Dwan vs. Greenstein in High Stakes Poker Suck-Out

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24 March 2009, Created By: Daniel Skolovy
Dwan vs. Greenstein in High Stakes Poker Suck-Out

Episode 4 of High Stakes Poker Season 5 brings us what we've come to expect from the best poker show on television: bluffs, suck-outs and sick value bets for more than your average American earns in an entire year.

The hand on everybody's mind this week is this one.

The result, thanks to a binked turn card, sees the $548,700 pot shipped to Greenstein - in some strange way making up for his folding aces two episodes back.

Players:

Game: High Stakes Poker, $500/$1,000 No-Limit Hold'em with a $200 ante

The Set-Up

It's folded around to Eastgate, who raises to $3,300 from the cut-off. Greenstein then three-bets to $12,000 from the button and durrrr four-bets to $31,300 from the small blind.

The big blind folds, Eastgate folds and Greenstein calls $19,300 more, and they are heads-up to the flop.

The flop comes J 3 T and durrrr bets $46,200 into $68,500. Greenstein raises to $146,200 and durrrr ships all-in for $240,100. Greenstein, feeling he is pot-committed, makes the call.

Durrrr tables A A and is way ahead of Greenstein's J 9 for the $548,700 pot. Unfortunately for durrrr the 9 insta-binks on the turn and the river bricks off with the 5.

Thanks to that 9, Greenstein finds himself $548,700 richer and durrrr finds himself with a $270,000 hole to dig out of.

The Breakdown

As we saw, it's folded to Eastgate and he raises to $3,300 in the cut-off with Q 8. He figures that with $3,100 already in the pot there is more than enough to warrant a steal-raise, so he jacks it up.

Greenstein picks up on this play and decides to three-bet with J 9 on the button. Obviously three-betting J 9 is not for value. It's a resteal or a light three-bet - he hopes to win the pot before the flop with no confrontation, or on the flop with a continuation bet.

Durrrr wakes up with aces and chooses to four-bet. He knows that his image is super bluffy at this stage of the game, so rather than slow-playing his aces he cold four-bets.

The big blind folds and Eastgate gets out of the way. Greenstein calls $19,300 more with $270,000ish effective stacks. He will be in position throughout the rest of the hand, and stacks are deep enough to warrant a call with his suited one-gapper.

The flop comes J 3 T and durrrr continuation-bets $46,200 for value. There are a ton of worse hands in Greenstein's range that can call a bet here. With the image durrrr has built over the last few episodes, Greenstein will also think durrrr is bluffing here a percentage of the time as well.

Greenstein flops top pair. He knows the durrrr is capable of running huge, elaborate bluffs and does not want to be bluffed out again. He's aware that durrrr is also capable of four-betting A-K or even A-Q in this spot. So he makes it $146,200 to go. An aggressive play, that's for sure, but a good one?

Probably not … it comes down to the whole "is this for value or a bluff?" adage again. If it's for value what worse hands call? If it's as a bluff which hands fold? The answer to both is almost zero.

The only worse hands that may call or shove would be something like A-K or A-Q, in an unlikely scenario where durrrr may figure Greenstein for a pair of jacks and elect to shove with overs and a gutter.

But if durrrr is bluffing why not continue to let him bluff his hands worse than jacks? If durrrr's hand is better than jacks, then he is also never folding. durrrr is a player who's aware of his image at all times and knows how to adjust his play.

He knows that because he has been playing and bluffing so aggressively that eventually somebody will push back and he'll have to make a big call. But in this scenario a call with a hand better than jacks really wouldn't even be that big; it would be almost standard.

Whatever the reason, Greenstein does raise and durrrr, realizing Greenstein has pot-committed himself, shoves. Greenstein makes the call. Folding for $100,000 into a $450,000 pot really isn't an option when you've put in more than half your stack.

He quickly learns he is a big dog to durrrr's aces, but luckily finds a 9 on the turn for the suck-out. When the river bricks off the 5 the $548,700 pot is shipped to Greenstein and durrrr finds himself stuck for the first time on HSP.

On the surface it looks like this hand was fairly poorly played by Greenstein. While that may be true, it's also a testament to durrrr's skill at cultivating that wild, aggressive image that won him the pot.

If durrrr had been nitting it up all season he would have won the raise and the reraise with his aces. But because he was out there mixing it up, raising every third hand and making huge bluffs, Greenstein had to adjust.

As it turned out, he adjusted at the wrong time, and ended up getting $270k in bad. This time the deck bailed Greenstein out, but it won't always.

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