limitless vs linus

Millionaire Poker Pro Gets Tricky With Pocket Aces in $116,668 Pot (Analysis)

There’s not much better than watching two of the world’s best poker players battle it out at high stakes.

The stakes are truly massive in today’s hand. The blinds are $200/$400 ($80 ante) and the effective stack is around $58,000.

Two of the world’s best players battle it out in this one. In one corner, we have Linus (LLinusLove) Loeliger from Switzerland. His opponent is Polish poker pro Viktor (Limitless) Malinowski.

Let’s get down to business!

The Lucid GTO Cash Game Trainer

Note: Supported game types at launch include cash games and heads-up. Tournaments and spin and gos are coming soon.



Wiktor opens up the action by raising $880 from the Cutoff with . Linus re-raises to $3,000 with from the Button. Wiktor 4-bets to $8,880. Linus calls.

Simple Preflop Analysis

Both pros played this street perfectly.

Wiktor’s decision to raise and then 4-bet with Pocket Aces is obviously good. With the best possible starting hand, his goal is to build the pot ASAP and try to win the maximum in this hand.

Linus has a very strong hand himself. Facing Wiktor’s raise, he makes a smart play by 3-betting (i.e. re-raising) with . Once his aggressive opponent re-raises again, his hand is clearly strong enough to call in position.

Advanced Preflop Analysis

Wiktor should be open-raising with around the top 35% of hands from the Cutoff, which Pocket Aces is obviously part of.

Faced with this raise on the Button, Linus can employ a couple of strategies: either a 3-bet-only strategy or a mixed strategy of flatting and 3-betting. They both produce the same amount of expected value (EV) in theory. In either case, 3-betting with Ace-Queen suited is a must as it is an extremely strong hand preflop, even when facing an open raise.

After facing the 3-bet, Wiktor should be looking to 4-bet aggressively to deny Linus the opportunity to 3-bet too loosely. We are talking about 4-betting with around 20% of his open-raising range. The morphology of the range consists of:

Pocket Aces are an absolute must 4-bet. I like that Wiktor recognized they are playing deep, around 150bb effective, and adjusted his 4-bet size to create an appropriate stack-to-pot ratio (SPR). This denied Linus the edge of playing in position with a high SPR.

Linus should be defending with roughly 50% of his range against this 4-bet. Pocket pairs and strong suited broadways are the obvious calls, with Ace-Queen offsuit being the line between calling and folding given the large 4-bet size. Because they are so deep, Linus should also mostly be calling his strong pocket pairs like Pocket Jacks through Aces and Ace-King, as opposed to 5-betting.


The flop comes . The pot is $18,760.

Wiktor bets $5,628. Linus calls.

Simple Flop Analysis

An interesting flop gives Linus the nut flush draw against Wiktor’s powerful overpair.

With his Aces, Wiktor can bet small (like he did) or go for a tricky check. Both options are reasonable. Let’s quickly consider the merits of each:

  • Betting builds the pot and charges draws, which is good when you have a strong hand like Aces on this flop.
  • Checking is a deceptive play that makes you tougher to play against and gives your opponent the chance to bluff if they have nothing.

Against Wiktor’s small bet, Linus has the perfect calling hand.

Like preflop, both pros played this street well.

Advanced Flop Analysis

While normally on a low, paired board like this, the 4-bettor (Wiktor) would have a large range advantage, that effect is neutralized because Linus will be calling with a lot of his strongest pocket pairs.

If we also take into consideration the low SPR, it leads us to conclude that Wiktor should be splitting his strategy down the middle with most of his range (split 50/50 between betting and checking).

Against this 30% pot size, Linus should be defending passively, by only calling. He should be looking to make calls with hands as weak as in this scenario. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s how a solver can balance out future street stabs.


The turn comes the , making the board . The pot is $30,016.

Wiktor bets $9,000. Linus calls.

