Jonathan Little Hand of the Week: Johnnie Vibes Pulls off a Great Hero Call
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Today, I’ll be analyzing an interesting hand played by Johnnie Vibes, a popular poker vlogger. The stakes are $2/$5, and players are about 100 big blinds effective.
The action begins with an early position limper and an isolation raise to $25.
It folds to Johnnie in the cutoff, who looks down at 5h 6h and decides to go for a 3-bet of $75.
I really do like the 3-bet here as it seems like the better option if you want to play this hand 100 big blinds deep.
Your opponents won’t be able to easily put you on this type of a hand when you do hit a favorable flop, and when it comes big cards, you’ll be able to represent it fairly easily.
The limper calls Johnnie’s re-raise, while the original raiser decides to fold. This is definitely a strange play by the early position player, as I can hardly come up with any hands you’d want to play in this way.
The flop comes Qc 9c 6s, giving Johnnie the bottom pair, and the opponent plays in flow and checks to him. Johnnie then proceeds to continuation bet for $80 into the $190 pot.
This is a bit of a tough spot, and I’m not sure if we should be betting a lot on this flop. What kind of a range are we putting the opponent on here?
Does he have a lot of strong hands like pocket aces and kings in his range, and how much of his range is made up of random hands like J-8?
When we bet, there are many draws that can conceivably go for a check-raise, and given the stack depth, they can easily just rip their entire stack in over our $80 bet.
In this particular case, the opponent decides to just call.
When the turn comes 4d and the first player checks, Johnnie decides to check back as his opponent only has about $400 behind, so about the pot-sized bet.
I think this is a decent check-back spot as we don’t achieve much by betting. If we bet and get raised, we pretty much have to fold, and if the opponent just calls, it puts us in an awkward spot on the river.
The final card is the Js, and this time, the opponent doesn’t check. Instead, they lead out for $200. It’s a tricky river, so take a moment and think about what would you do in this spot?
I think both calling and folding makes sense here, depending on what we think the opponent is capable of.
If they’ll bet thin for value with random jacks that paired up on the river (hands like K-J, J-T, J-8), then this is a pretty easy fold.
However, if they’re polarized and will bet only with strong hands and missed draws, calling starts to become much more reasonable.
All in all, without any reads, this is probably a fold.
Johnnie clearly has some reads here, though, and, as he says, the big bet sizing kind of polarizes the opponent’s hand, as he’s unlikely to bet $200 with a hand like J-T that got improved to a second pair.
So, is Johnnie Vibe's vibe correct here and does he find the hero call on the river. And, more importantly, what does his opponent have? Check out the video above to find out how the hand ended!
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