Texas poker is known for having crazy action with lots of straddles and super deep stacks.
This hand between Doug Polk and Lodge Card Club regular JWin is proof of that. The two squared off in a $25/$50 game with a $100 straddle. Both had stacks of $30,000+ to start the hand.
Watch one of the most interesting hands from the session below and keep reading for a written recap and analysis.
— The Lodge Card Club (@LodgePokerClub) May 11, 2022
Doug opens to $250 with J♣ T♥ from the Hijack. JWin 3-bets from the Small Blind to $1,100 with Q♦ Q♣. Doug calls.
Doug’s open raise with J♣ T♥ is likely a bit too loose given that there are no antes involved. Although he should be raising slightly looser than normal from the Hijack with the straddle out there for the taking, JT-offsuit is likely just outside of that range. That being said, his raise size of 2.5x the straddle is correct.
JWin’s 3-bet is the best line with Pocket Queens and his sizing is also correct. He should be 3-betting with roughly the top 7-8% of hands, which Pocket Queens obviously falls into.
If Doug’s open-raise is maybe a small mistake, his call against the 3-bet is way too loose. Against JWin’s very strong, linear range, JTo is doing quite terribly and should hit the muck. But Doug isn’t a big fan of folding on The Lodge Live stream. Let’s see a flop.
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The flop comes A♣ K♠ Q♥ and the pot is $2,400.
JWin (Q♦ Q♣) checks. Doug (J♣ T♥) bets $1,600. JWin calls.
JWin’s check with his flopped set is a mistake. He has a large range advantage (due to Doug’s abundance of medium and low pocket pairs) and nut advantage (due to JWin having all of the two pairs, sets, and the straight, while Doug only has some of those). In this scenario, he should be looking to capitalize on that by betting with his entire range for a small size.
Faced with a check, Doug should always bet with his hand to build the pot. He should be using a polarizing size (66-75% pot), just like he did.
Back to JWin, who correctly calls Doug’s bet. He cannot raise for value against the range that Doug should be betting with because Doug will either have a bluff
The turn comes the 8♥, making the board (A♣ K♠ Q♥) 8♥. The pot is $5,600.
JWin (Q♦ Q♣) checks. Doug (J♣ T♥) fires another bet of $3,900. JWin calls.
The turn is a complete brick.
JWin correctly checks as he is in a bluff-catching scenario with his range. He is still behind Doug’s perceived range in terms of nut combinations (i.e. exactly JT). He should never donk-bet.
Doug correctly double barrels with his straight, but given how deep they are, the best bet size is an overbet in order to put more pressure on JWin’s range. His goal should be to extract maximum value for his strongest hands, especially when JWin can potentially have a lot of hands that have a lot of equity such as the sets, two-pairs and monster draws (A♥ T♥, A♥ J♥, K♥ J♥, and K♥ T♥).
JWin’s call is the best play that he has against Doug’s polarized range. He cannot raise for value and expect to be called by worst more than a small fraction of the time.
The river comes the K♥, making the board (A♣ K♠ Q♥ 8♥) K♥. The pot is still $13,400.
JWin checks. Doug checks. JWin wins $13,400.
The K♥ is the second-best card in the deck for JWin (behind the A♥). This is the Uno Reverse Card equivalent in poker.
Why is this card so good? Because his range was mostly made out of sets, Ace-King and A♥ J♥ and A♥ T♥ while Doug’s was mostly made out of straights and two-pairs. JWin’s range is now outclassing Doug’s so much that he should be leading out with the vast majority of his hands.
Pocket Queens should definitely lead out. As far as sizing goes, I’d bet around 33% of the pot.
Faced with a check, Doug’s check back is by far the best play. This is especially true when JWin makes the mistake of checking with super-strong hands on the river, making his range even stronger than it should be.
It’s easy to say that Doug was unlucky in this hand, but he shouldn’t have been in it in the first place. That said, he was probably trying to make the game/stream more fun by playing loosely, rather than trying to maximize his win-rate.
That’s all for this analysis guys! If you have a particular hand you’d like to see analyzed here on the Upswing Poker strategy blog, comment below with your request.
If you want more hand analysis right now, check out Garrett Adelstein vs Daniel Negreanu ($440,000 Pot Analysis).
Until next time, good luck, grinders!
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