Jonathan Little Hand of the Week: Daniel Negreanu Making a Great Read

Negreanu vs Winter bluff

3 minutes

Last Updated: November 5, 2023

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The hand I’m going to analyze today features none other than Daniel Negreanu facing a river bluff attempt by Sean Winter, a player known for his aggressive style.

This is a hand from a $25,000 tournament, and the event is down to three players, so big money is on the line.

The action begins with Negreanu limping the button with QJ, and Winter, who is the effective stack with 1.6 million, checks his option in the big blind, holding 108.

Here, Negreanu gets a bit tricky and limps preflop. Normally, when you are the big stack at the final table, you want to do a lot of raising.

That said, when you have an aggressive player like Winter at the table, you sometimes want to take lines that will ensure you get to see the flop with hands like queen-jack suited.

The Flop

The hand starts to really develop on the flop, as it comes AQJ, giving Daniel the bottom two pair and a gutshot straight draw to Winter.

After Sean checks, Negreanu decides to bet the minimum (40,000), and Winter goes for a check raise to 175,000.

This is a situation where you certainly want to go for a check-raise with some of your junky draws, and hands containing a ten definitely qualify.

This is a difficult spot for Negreanu’s overall range, as he’s probably not limping too many hands containing an ace.

Despite what it may look like at first glance, this is a spot where Daniel doesn’t really want to raise and get all the money in the middle.

When all the chips do go into the pot, it will usually be against a made straight, so two pair will be behind. Otherwise, especially if you know your opponent is prone to bluffing, you want to keep him in the pot.

So, Negreanu chooses the best option and makes the call, giving Winter every opportunity to continue bluffing.

The Turn

The turn comes 7, and Sean slows down and checks to Daniel. This is an interesting spot for Negreanu because, at this point, he almost certainly has the best hand.

Daniel decides to check back and proceed to the river. If I was in his shoes, I’d probably opt for a bet here to protect against some hands containing an ace.

That said, I don’t mind checking back, either, because once it goes check-check on the turn, you have an easy call on almost all rivers.

The River

The river does complete a backdoor flush draw, as it comes 3. Sean Winter has only ten-high, so he pretty much has to bluff here.

If you were in his spot, what would you do?

Winter vs Negreanu - what would you do

This is an interesting spot for sure, as Sean doesn’t have a heart in his hand. If you’re going for a bluff, having either a K or 10 in your hand is very valuable.

Winter does decide to go for a bluff, and he’s trying to get Negreanu off of a hand like a pair of queens or a pair of jacks. To achieve this, he needs to go for larger sizing.

This is exactly what Sean does, betting 500,000 into the pot of 490,000. Given the action and the fact Daniel does have two pair, do you think this bluff attempt gets through?

Check out the video above to find out the answer!

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