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Poker Strategy -- Negreanu Makes a Good Call in Lowball

Daniel Negreanu Shares His Thoughts On a Key Hand in the $10k 2-7 Tournament

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Daniel NegreanuIt’s no secret that Daniel Negreanu is one of the best all-around poker players on the planet and knows how to play all the games at a high level.

Even in one of his self-admitted worst games, 2-7 no-limit single draw, he was able to score an eighth place finish in the $10,000 championship event.

We caught up with Negreanu to discuss a hand where he made a call with a king-low against Vincent Musso with just 14 players left in the $10,000 2-7 no-limit single draw championship.

The Hand

Event — Blinds/Antes WSOP Event No. 19 2,500-5,000 with a 1,500 ante
Players Daniel Negreanu Vincent Musso
Chip Count 106,000 340,000
Hand K-8-4-3-2 ?

Action had folded around to Daniel Negreanu in the small blind, who made it 20,000 and was called by Vincent Musso.

Negreanu drew two cards and Musso drew one. After the draw, Negreanu checked and Musso bet 40,000. Negreanu thought for a few minutes before making the call. Negreanu tabled K-8-4-3-2 and Musso mucked his hand.

The Interview

Daniel NegreanuSteve Schult: So let’s start with the pre-draw action. Is this a pretty typical steal spot? And how wide would your range be?

Daniel Negreanu: My range is pretty wide there. It’s not a definite steal spot though, and it is sort of borderline. I had a good three-card hand with 8-4-2, and since you can’t limp in this game, it’s either raise or fold.

I had a pretty tight image at that table, he was a tight player, and I was short on chips, so I could use the blinds, so I decided to raise.

SS: What about your sizing before the draw? Is four times the blind standard for you? Is there any merit to making it smaller?

DN: I was out of position, so I didn’t want to let him get in cheap. In this game, position is everything.

Since I was out of position, I wanted to raise bigger and charge him more since he was going to have position on me after the draw. I was raising bigger than most people were, but that’s just a part of my game I don’t want to disclose information about.

SS: So now you draw two, while keeping your 8-4-2, and he draws one. What does that tell you about his hand?

Daniel NegreanuDN: He could have a rough nine or a rough ten, he would obviously reraise me with a better hand, so I don’t think he’s got anything too strong.

SS: Well, he doesn’t have anything too strong, but you only made a king-low. What kind of showdown value does that have?

DN: It’s got a lot of showdown value in that spot. It beats any ace and any pair, so that’s 16 cards in the deck that he could catch that I would beat. And he has to bet since I drew two, so I’m always going to check to him after the draw.

SS: You kind of beat me to my next question. Are you ever leading into him in this spot after you make the king? It could take the bluff away from him and maybe not put you in such a tough spot.

DN: No, I never do that. That’s just not a part of my game. I’m going to be check-raising some hands after the draw, so I’m definitely never leading.

SS: What range of hands would you be check-raising? Would you check-raise something as weak as a 10 or a 9-low?

DN: I would check-raise an 8, I would check-call a 9 or a 10.

Daniel NegreanuSS: After you check, he fires 40,000, which is a pretty significant amount of your stack. What’s going through your mind at this point and what led you to make the call?

DN: I know he has to bet, but in this game there obviously aren’t any cards showing so there isn’t any information. So I was looking for how he put out his chips and my gut was telling me to call. It’s like in the book ‘Blink.’

It’s all just feel and watching him. I just kind of went back over everything about the hand and looked at him and I saw something that made me think I should call. My gut told me to call, so I ended up making the call.

SS: Thanks for your time and good luck the rest of the series.