Jonathan Little Hand of the Week: Quads for Jungleman
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Today’s hand comes to us from a Triton Cash Game that took place back in 2022 in Cyprus. It’s an interesting hand that underlines several strategic aspects, including the positives and the “negatives” of flopping quads.
This was a big game, with $1k/$2k/$4k blinds, and the man who’ll be in focus in this review is none other than Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates.
The action starts with the UGT+1 player raising to $9,000 and Cates, who’s next to act, looking down at 8♣8♠. He decides to flat call, which is the best way to go in this spot.
Many players feel compelled to raise here with pocket eights, with the logic that their pair is probably good. And, while this will be the case quite often when you get 4-bet, it’s really bad, as you are forced to fold a hand that flops quite well.
The player named Punnat in the small blind wakes up with two black aces and goes for a 3-bet of $54,000. This is a good sizing, as you don’t want to go too small and give everyone great implied odds to call and potentially out-flop you.
The action folds around back to ‘Jungleman.’ It’s a tricky spot, but he is in position, closing the action, and they start the hand with $400,000 effective, so calling seems like a very reasonable option.
Cates makes the call, and they proceed to see the flop of 8♥8♦6♣. Jungleman flops the nuts, but, in general, this is a situation where Punnat should bet small and frequently.
Neither player should have many eights, and Punnat has far more overpairs than Cates.
Punnat does go for a small bet of $44,000, and Cates makes a very easy call. There is no need to rush with a raise out of the desire to get all the chips in the pot. You want to keep your opponent in with all of their hands.
The turn comes the A♦, and it’s a very interesting card. Punnat completely blocks the board, and while ‘Jungleman’ has quads in this specific spot, he simply won’t have all that much in general. Thus, this is a great spot to check.
Thinking about Cates’ overall range here, he’ll simply have a difficult time calling any bet here.
Punnat does opt for a check, but Cates doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to get more chips in the pot. So, he bets out for $77,000, which is a fairly small bet that I think makes perfect sense. This is the type of bet that will keep a lot of pocket pairs in, perhaps even as low as pocket Jacks.
Obviously, sitting with what he reckons to be the nuts, Punnat makes the call, continuing to trap his opponent.
The 5♦ completes the board. Punnat finds another check, letting ‘Jungleman’ do his bidding. Cates takes a few moments to go over his options, but with under a pot-sized bet left, he decides that moving all-in is the best play.
He shoves for $236,000, and Punnat beats him into the pot. He even turns his hand over immediately, thinking he always has the winner here with pocket aces.
Unfortunately, he gets shown the bad news just a few moments later, and the table reaction is exactly what you’d expect.
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