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Poker Strategy -- Bart Hanson Correctly Folds Pocket Kings at LAPC Main Event

Hanson Breaks Down Big Hand Wherein He Made a Big Laydown


Bart Hanson (pictured right) is an accomplished cash-game player and poker commentator who has lent his voice to such projects as Cash Plays, Live at the Bike, and Deuce Plays.

Recently, Hanson took a break from the side-games to focus on the L.A. Poker Classic main event wherein he went deep and finished in the money. Early on day 4, Hanson lost the minimum with pocket kings and correctly determined that he was beat in a big pot with Jamie Brown and Eugene Katchalov.

Ironically, if Hanson hadn’t made such a great read, he would have tripled up and been a strong force near the top of the leader board. In this interview, Hanson breaks down the hand and gives the reasoning behind his decisions.

Event L.A. Poker Classic Blinds 1,500-3,000 with a 500 ante
Players Bart Hanson Eugene Katchalov Jamie Brown
Hands K-K Q-8 8-8
Chip Counts 150,000 235,000 191,500

The Hand

Bart Hanson raised to 7,000 from early position and was called by Jamie Brown in the cutoff. Eugene Katchalov called in the big blind, and the flop came down Q-8-4.

Katchalov decided to lead for 11,500, and Hanson called. Brown then raised to 28,000, and after some time in the tank, Katchalov reraised to 65,000.

Hanson folded, and Brown called. The turn was a 7, and Katchalov and Brown both got the rest of their stacks all in. Katchalov showed Q-8 for top two pair, but he was drawing slim to Brown’s set of eights.

The river was a king, and Brown more than doubled up to over 400,000. Katchalov was crippled down to just over 40,000. Hanson, who folded kings and would’ve won the hand had he stayed in, was left with 131,000.

The Interview

Julio Rodriguez: Getting away from kings on that flop isn’t easy. Can you talk about your thought process throughout the hand?

Bart Hanson: The board came out really dry — Q-8-4 complete rainbow — and Eugene led out at the pot. This tournament has such a great structure, and we were pretty deep, so I just think that’s a spot where if I raise, he’s going to be folding out a lot of hands, like Q-J, that I want to stick around. If I just call, I’ll be winning more money the times that I’m ahead, and it also allows me to see what Jamie is going to do behind me.

JR: Jamie decided to raise behind you and then Eugene thought it over for a while before it got back to you.

BH: Yeah, it was a really small raise, and Eugene went into the tank for a bit. While he was doing that, I was thinking to myself that I wasn’t sure what I was going to do if Eugene folded. On one hand, it’s a great spot for Jamie just to make a play at this pot, simply because I decided to flat-call. So if he doesn’t have much of a hand, I’m not going to get much more from him whether I raise now or on a later street. On the other hand, he could actually have a hand that has me drawing pretty slim.

Luckily for me, Eugene made things easy by three-betting to 65,000. I mean, I guess my hand might be good a very small percentage of the time, but I just don’t think Eugene’s getting out of line with a hand like A-Q or anything like that. Not to mention that he’s a good player who will often lead with his big hands, so I just decided to fold.

JR: At that point, were you pretty sure of what your opponents were holding?

BH: I knew Eugene had me beat with a big hand, but I didn’t know what to think of Jamie’s hand until he flat-called. At that point, I knew the money was going to get in on the turn, which it did. It turns out both had me beat with two pair and a set, but I would have gotten lucky on the river when the king fell.

If I had made a bad read or a quick decision, I most likely would’ve tripled up. Instead, I’ll just have to settle for the fact that I made a good decision at the time.

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over 11 years ago

The river isn't going to save you more times than not. lol, that's stupid to say. You must not play that often. He had a 5% chance of hitting the King on the river, which it did happen, but it's rare.

And ignorance does not pay off in poker... you may get lucky every once in a while, but you will rarely make it into the money in a tournament.

He's not going to feel like an idiot either... he made a good read and made the right move. As a player, when you make a read like that, and it was correct, you gain more confidence in yourself... not beat yourself up because you would have gotten extremely lucky.


over 11 years ago

lol OP


over 11 years ago

Richenough is dumb enough


over 11 years ago

Richenough: Terrible logic. You rarely give anyone credit for anything. The guy realizes his KK is no good and makes the proper fold. He is roughly a 92%-8% dog after the flop. So what if he luckboxes a K on the river. Based on the info provided to him at the time he made the proper fold.


over 11 years ago

Richenough: You need to take into account that he also had less chips than the other opponents. And in tournament poker you can not just call or raise your stack off because if your wrong your done. And also he has been playing with these players for hours open hours. He made the right decision.