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A Hand Matchup from the 2020 WPT L.A. Poker Classic $10,000 No-Limit Hold'em

Swords 7 6 2 2 4

Matas Cimbolas

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

Starting Stack: 5,840,000

A K

73.35 %

82.42 %

79.55 %

Winner!

Ka Kwan Lau

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

Starting Stack: 2,485,000

A Q

22.24 %

14.95 %

6.82 %

Posted On: Jun 08, 2021


Outcome

Preflop, with five players remaining and blinds of 25,000-50,000 and a big blind ante of 50,000, Matas Cimbolas raised to 115,000 from under the gun. Ka Kwan Lau called from the cutoff. On the flop Cimbolas bet 115,000, and Lau called. On the turn Cimbolas checked, and Lau checked. On the river Cimbolas bet 75,000, and Lau called.

Analysis

Lithuanian poker pro Matas Cimbolas makes an interesting and shrewd value bet on the river in this clash with Spain’s Ka Kwan Lau. Cimbolas had finished second in the 2019 running of this same tournament for a huge $646,930 payday and was looking to improve on that deep run and take down his second WPT title this time around. His quest to be the last player standing was off to a strong start in the first 35 hands, and he had managed to overtake the chip lead from Balakrishna Patur by the time this hand was dealt. Cimbolas opened as the first to act with A-K suited and Lau, who was the second shortest stack among the final five, called with A-Q offsuit from the cutoff. A seven-high flop saw Cimbolas fire a continuation bet of roughly one-third the size of the pot. Lau called in position with his overcards to the board and possibilities for a backdoor nut flush. The board paired on the turn and Cimbolas took his foot off the gas. His check was met with a check from Lau, who might have figured his A-Q high to be strong enough to just pot control and try to see a cheap showdown. The river brought another low card and Cimbolas made an interesting decision, betting 75,000 into the pot of 585,000. Cimbolas could have checked with the intention of using his hand as a bluff catcher, but instead used this tiny sizing to try to extract value from Lau’s unimproved high-card holdings, like the A-Q offsuit he held in this particular instance. Lau might have felt compelled to keep Cimbolas honest given that his hand was so under-represented, flat-calling preflop and not taking any aggressive action during the post-flop betting rounds. Cimbolas likely earned an additional 1.5 big blinds as a result, taking down the small pot to further extend his lead. Lau went on to finish fifth in this event, taking home $243,330 for the second-largest score of his career.

 
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