Upswing Poker Lab subscribers get access toUpswing Poker Engage, a private Facebook group that allows members to post hands and poker questions at any time.
As an Upswing member, you can post to the Engage group and get feedback from Upswing’s roster of world-class coaches and top players. Upswing coaches Ryan “PokerWithRiske” Riske, Gary “GazzyB” Blackwood and Doug Polk frequently answer member questions, as do some of the most successful players in the Upswing family.
April 2022 yielded plenty of intriguing hands and poker discussion. Let’s take a look at the best posts from the Upswing Poker Engage group in April 2022:
Multiway on the River at 1000NL
Upswing Lab member Bruno L., himself one of the Engage Group’s best players, asked posted this interesting hand from the 1000NL online game that he regularly plays:
Bruno opens from under the gun with A♦K♥ and gets calls from the button and big blind. Action checks to Bruno on a monotone 6♠7♠A♠ flop, Bruno checks, and the button outs out a small bet. Both the big blind and Bruno call.
The turn comes Q♣, the big blind leads out for a half-pot bet, and both Bruno and the button call.
The river brings the 4♦, and the big blind (who Bruno describes as a whale) continues the aggression, putting $173 into a $345 pot. Action is on Bruno, who has top pair/top kicker with the button still left to act behind.
What’s Bruno’s best move in this unusual hand? Upswing coach Gary Blackwood weighed in:
“I’d make a disciplined fold here with the BTN behind to act; I expect BTN to fastplay flushes on the turn given he’s vs a whale but I expect him to still have sets/2p in his range,” wrote Blackwood. “Whale’s turn lead/sizing doesn’t exactly scream nutted hands but I very much doubt he’s bluffing into two people here either, I think I’d just call my 2p+ here and sleep happily at night!”
Sidney B., another of Upswing’s strongest players, agreed with Blackwood’s advice to fold. Bruno did end up folding, and made the right play as the button player showed ace-queen for two pair.
Bet Size Strategy
Melissa C., yet another well-respected player in the Engage Group, posted the following situation from the 100NL streets on PokerStars:
After calling a preflop three-bet with J♠T♠, Melissa flops a good amount of equity on a 4♦7♠9♦ flop. The preflop aggressor proceeds with a half-pot c-bet, and Melissa calls.
Both players then check the 4♠ turn. Melissa arrives at the 5♥ river with just jack-high, out of position. What’s her best bet sizing strategy in this spot?
This hand created plenty of discussion in the group, with many agreeing that Melissa’s block bet on the river should be included as part of an effective strategy.
“Firstly, I think having block as your smaller bet size here is completely fine,” commented Blackwood. “We get to block our 9x and our 88, which is a relatively decent chunk of our value range. These hands can’t really support a bigger bet size, so we do need a smaller bet size for these hands.”
Turning Second Pair Into a Bluff Shove
Online crusher Keith M. posted this ambitious river shove, which he made from the big blind against three barrels of aggression from an under-the-gun raiser:
Upswing Poker’s Mike Brady approved of Keith’s river jam:
“I love this shove,” Brady responded. “Exploitatively his turn sizing seems to me like a hand that wants to charge draws/get called but isn’t super strong. Might be a theoretical call but my intuition says it’s a better bluff. Curious what our coaches think of this one.”
Coach Blackwood obliged with his thoughts on the hand:
“Firstly, villain’s turn size, as we all suspected, it’s really poor,” Blackwood wrote. “He’s got a very clear overbet on this brick turn, and it’s not even close. As Mike says above, when regs choose this size in a spot where they KNOW they should be overbetting, they aren’t as strong as they should be.”
“If he has 99 or AA here for example, he is absolutely overbetting. So if hero perceives this player to know he should overbet, when he doesn’t overbet, we should perceive that as a sign of weakness.”