Jonathan Little Hand of the Week: Doug Polk Goes for Massive River Overbet
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Today, we have an interesting hand that took place at the Lodge, a popular poker room in Texas now partially owned by Doug Polk. The game in question is No Limit Texas Hold’em with nominal $5/$10 blinds and several straddles, all the way up to $100.
The action begins with DQ limping in for $100 with 6♣3♣, and then Poker Traveler makes it $600 to go from the big blind with 8♥8♣
Polk, who’s UTG (the first straddle), makes the call for $575 with 5♠7♠, which is certainly splashy, but also acceptable if you think you’ll be able to navigate the later streets better than your opponents.
The problem is, DQ has a short stack, so he might be inclined to shove when the action gets back to him. Because of this, you should be much less inclined to get involved with hands such as small suited connectors.
The action folds around, and when it gets back to DQ, he decides to just call, so the hand proceeds to the flop three-handed.
The flop comes Q♠7♣5♦, and Poker Traveler decides to check as Doug’s range should contain many big cards, including queens.
Polk should definitely go for a bet here with his bottom two pair. He goes for a small sizing of $550 into the pot of $2,000. This is the best way to go in multi-way pots, i.e. betting for a smaller sizing on relatively uncoordinated boards.
DQ makes a somewhat questionable call, given he only has about $2.2K in his stack (but it seems the graphics are wrong), and the action gets back to Poker Traveler with pocket eights.
What do you think is the best play in this situation with deep stacks (Poker Traveler has over $14,000 behind, and he is the effective stack between the two)?
The main question is if you hit your gin card and make a set, will Doug commit the rest of the chips even with a hand as strong as ace-queen?
If an eight rolls off, there are so many straights and sets available that this isn’t likely, so folding is probably the best course of action. However, Poker Traveler decides to call.
The turn card is 5♥, giving Polk a full house. This is the spot where he definitely wants to continue betting for value.
The sizing of the bet will depend on your opponent’s tendencies. If you know they don’t like to fold (which is probably the case in Texas), you can go for a bigger sizing.
Doug goes for fairly small size of $1,400, though, which is enough to get rid of DQ, and the action is back on Poker Traveler.
This is an annoying spot for a pocket pair, especially pocket eights, as that hand blocks a lot of potential bluffs Polk could have.
So, again, this is probably just a fold, as it’s not very likely your opponent is bluffing, and they’re probably not value-betting a hand that’s worse than pocket eights.
All this being said, Poker Traveler makes the call once again.
The river is the 3♥, and Poker Traveler checks for one last time. The action is back to Doug, and he is definitely betting. The question is, how should he size his bet?
In this spot, Poker Traveler will have a lot of hands containing a queen or pocket pairs like jacks or tens. So, since a lot of draws have missed, I think this is a spot where you can go for a bigger river bet.
Doug does go for a big bet – the biggest one possible, in fact, as he moves all in for $12,500 effective, and the action is back to Poker Traveler.
Given everything we’ve talked about in this hand analysis, do you think he should ever call here?
Take a moment to think about it before clicking on the above video to find out the answer and the conclusion to this interesting hand!
Jonathan Little is a two-time WPT champion with more than $7 million in live tournament winnings and best-selling author of multiple poker strategy books. If you want to learn from the best and increase your edge at the tables, make sure to get your FREE 3-day pass and check his training site at pokercoaching.com