Rampage Goes for the Kill on a Blank River

rampage goes for the kill

6 minutes

Last Updated: May 12, 2024

When it comes to exciting high-stakes hands, certain players seem to get in the way more big spots than others. This is usually due to their aggressive and fearless style that sometimes lands them massive pots, and sometimes causes them to lose the entire stack on a pure bluff.

Ethan ‘Rampage’ Yau is certainly one of these players who’s been the main protagonist of more than a few massive televised pots, so it’s no surprise that the hand will be looking at today features Rampage as the main hero.

The hand in question comes from a Hustler Casino Live stream, with stakes $100/$200/$400, and a $200 big blind ante. All three players involved have big stacks, but Rampage has the other two covered.

Preflop Action

The hand begins with Rampage opening the action from the button, making it $2,000 with KQ. Will makes the call in the big blind with AJ, and then Tom in the straddle position wakes up with AQ and 3-bets to $9,000.

Tom is starting the hand with $160,000, while Will has just over $60,000 in front of him.

Rampage, who has the largest stack of the three, makes the call on the button, and Will, after taking some time, tosses in the call as well to create the pot of $28,100.

Preflop Play Analysis

Rampage’s open from the button is super-standard. He’ll be opening with a super-wide range in this spot, so KQ is actually well above his average holding. The sizing is pretty standard, too, given they are playing very deep.

Will’s decision to just flat with a hand as strong as AJ from the small blind is certainly on the conservative side. This hand is more than strong enough to attack the button open, and by 3-betting, he’ll make it hard for the big blind to call and increase the chances of the hand going heads up.

After a raise and a flat call, Tom has a slam-dunk 3-bet with suited AQ. In terms of sizing, he could probably go even bigger than $9,000 to make it harder for Rampage to call in position, but his hand plays well after the flop, so he doesn’t mind the call, either.

Rampage is now in a bit of a tricky spot. His particular hand doesn’t play that well in a 3-bet pot, especially with the small blind player being in there as well.

He could easily be dominated in one or both spots. Still, he’s getting decent direct odds, and he is in position, so calling to see the flop is certainly reasonable.

Will now finds himself in a strange position, boxed in between two players with a fairly strong hand that he somewhat under-represented by just calling the original raise. At this point, both calling and folding are fine, but with good pot odds, a big suited ace, and closing the action, seeing the flop makes sense.

Flop Action

The flop lands KQ4, giving all three players something, but Rampage is the one holding the monster with his top two pair.

After Will checks, Tom fires out a continuation bet of $11,000, and both Rampage and Will end up calling, creating the pot of $61,100.

Flop Play Analysis

With the action going 3-way, this board is not a mandatory c-bet for Tom. He can certainly check and let Rampage take over the betting lead, if he wants to do so. With a middle pair with a top kicker and some backdoor equity, he should be trying to control the size of the pot.

After Tom c-bets for $11,000, Rampage can easily go for a raise here to try and get as much money into the pot as possible. However, he opts for a flat call to keep Tom’s weaker hands in, which makes sense on a rainbow board. There aren’t that many turn cards that he needs to worry about.

rampage flops big in a 3-way pot

Will is closing the action once again, and although he has just a gutshot and a backdoor flush draw, he’s getting great pot odds, so he has to call here. Once again, he’s closing the action, so he knows he’ll see the turn.

Turn Action

The turn pairs the board and brings the heart flush draw as it comes 4, making the board KQ44.

Having picked up the flush draw to go with his middle pair, Tom fires once again with his AQ, making it $40,000. Rampage flat calls once again, and Will gets out of the way. The pot balloons to $141,000.

Turn Play Analysis

Turn is a decent card for Tom, as it significantly improves his equity and doesn’t stand to help either of the other two players much, as it is unlikely that they’d slow-play pocket kings or queens in this spot.

Since he decided to c-bet the flop, it only makes sense to continue applying pressure on the turn after picking up so much extra equity. If his opponents have a hand like KJ or KT, they’ll have a hard time calling here.

The bet sizing is good here as well, as $40,000 makes it harder for someone to keep chasing with a hand like JT, for example, which is the most obvious draw on the flop.

For Rampage, not much has changed, as the only new hand that might be beating him now is pocket aces. After betting the turn, Tom only has about $90,000 left in his stack, which is way less than the size of the pot, so he doesn’t have any reason to press the issue at this juncture.

He makes a call, which keeps all bluffs in Tom’s range, after which Will gets out of the way as he no longer has any reason to stick around.

River Action

The final card is an absolute brick, as it comes 3, making the full runout KQ443. Tom decides to slow down and check his option.

Rampage takes a few moments to consider all the possibilities but ends up moving all-in for Tom’s remaining $89,800, with $141,000 already in the middle.

Tom is looking at the $230,900 in the middle, and if he makes the call, he’ll drag in the pot of $320k, but he thinks better of it and lets his hand go.

rampage bets big on the river

River Play Analysis

Once the river bricks out, Tom’s decision to slow down is the right one. After Rampage has called on two streets, it is very likely he has a strong hand, and the river card changed absolutely nothing.

Continuing to barrel here would serve very little purpose as the only obvious draw on the flop (the straight draw) should fold to the turn bet, and Tom is the one holding the backdoor flush draw, so it is very unlikely Rampage has a weaker heart draw.

Once Tom checks, Rampage can be pretty much certain he has the best hand. Given the SPR, there is no way Tom is checking with a hand better than KQ, so it’s now just a matter of determining the size.

With $140k already in the middle, the $90k shove isn’t huge. He could have perhaps gone for something like a third-pot bet, but with his reputation, he doesn’t have to worry too much about these things. If his opponent has a hand he’s willing to call $50k, they’ll probably call $90k as well.

As it turns out, Tom’s hand was too weak to call any reasonable bet on the river, so Ethan probably didn’t lose much, if any, value here.

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