Poker Pop Quiz: What’s Your Move with Calamusa’s Pocket Kings?
Pierre Calamusa is a French poker pro sitting on a short-stack. He picks up pocket Kings and faces a tough turn spot against Jan Bendik in the small blind.
What decision would you make in Calamusa's shoes? Read on for the full hand history, analysis and video results.
The blinds are 60,000/120,000 with an ante. The stack sizes are as follows:
- Calamusa – 1.8 Million (15 big blinds)
- Bendik – 5.1 Million (43 big blinds)
- Umarov – 1.17 Million (10 big blinds)
Calamusa is dealt in the cutoff
2 players fold, Calamusa raises to 240k, btn folds, Bendik calls in small blind, Umarov calls in the big blind
The flop is
Calamusa continuation bets for 300k, Bendik calls, Umarov folds
The turn is the
Bendik leads for 500k
So, what's your move? Take a moment to decide. Watch the video or click below for the results.
Watch the full hand with cards up HERE or by clicking the image below.
Pocket kings is a dream hand in any situation, let alone this deep in a major tournament. Calamusa goes for a standard 2x open with his 16 big blind stack. Some players would choose to shove or fold here, but that is likely a mistake. 16 big blinds is more than enough to have an opening range from the cutoff.
Action folds to Bendik in the small blind and he elects to call. This is almost certainly a mistake, especially because of the other player's stack sizes. The short-stack in the big blind is going to shove somewhat often once we call which is a terrible situation for us. A shove or fold is best here depending on Calamusa's opening tendencies. Umarov defends from the big blind getting almost 6-to-1 and we take a 3-way flop.
Bendik flops the world and the action checks to Calamusa who continuation bets for 300k. Bendik calls, which is the best option as it keeps Calamusa's range as wide as possible. The trap is set and Umarov gets out of the way.
The turn completes the flush draw and Bendik decides to lead out for 500k, or about 1/3 of the pot. Calamusa now has a 2 options to consider:
- Calamusa can fold, putting his opponent squarely on a 6 or a flush here. He would have to have a very solid read for this to be the correct move.
- Calamusa can raise all-in.
In tournaments, often times you just can't get away from top pairs/overpairs because it’s just too strong of a hand when stacks are short. Calamusa started the hand with just 16 big blinds. With such a short stack, Calamusa will often will be up against a blocking bet from a Jack or flush draw type hand.
Occasionally a flush or trips will choose to lead here as well, but I find it very difficult to make a case for a fold here with the stack size and the relative strength of Calamusa’s hand. Apparently he agrees.
Cue the poker gods... on the river.
(Note: Want to learn to play your flush draws like a high stakes poker pro? Check out Doug Polk & Ryan Fee's FREE guide, 20 Rules for Playing Flush Draws in 2017, by clicking below!)
Jason is a former MTT grinder and current content creator who owns and operates the website Plug In Vegas