Jonathan Little Hand of the Week: Johnnie Vibes Faces Heat with Pocket Kings
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For this week, I’ll be looking at a hand played by one of my favorite poker vloggers, Johnnie Vibes, as he goes up against one of his fans in a big pot.
The game they’re playing is $1/$3/$6, and effective stacks are $1,200, so it’s a deep stack scenario.
There is a button straddle to $6 in this hand, but with a strange rule that the straddle always gets to act last before the flop, no matter what.
It’s a very unusual rule, and it doesn’t really make a ton of sense as it incentivizes players to play extremely tight, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem in this particular game.
The action starts with a raise to $15 and one call before it gets to Jonnie, who looks down at pocket Kings (K♠K♣). He 3-bets to $90, which I’d normally say is too big, but, as mentioned, they are playing very deep, so a big 3-bet makes sense.
Because of the straddle rule, the action skips the button player and goes back to the initial raiser. He folds, and so does the caller. Only now, it’s the button’s turn to act, and he decides to cold call the 3-bet for $84 more.
The dealer spreads the flop of J♥10♦3♦, and Johnnie Vibes fires a very small continuation bet of $50. Without much hesitation, his opponent, who is a big fan of the vlog and came to play when he found out Johnnie would be there, raises it to $200.
I’m not sure that I agree with a small sizing on this coordinated board that works well with the opponent’s likely range when you consider they cold-called a big 3-bet before the flop.
They’re likely to have many high cards, all of which will have at least some sort of a straight draw on this board.
The only scenario in which betting small makes some sense is if you believe your opponent is really splashy before the flop because they want to make the vlog (which they announce).
I don’t think many people are calling $90 with total nonsense, but I could certainly be wrong about it.
What to make of the opponent’s raise here? First of all, whenever you bet small, you’re way likelier to get raised, as this looks like the kind of play you’d make with your entire range.
Again, will someone who’s friendly with you and who came specifically to play with you make this play as a bluff? I don’t know, but I’m sure Johnnie has much more experience in that department.
Given the small c-bet, the opponent’s range contains a lot of bluffs and certainly some value hands that you can beat with pocket kings (like queen-jack or ace-jack), so the call is mandatory in this spot.
The turn comes 4♥, bringing the second flush draw on the board. Johnnie checks to his opponent, and he rips his entire stack in, betting $944 into the $414 pot.
Generally speaking, two times the pot size bet on the turn is very strong – but what is strong in this situation?
After taking a bit of time, Johnnie decides to fold his pocket kings, and I was in a bit of shock to see him do that. If I were in his spot, I’d have snap-called.
Granted, I don’t have the experience of playing with players who love you. There are really some players out there who don’t want to take your money and ruin your day.
Looking at the hand itself, though, I’d have called because there are so many draws they could be doing this with, and there are even some worse made hands they could play in this way to protect their equity.
So, was Johnnie Vibes right to fold the pocket kings. Was his opponent really trying to save him some money, or did he pull one on him on camera? Check out the video above to find out!
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