Jonathan Little Hand of the Week: Alan Keating Wakes up With Pocket Aces
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Today’s hand comes to us from the Hustler Casino Live high-stakes stream and features one of the most entertaining players on there, Alan Keating.
Keating is known for his loose and aggressive style, but in this particular poker hand, he picks up the goods as he is dealt pocket aces!
The action begins with Wesley, another HCL regular, opening to $3,000 with A♠K♠ and Mikki 3-betting from the small blind to $10,000 with K♦J♥ before it is even Keating’s turn to act.
Alan, who posted the $800 straddle, looks down at A♦A♣ and decides to slow-play his hand this time around, just flatting Mikki’s 3-bet.
It’s back to Wesley, and holding the premium himself, he goes for a raise, making it $50,000 to go, which gets rid of Mikki, and the action is back on Alan, who just calls once again.
So, before getting to the flop, let’s break down a few things.
I’m somewhat surprised that Keating just flatted Mikki’s original 3-bet. Mikki only has slightly over $50,000 behind, and Alan has a rather loose image, so he can expect that, when he 4-bets, Mikki will just end up putting the rest of the money in the middle.
However, once Wesley 4-bets and the original 3-bettor gets out of the way, I really like Keating’s call. You want to do all you can to keep all Wesley’s bluffs in there, and a 5-bet would allow them to get off the hook easily when they are bluffing.
The flop comes J♠7♣4♥, not offering much help to Wesley. Keating plays it in flow and checks to his opponent, who fires a continuation bet of $40,000. Alan quickly makes the call.
I believe this is the best line to take for Keating as, once again, he wants to give Wesley every chance to continue bluffing in this spot.
There are many hands that your opponent could have here, such as A-T suited, KQ, A-% suited, etc. All of these hands will fold to a raise but might continue bluffing on the turn.
The turn is the 9♣, and the action checks through, as expected. Wesley has nothing, and there is really no need to blast off in this spot.
Many players make the mistake of just going for it here and continuing with all of their bluffs, trying to get their opponents to fold hands like a top pair, but that’s usually too optimistic, especially against a player like Keating.
The river brings an interesting card in the 8♣, putting a four-liner to the straight and the backdoor flush on the board.
Keating now takes the initiative and makes an interesting bet of just $60,000 into the pot of $190,000.
This is a strange spot, as Wesley could definitely have some straights here with hands like A-T or K-T that he got overly aggressive with before the flop.
So, once Alan bets $60,000 on this river if he gets jammed on, he should probably release his hand. The fact he also holds the A♣ blocker should also make him more inclined to fold as he blocks some of the bluffs Wesley could have if he jams the river.
With all that said, do you think Wesley manages to find a crazy bluff in this spot and make Keating’s life difficult? 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