Let’s take a look at the biggest pot in PokerGO history.
This hand comes from Rob Yong’s Home Game streamed on PokerGO and features Rick Salomon and Lazaro Hernandez colliding in a $992,500 pot.
The game is played at nosebleed stakes, with blinds set at $1,000/$2,000 with a $4,000 straddle.
Hernandez is $580,000 deep (~145 straddles deep) and Salomon is $1,700,000 deep (~425 straddles deep).
You can watch the crazy hand (hosted on Poker Central’s YouTube channel) below. Keep scrolling for a written recap of the hand and analysis.
Without any further ado, let’s jump into the action!
Hernandez calls the $4,000 straddle with Q♦️ T♠️ in the Cutoff and Salomon raises to $30,000 with A♠️ K♣️ on the Button. Everyone else folds and Hernandez calls.
Hernandez’s limp is ill-advised. He’d be better off raising or folding, both of which are fine options with this hand.
If you’ve been following our articles for some time, you know that you should almost never open-limp preflop because it prevents you from being able to take down the pot right away. Also, limping allows your opponents to realize their equity very cheaply.
By limping, you also usually make it way more challenging to take away the pot on the flop since you will very often be playing multiway.
In response to the limp, Salomon’s raise is very good. His size is very large, but that is not really a big concern if you have the read that your opponent is willing to limp-call large raises with marginal hands, like in this case.
After making an initial mistake by limping, Hernandez doubles down with an even worse decision by calling Salomon’s raise. Hernandez has a clear fold in this situation.
Flop comes K♥︎ 9♣️ 4♣️ and the pot is $66,500.
Hernandez checks to Salomon who make a continuation bet of $38,000. Hernandez calls.
Hernandez’s check is good. His range is weak, and thus he should check with all of his hands to Salomon.
Salomon’s c-bet and size is very good. The fact that he goes with a large sizing is even better because he is up against an amateur player and his hand is really strong, dominating a lot of hands from his opponent’s range.
Hernandez’s call is good given that he has a good chunk of equity and will also be able to bluff profitably if his opponent checks back on certain turns. Check-raising is a good option as well, but he may want to have a slightly stronger hand to do so, like holding the Q♣️ or a T♣️ in his hand that gives him that extra few percentages of equity.
The turn comes the 5♣️ and the board is now K♥︎ 9♣️ 4♣️ 5♣️. The pot is $142,500.
Hernandez checks, Salomon bets $60,000, Hernandez raises to $225,000, and Salomon snap-calls.
Hernandez’s check is once again good given that his range is overall weaker than Salomon’s and he is out of position.
In theory, Salomon’s bet is okay, but not great because he will generally want to use a more polarized range of hands for value. This is because after the third club comes in, most of his hands have become significantly weaker in terms of how close they are to the nuts.
But with that said, betting in Salomon’s spot is clearly superior to checking given the way Hernandez is apparently playing.
Hernandez’s check-raise is very ill-advised given that his hand blocks more bluffs than value bets. Making this move with a plain gutshot and no flush draw is downright self-destructive.
Facing the check-raise, Salomon has an easy call with top-pair top-kicker and a draw to the second nuts.
The river comes the 3♣️ and the board is now K♥︎ 9♣️ 4♣️ 5♣️ 3♣️. The pot is now $592,500.
Hernandez bets $200,000 and Salomon snap-calls. The final pot $992,500 and Salomon takes it down with the king-high flush.
Once he finds himself in this spot, Hernandez’s bluff is not actually that bad given that he doesn’t have any worse hands in his range. Salomon also has some hands like sets and two pairs without a club that may have to fold to the river bet once the fourth club comes in.
From Salomon’s point of view, he needs to always call with his hand because he has the virtual second nuts and it’s not impossible that Hernandez can be bluffing. Also, sometimes Hernandez could be value-betting (too thinly) with a hand like Q♣️ Jx.
What do you think of the bluff?
Let me know in the comments below. And if you disagree with any of my analysis, let me know below so we can have a discussion.
Life-changing money exchanged hands in this pot, which just goes to show how entertaining nosebleed poker can be. You’ve seen here that even at these stakes, mistakes are being made and someone is getting paid considerably for capitalizing on them!
Want more high stakes hand analysis? Read Set vs Set vs Flush for a $224,000 Pot (Analysis).
Till’ next time, keep on grinding!