Poker Hand of the Week: 7/31/15

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Ask any group of poker players how you played your hand and they’ll come up with dozens of different opinions. That’s just the nature of the game.

Each week, Card Player will select a hand from the high-stakes, big buy-in poker world, break it down and show that there’s more than one way to get the job done.

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The Scenario

There are 11 players remaining in the biggest tournament of the year. Everyone left is guaranteed a $526,778 payday, but moving up just one more spot on the pay ladder is worth $756,897. With 6,675,000 in chips and blinds of 200,000-400,000 with a 50,000 ante, you are sitting with just under 17 big blinds. The two other short stacks in the tournament are at your table and have about 15 big blinds each.

There are five players at your table, and one in particular is terrorizing the final table bubble and has amassed 53,350,000 in chips. For the last couple of levels, he has been raising a good portion of the hands where it is folded to him.

You are sitting in the big blind and the chip leader raises to 800,000. The action folds to you and you look down at ASpade Suit4Diamond Suit.

The Questions

Do you call, raise or fold? What is a good argument for calling, given the aggressive nature of your opponent? What is your plan if you miss the flop? If raising, how much? Given the stack sizes, do you believe you have much fold equity? Given the situation, is there ever a good justification for folding in this spot?

Daniel Negreanu

What Actually Happened

In the 2015 World Series of Poker main event, Daniel Negreanu decided to just call with his ASpade Suit4Diamond Suit. He and chip leader Joe McKeehen saw a flop of ADiamond SuitKClub Suit10Diamond Suit.

Negreanu checked and McKeehen fired in a continuation bet of 700,000. Negreanu moved all in and McKeehen called with JDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit for a flush and straight draw.

According to the Card Player Poker Odds Calculator, Negreanu was about a 56 percent favorite to double up. The turn was the 3Heart Suit, however, giving McKeehen additional outs to make two pair or trips.

The river was the QHeart Suit, giving McKeehen the winning straight, and Negreanu collapsed to the floor in disbelief. He was eliminated in 11th place, earning $526,778. McKeehen went on to make the final table with 63,100,000, or about one-third of the chips in play. He will return to Las Vegas in November for the final table.

What would you have done and why? Let us know in the comments section below and try not to be results oriented. The best answer will receive a six-month Card Player magazine digital subscription.