You know that adrenaline rush you get when you play a huge pot in a poker game?
Some people don’t even feel that when playing for $10,000, $20,000, or $40,000.
No, in order for these sickos to feel a true rush, they need to play for enough money to buy a house.
Let’s look at one of those house-level hands today. It comes from the show “No Gamble, No Future” which was produced and broadcast by PokerGO.
The blinds are $200/$400 with an $800 straddle and a double straddle up to $1,600. There’s a $400 big blind ante as well.
The effective stacks are roughly $300,000.
Without any further ado, let’s dive into the action!
Casino owner Eric Persson limps on the Button with K♥ 3♥. Chugh over-limps with 8♠ 4♥ from the Small Blind. Alan Keating raises to $11,600 with A♣ Q♠ from the Big Blind. Hanks calls from the second straddle with J♣ 8♣. Persson calls. Chugh calls.
Persson kicks this one off by limping with a hand that is strong enough to raise. Perssonally — pun intended — I would never limp in this situation. There is an ante in play, but it’s only $400, so it doesn’t juice the pot quite enough to justify a limping range with 4 players to act behind.
Chugh should fold from the Small Blind with 84-offsuit and 3 players left to act behind him. It’s hard to say exactly what hands he should be playing here, but it’s safe to say that he should be raising over Persson’s limp with a strong range, made of the top ~15-20% of hands. This way he can capitalize on some fold equity and also increase the size of the pot.
Keating makes the best play here by raising with Ace-Queen offsuit over the limpers. He should be raising with roughly the same range that Chugh should be raising with. His raise size is also good.
Hanks’ call is too loose with J8-suited. He simply won’t win the pot enough of the time to justify calling with the pot odds that he is getting. He should be re-raising most or all of the hands with which he continues. Hands that are definitely worth playing here include 99+, AQo+, ATs+, KTs+, and A5s–A4s.
Persson’s call with K3-suited and Chugh’s call with 84-offsuit are too loose, but they both opt to call. Let’s see three!
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The flop comes K♣ 9♣ 3♣. The pot is $47,600.
Chugh (8♠ 4♥) checks. Keating (A♣ Q♠) c-bets $20,000. Hanks (J♣ 8♣) calls. Persson (K♥ 3♥) calls. Chugh folds.
Chugh’s check is fine. His hand has missed completely.
Keating should probably be checking with his entire range given that he is out of position against 2 players on a monotone board. This type of board usually favors the callers since they tend to have more suited hands in their range, and thus they will more often have flushes.
That being said, if Keating does want to have a betting range, his nut flush draw is a good candidate because he can improve to the nuts quite often. However, his size is probably too big given that there are so many players involved. A smaller bet such as $12,000 will force roughly the same amount of folds for a smaller risk.
Hanks can either call or raise with his flopped flush; both decisions seem good. Calling works a bit better in practice because you can induce extra calls behind you with hands such as two pair and pair+flush draw, whereas those hands may hit the muck if you raise.
Persson has a tough decision here. On the one hand, he has a strong hand in absolute terms (two pair). On the other hand, unless he improves to a full house, his hand is a pure bluff-catcher on many runouts. I can’t blame him for calling the flop, but he should be proceeding very cautiously — this is a precarious spot for two pair.
The turn comes the A♦, making the board (K♣ 9♣ 3♣) A♦. The pot is $107,600.
Keating (A♣ Q♠) checks. Hanks (J♣ 8♣) checks. Persson (K♥ 3♥) bets $35,000. Keating calls. Hanks raises $115,000. Persson immediately re-raises all-in to $244,000. Keating folds.
The turn doesn’t change the board significantly. Keating now has a bit of showdown value with his top pair. Checking makes the most sense for a couple of reasons:
- He may get to see the river card for free if the players behind check as well
- He doesn’t risk getting raised off of his equity
Hanks made a very good play by checking and in a sense “capping” his range. His action encourages Persson to bet K♥ 3♥. Great play from Hanks!
Persson’s bet is very good. He is looking to get value, and rightfully so because the actions of his opponent indicate that he is likely ahead of both players.
But faced with Hanks’ raise, Persson’s re-raise is likely a massively -EV (expected value) punt. If either player had the nut flush draw, they are far more likely to check-call than to check-raise. Therefore, when he does get check-raised, he is almost certainly going to be up against a slow-played flush.
It’s a tough spot when you are playing on air, with houses on the line.
River & Results
Hanks snap-calls. The river 8♥ doesn’t hit Persson and Hanks scoops a $630,800 pot.
Persson popped out of his chair right when Hanks called, watched the river fall, and took his exit, opting to book the loss.
What’d you think of the play in this hand?
Let me know in the comments.
A wild game indeed.
There were some clear mistakes made in this hand, and this time around, they got punished. That being said, it’s not always going to be that way. Poker is all about tipping the odds slightly in your favor and making a profit over the long run.
That’s all for this breakdown! If you’d like me to analyze another hand, feel free to suggest one below!
Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!
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