Can you bluff your way to the top at NL5k?

In this week’s high stakes hand review we have to finish a very bold and aggressive line that you will rarely encounter on lower limits.

Regulars among themselves

We'll begin the latest hand of the current run of our high stakes review series with an overview of the players involved.

Bit2Easy, Pass_72 and CooL1992 are all players that haven't featured previously. All three can be ranked among the better regulars on the upper limits. They don't usually play at "reg only" tables and instead look for action with recreational players.

Pass_72 will be taking the role of Hero and LLinusLLove will be today's Villain. We already have a bit of info on LLinus from our previous high stakes review, still it's interesting to add that the player from Switzerland only started playing poker seriously in 2013. Back then he was running an online blog, playing NL10 and his main goal was to reach NL100 at some point in his career. By now, it's safe to say that he has surpassed this goal in only four years of playing.

Diving into the action

There's no need for a particularly detailed preflop discussion. After a cut-off raise and a couple of folds, Hero has an easy call with in the big blind. Most people would probably play it just like that on the lower limits too.

high roller analysis llinusllove
The action of today's high stakes hand review

Things get quite a bit more interesting on the flop. Hero didn't hit anything and decides to check out of position. Since the flop, in contrast, hit the range of the preflop aggressor very well, he's often able to fire a small-sized conti-bet, in this particular case opting for roughly 1/4 of the pot.

Now, Hero decides to get fancy by check/raising . At first sight, this appears to be quite a loose move and it's reasonable to assume that Pass_72 won't be doing that with in this spot all the time. However, since there are certainly some backdoor draws possible, it can indeed make sense to include a limited amount of holdings like that in your check/raising range in this spot in order to balance it.

The turn offers new opportunities

opportunity picture

After LLinusLLove calls Hero's flop check/raise, one of the best turn cards possible drops for Pass_72. The <img src= grants him a gutshot and a flush draw. Most players would probably bet first-in now, Hero though decides to follow up with another check/raise.

This particular line, i.e. also upholding a turn check/raising range while already having check/raised on the flop, is something you will almost never see on lower limits.

The advantage of such a line is that you're balancing your checking range on the turn. If you only played check/fold after such a flop, your opponent would be able to bet any turn against you, no matter how bad his hand actually is. Since the threat of a check/raise is looming now, the opponent will have to uphold a checking range on the turn.

In order to balance the strong part of such a turn check/raising range, combo draws like the one Hero's holding here are best suited.

Bluffing on or giving up on the river?

nl5k high stakes review

Unfortunately, Villain again didn't fold and Pass_72 neither hit his gutshot nor his flush on the last street. The options now are pretty simple. Either we follow through with our bluff, after all we've shown great strength with both check/raises, or we have to check/fold.

Since we've shown so much strength, Villain could be holding quite a strong hand himself that he doesn't necessarily have to fold against an all-in.

If we decide to stay active, we either have that option of pushing all-in right away for roughly the pot or we could bet half of it while keeping bet/fold as an option afterwards. It's not unreasonable to assume that the opponent will be folding just as often against a half pot-sized bet as against a direct all-in.

Last review's result

Auslösung Pokerhand

This time the resolution to our last high stakes hand review is a bit more unusual since our Hero OhHeyCindy rather played a "click it back" style instead of according to strategy.

In the end, up to 79% from 776 users that voted were right and wanted to simply fold against the Button's raise on the turn. In the actual hand, OhHeyCindy decided to counter with a min 3-bet to $2,385. However, OtB had the second best flush with in that spot and obviously called that bet.

OhHeyCindy's move in that hand didn't really follow any logic and hand analysis tools like Pokersolver suggest simply folding nines there as well. On the river, Cindy then didn't really have any choice but to put OtB all-in for another $3,046 in order to bring the hand to a somewhat reasonable end.

As you are able to see, even at the highest stakes of online poker regs sometimes end up doing weird things at the table. Maybe OhHeyCindy was simply tilting in that moment, but in the end, we'll never know for sure...

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