and I lose bluff value. When I lead out, I give him the opportunity to reraise and get it in with a worse hand, considering how aggressive he is, especially if I assume he has the ace or queen of diamonds. Also, I always want to bet in that situation because last thing I want to do is give him a free card, so not only am I charging him to see another card with all of his draws, but I am building the pot, and getting him to shove weaker hands.

JR: What do you think he did wrong in this hand? How would you have played his hand differently?

LK: I think he played it fine. There are several hands I could have had and when he got his money in, he had straight and flush draw outs, which he thought, without actually knowing my hand. Although, unless I have the ace of diamonds, I probably check call with any other ace and even a hand like ace queen when another diamond hits, so I can get more value from bluffs or draws and lose the minimum against better hands. Obviously, there’s many different ways to play hands or play this hand, but it really depends on how your opponent plays and other table dynamics. Each situation in poker is completely different and it is crucial to have the ability to adjust accordingly.

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