fold a set gary vlog

Will This Poker Pro Really Fold A Set? (Analysis)

There are a lot of great poker vloggers out there…

…but arguably none provide better strategic analysis than Upswing Lab coach Gary Blackwood.

To give you a sneak peek at Gary’s insight, I’m going to zoom into a hand he played in $5/$10/$20 cash game at Bellagio.

Note: When he’s not playing live cash games for his vlog, Gary is beating some of the toughest online cash games in the world. This strong background allows him to share strategic tips that you can’t find in most poker vlogs. Subscribe to Gary Blackwood’s vlog here!

Let’s dive in!


It’s a $5/$10 game at the Bellagio and the $20 straddle is on.

Gary is dealt 7d 7s in the straddle.

The player in the Cutoff raises $50. The Big Blind calls. Gary calls.

Preflop Analysis

There isn’t too much to say about preflop here.

Gary makes a good decision to call with his Pocket Sevens in the Straddle. He is closing the action preflop and is in position versus the Big Blind. So, he can call with a wide range. Pocket Sevens have plenty of equity and playability to call.


With $155 in the pot, the flop is Ks 7h 2d.

The Big Blind checks. Gary checks. Cutoff bets $50. Big Blind folds. Gary calls.

Flop Analysis

The first real decision in this hand happens on the flop when Gary has to decide between calling or raising with his flopped set. Here is what he had to say about this spot:

I will always raise my Pocket Twos here. But I think my opponent is just range betting. Pocket Sevens block some of the types of hands that he can bet-call with. It’s also a dry board and this guy loves to barrel versus weakness it seems, so I decided to just call [to give him the chance to keep betting].


The turn is the (Ks 7h 2d)As with $255 in the pot.

Gary checks. Cutoff bets $200. Gary raises $720. Cutoff calls.

Turn Analysis

The turn brings in both an Ace and a backdoor flush draw. Gary faces a large bet and is once again faced with a decision to call or raise.

I bust out the turn check-raise. I make it $720 to go. We’re really quite deep here, so I think in hindsight I prefer like $850. Just a bit too small here by me.


With $1,695 in the pot, the river is the (Ks 7h 2d As) 4h.

Gary bets $1,200. Cutoff raises all-in $2,900 effective. Gary…?


River Analysis

The river is about as blank as possible. There are no possible flushes and no realistic straights that anyone could have. So, Gary has effectively the third nuts, only losing to Pocket Aces and Pocket Kings (both of which are possible holdings in the Cutoff’s range).

With this dynamic, Gary explains his thought process for his initial bet:

There’s $1,600 in the middle and I’ve got $2,900 behind. I decided to milk my opponent instead of jamming. I bet out for $1,200 trying to get a call from a top pair type hand. Maybe even a hero call from something like King-Queen if he thinks I’ve missed my flush or something.

But the hand doesn’t end here.

To Gary’s surprise, the Cutoff jams for about $1,700 more and he faces a brutal spot:

I just don’t think I’m ahead here. I’m never calling two pair on the river here versus a jam. So it feels like he can’t shove Ace-King himself since he should not expect to get called by worse.

He’s also bluffing here like 1% of the time, and I can’t beat value. As sick as it is, I just don’t think I have the best hand here. Why would he shove Ace-King?

After about 90 seconds I just sigh and tell myself that this is the literal top of my range; I can’t have a stronger hand than this.

I can’t bring myself to fold. Maybe he’s got Ace-King, but I doubt it.


Gary calls after deciding he can’t fold the literal top of his range.

I’ll let Gary reveal the results:

He confidently turns over his hand and, oh no, he’s got Pocket Deuces [for bottom set].

I immediately feel like the worst guy in the world. I apologize profusely as I turn my hand over and he looks at it. I feel really awful about this. This pot being pushed my way is absolutely ginormous. Like I said, I didn’t expect to see worse for value. I never expected a bluff. I cannot tell you how close I came to folding this.

Gary takes down the $8,000 pot.

What do you think of the opponent’s shove on the river?

Let us know in the comments.

Note: While Gary gives excellent strategic advice in his vlog, you can learn even more from his comprehensive lessons inside the Upswing Lab.

Gary has become one of the Lab’s most popular coaches. He’s released a total of 10 lessons covering topics like:

  • Crushing live poker games
  • Costly cash game mistakes to avoid
  • How to play overpairs like a pro
  • & more!

Get access to all of Gary’s lessons, an easy-to-use preflop chart app, and so much more when you join the Upswing Lab today!


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About the Author
Patrick Harvey

Patrick Harvey

Graduate student trying to make money in poker so that I don't end up having to drive Knish's truck.

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