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Poker Hand Matchup: Justin Bonomo vs. Keith Tilston

Swords T 9 4 K

Justin Bonomo

Win Pre-Flop Win Post-Flop Win Post-Turn

Starting Stack: 1,040,000

A 2

28.19 %

18.18 %

6.82 %

Keith Tilston

Win Pre-Flop Win Post-Flop Win Post-Turn

Starting Stack: 855,000


65.99 %

79.19 %

93.18 %


Posted On: Mar 06, 2019


Preflop, with seven players remaining and blinds of 15,000-25,000 and a big blind ante of 25,000, Justin Bonomo raised to 50,000 from the cutoff. Keith Tilston three-bet to 175,000 from the small blind. Bonomo called. On the flop Tilston bet 100,000. Bonomo called. On the turn Tilston bet 200,000. Bonomo folded.


A common situation that can often be tough for beginner and intermediate poker players is when they have three-bet a strong hand, gotten called by one opponent and then entirely missed the flop. Most tournament players are comfortable making continuation bets in single-raised pots, even after having missed, but the increased size of the pot when there was a three-bet preflop can lead players to feel wary about following up their previous aggression. In this hand, poker’s all-time money leader Justin Bonomo made a somewhat loose open with A-2 suited from the cutoff. Keith Tilston picked up A-Q offsuit in the small blind and reraised to 175,000. Bonomo made the call and the pot ballooned to 400,000, or nearly half of what Tilston started the hand with. The ten-high flop improved neither player, and Tilston is left to decide how to proceed against one of poker’s most accomplished players from out of position with A-Q high. Jamie Kerstetter was doing live commentary for PokerGO, and shared the following kernel of wisdom. “What helps, as an amateur in that situation, is thinking of the range of cards that you can have. You say, ‘Alright, this time I have A-Q and I didn’t hit the board, but I can also have aces, kings, queens, jacks’ and Bonomo has to worry about you,” said Kerstetter. Tilston fired a continuation bet of a quarter of the size of the pot, a smallish sizing on the flop, which has been en vogue with the game’s top players as of late. Bonomo, with ace high and the backdoor nut flush draw, made the call. Tilston’s smaller c-bet will be called by a wider range, so he should likely be following it up with a higher frequency of second barrels. He did just that after the king hit the turn, firing another 200,000. Bonomo quickly released his hand and Tilston increased his stack dramatically, chipping up to 1,180,000 after backing up his preflop three-bet with some post-flop pressure.

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