High Stakes Poker Snapshot: Negreanu Bluffs Into The Nuts

29 March 2010, Created By: Daniel Skolovy
High Stakes Poker Snapshot: Negreanu Bluffs Into The Nuts

Well, we're seven episodes deep into High Stakes Poker season six and the action has been pretty decent thus far. Even though we've yet to witness a million-dollar pot there's been a bunch of great hands from some of the best players in the world.

This last episode was no different. Let's take a look at the most notable.

We saw Barry Greenstein call a three-bet oop vs Andrew Robl with KQs and flat a Q 7 J flop and then check-raise an 8 turn all-in.

In another hand Andrew Robl just called a raise before the flop with AQo and then fourbet a potential squeeze all-in only to find himself up against the aces of Patrik Antonius.

We also saw a familiar scene with Daniel Negreanu flopping the near nuts and playing it extremely passively.

And then there was his hand vs Tom Dwan.

The Set-Up

Episode Seven is playing even bigger than normal High Stakes Poker with a mandatory $1,600 straddle.

In this hand it's Tom Dwan's straddle.

Everyone folds to Daniel Negreanu on the button who raises to $6,500. The two blinds fold and Tom Dwan re-raises his straddle to $23,600.

Negreanu makes the call and the flop comes A A J. Dwan c-bets $28,200 into the $49,800 pot.

Negreanu thinks and calls. The turn comes the K and Dwan fires again, this time $56,600.

Tom Dwan
Being aggressive forces your opponents to make mistakes.

Daniel Negreanu goes into the tank before raising to $138,600. Dwan chooses to just call the $80kish raise.

The river comes T. Dwan checks and Negreanu checks through. Tom Dwan tables the A K for the nuts and Daniel Negreanu mucks J 8 face down.

The Breakdown

When it's folded to Negreanu on the button he raises to $6,500 attempting to pick up the blinds and antes with a somewhat weak J 8.

Both the blinds fold and Dwan makes it $23,600 with the A K, an obvious three-bet for value.

Because Dwan plays so aggressive and three-bets so often, people are going to end up calling with a much wider range than they would against a tight player.

That said AK is going to be a three-bet for value hand almost always vs a button raiser when there's a straddle on. Negreanu flats the re-raise with his weak jack.

He probably feels that because he's around 300k effective deep and in position vs Dwan's wide re-raising range he'll be able to out-maneuver him post flop.

Of course this thought is delusional.

The flop drops A A J and Dwan c-bets $28,200 into the $49,800 pot.

Dwan flops trips with a king kicker and doesn't need to start hammering away with full pot bets.

Betting half pot on the flop and the turn will put enough money in the pot to win be able to win Negreanu's stack by showdown.

Negreanu makes the call with his two pair aces and jacks with an eight kicker. He's thinking if Dwan doesn't have an ace his hand is good.

The turn comes K and Dwan fires a second barrel, this one $56,600 into $106,200.

With a full house Dwan opts to second barrel with the nuts rather than slow play.

When you're an aggressive player slowpaying isn't as necessary. You're betting all the time anyway so people naturally won't believe you, so there's no reason to slow down, just keep firing and let your image work for you. People are going to think you're bluffing anyways.

Daniel Negreanu
If I raise I get to stop thinking right?

Negreanu thinks and decides to turn his jacks into a bluff and raises to $138,600.

This play doesn't really make a whole lot of sense poker theory wise.

The raise is attempting to represent a full house or a made hand, lets for second look past the fact that Daniel Negreanu already made the near nuts twice in this episode and played both extremely passively and showed down both, and just look at what he's trying to get Dwan to fold.

When Tom Dwan three-bets before the flop and then fires two barrels on an A A J K board his range is polarized.

He either has a monster, or he's bluffing. There are approximately five different fullhouses he can have, none of which he's folding with his image.

The only hands Dwan may two barrel only to fold against a raise that are better than Daniel's jack would be something like A 9 or another ace rag hand. But in that case Dwan would likely take a different line realizing that he will not often get three streets of value from a worse hand.

Thus Daniel's raise in this exact spot only folds out hands he's already ahead of. It's another example of "I don't want you to outplay me so I'm going to try and end the hand right now and oh yeah, I don't really want to think about ranges at all so I raise."

So Negreanu raises as a bluff and Dwan elects to just flat call with the nuts. He knows that either Negreanu is bluffing or he has a monster.

The river comes T and Dwan checks.

Dwan realizes that should Negreanu actually have that (smaller) monster he's going to be shoving the river regardless when checked to and as a bonus if he is bluffing he's giving Negreanu one last chance on the river.

Negreanu wisely decides not to pull the trigger and checks through. His jacks are obviously no good vs Dwan's aces full of kings.

Hands like these show you why Dwan's relentlessly aggressive style is profitable. He coerces his opponents into making terrible errors that they probably wouldn't make against other opponents.

And Daniel Negreanu continues his poor showing on High Stakes Poker. He has to be the biggest loser dollar-wise that the show has ever seen.

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More Strategy Snapshots from High Stakes Poker Season 6:





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