High Stakes Poker Snapshot: Negreanu Saved by River

Published On: 1 March 2010 / Modified: 27 June 2018
Created By: Daniel Skolovy
Daniel Negreanu

It only took three episodes for Daniel Negreanu to try and spew off a stack on Season 6 of High Stakes Poker. This time, however, the second river bailed him out for a chop and half the pot.

Other than that episode 3 was decent enough, PokerListings.com blogger Jason Mercier made his first appearance but didn't play any real hands of note.

Hopefully we'll be seeing more from him in future episodes. But back to the Negreanu hand.

River Bails Out Negreanu vs. Dwan

With the blinds $400/$800 and a $200 ante Daniel Negreanu opens the pot from under the gun plus one to $3,300. It's folded to Tom Dwan in the cut-off who three-bets to $11,200.

Everyone folds to Phil Ivey who cold-calls the three-bet in the big blind. Negreanu calls $8,200 more and they see a flop three-way.

Ivey and Negreanu check to Dwan on a 4 9 J flop. Dwan bets $18,200 into $35,400. Ivey insta-mucks and Negreanu thinks before shoving all-in for $88,400 total.

Dwan snap calls and flips up the Q Q which is miles ahead of Negreanu's 9 7.

They run the turn and river twice and Dwan wins the first when it bricks 2 J. On the second run Dwan's a card away from scooping the pot after the turn comes the A.

It wasn't to be though as the 9 hit the second river to bail Negreanu for half the pot.

The Breakdown

Daniel Negreanu gets the ball rolling with a raise from early position with the 9 7.

At this point the game is playing seven-handed so a raise from UTG is perfectly acceptable with a suited one-gapper - especially when there's so much dead money from the antes.

tom dwan5

Dwan then three-bets to $11,200 from the cut-off with the Q Q.

This is where Dwan's relentless aggression pays dividends, because he three-bets so often each three-bet is given less respect and he receives more action. The aggression works two ways: it allows him to win a ton of uncontested pots with bluffs and he receives more action on his big hands.

It's folded around to Phil Ivey who makes the call in the big blind with 8 8.

Though it's vs. a three-bet and Ivey will be out of position it's still a profitable call because Ivey is over 600 big blinds deep vs. Tom Dwan. If he can flop a set he can win a massive pot.

Negreanu makes the call as well, putting $8,200 more into the $27,200 pot. Negreanu loves his suited connectors - give him odds and a multi-way pot and it's tough to keep him out.

When the flop comes J 9 4 Ivey and Negreanu both check to Dwan who fires $18,200.

Dwan, with an overpair, is obviously betting for value. His bet size is good because it's small enough to balance a c-bet into three people with air. It's just small enough to get away cheaply if he were c-betting air but it's also large enough to set up a pot sized bet for Negreanu's stack on the turn.

Furthermore it doesn't unnecessarily bloat the pot vs. Phil Ivey, who is also very deep. In short, it's a great bet.

Ivey insta-mucks with Negreanu to act behind him. Negreanu tanks before shoving all-in for $88,400 total.

Daniel Negreanu

Negreanu feels the stack sizes are awkward. If he were to call he'd have $70,200 left on the turn and the pot would be $90,000. He feels that he can't call the flop only to fold for less than a pot-sized bet on the turn.

He also knows Dwan is extremely aggressive and is capable of having complete air here. Thus, he decides to shove all in.

A play that I'm not sure I agree with. After all, yes, Dwan can have air in this spot. But he's never paying off with a worse hand than Negreanu's. And furthermore he's probably not folding a better hand than Negreanu's.

The only conceivable reason for Negreanu's shove is to avoid getting bluffed off "the best hand" on the turn or river should a scare card come. It really seems like Negreanu shovels his money all-in to avoid getting outplayed.

Turns out Dwan has a hand and snap-calls with his overpair queens.

Again, Dwan's image pays off. People make mistakes against him that they just don't make against other players. In this case they elect to run it twice, with Dwan winning the first and Negreanu winning the second.

Money-wise it's a pretty useless hand since all they get is half of what Phil Ivey put into the pot. But the lesson of the hand remains: playing loose-aggressive causes your opponents to make mistakes they might not otherwise make vs. less aggressive opponents.

That's the reason why Tom Dwan does so well. People have a difficult time adjusting to his aggression. This time the river bails Negreanu out. But next time it might not.


More Strategy Snapshots from High Stakes Poker Season 6:


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