Simple Turn Analysis

After betting on the flop, Wiktor should continue his aggression on the turn. His small bet size (under 1/3rd of the pot) is very smart because it sets up a reasonably-sized “all-in” on the river.

Let’s do some quick and rough math. If Linus calls this $9,000 turn bet, there will be around $48,000 in the pot on the river. That works out perfectly for Wiktor because then Linus will have about $34,000 behind (less than pot).

It often makes sense to size your flop and turn bets in a way that sets up the pot for a potential “all-in” the river, just like Wiktor did in this hand.

With his turned top pair to go with his nut flush draw, Linus has an easy call. He has a very powerful hand at this point, but he’s unlucky in that he’s up against Aces. He’ll need a spade or queen on the river to bail him out of trouble!

Advanced Turn Analysis

This is a great turn for Wiktor’s overall range of hands because a lot of his flop bluffs have now improved to top pair. Specifically, hands like Ace-Queen, King-Queen suited, and Queen-Jack suited.

Wiktor should look to continue barreling here at a high frequency with a low size, showcasing his advantage over Linus’ range. A small bet is good due to the low SPR that allows him to easily get all-in on the river, while also allowing him to thinly value bet with hands such as Pocket Jacks and Pocket Tens.

Linus has an easy call with the top pair plus nut flush draw. In theory, even a hand such as Ace-King is close between calling and folding due to its blocker properties such as blocking Aces, Kings, and Ace-Queen, while beating all of Wiktor’s bluffs.


The river comes the , making the final board   . The pot is $48,016.

Wiktor checks. Linus shoves his stack of $34,326. (Results are below the analysis.)

Simple River Analysis

Wiktor’s hand is clearly good enough to bet all-in for value on this river, but he opts for a tricky check. This slow-play puts the ball in Linus’s court, giving him a chance to shove all-in himself with either a missed draw or a worse made hand.

Against the check, Linus is right to feel confident with his . He will usually have the best hand, here, which is why he is actually hoping for a call when he goes all-in. If Wiktor had a hand like or , he would be quite tempted to put Linus on a missed draw and call this all-in.

In this hand, it really didn’t matter what Wiktor did on the river. If he went all-in, Linus would surely have called with his top pair top kicker. He was going to win the whole stack regardless.

Advanced River Analysis

The is not the biggest brick river in this situation, as a bunch of hands have improved to showdown value. Plus, both players have the full house of Tens in their ranges. That being said, it’s not an action killer by any means. 

Wiktor should still keep barreling with his Ace-Queen or better for value given the clean runout, while mixing in some Ace-King bluffs. Checking here is interesting; it’s definitely an exploitative deviation on his part. He is probably assuming that Linus will be either value betting too thinly, bluffing too often, or simply folding too much compared to how frequently he bets.

Linus’ shove is on par with the theoretical solution, given that Wiktor shouldn’t have Pocket Aces in this line. It’s a thin value shove, designed to get value from hands like weak , strong , and Pocket Jacks.

When Wiktor shows up with Aces here, this unbalances the equation and makes shoving with Ace-Queen quite a lot worse than what you would see in the simulation.


The river comes the , making the final board   . The pot is $48,016.

Wiktor checks. Linus shoves his stack of $34,326. Wiktor calls and wins the $116,668 pot.

What do you think of how this hand was played?

Let me know in the comments below.

I’m also curious to hear what you think of this new hand analysis article format, where simple analysis is followed by advanced analysis.

The goal of this new format is to help all Upswing readers get value, no matter their skill level or familiarity with poker jargon.

Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!


Related Posts

Home > Millionaire Poker Pro Gets Tricky With Pocket Aces in $116,668 Pot (Analysis)
Home > Millionaire Poker Pro Gets Tricky With Pocket Aces in $116,668 Pot (Analysis)
About the Author
Dan B.

Dan B.

Online grinder aspiring to reach the highest stakes and crush the toughest games. I'm available for quick strategy questions and hourly coaching -- reach out to me at [email protected].

Put Your Skills to the Test with Quick Poker Quizzes!