Can you take it to the next level on NL10k?

We're back on the highest stakes of online poker and this time you need to prove you can handle it when more than $10,000 are on the line in a single hand.


Another week, another high stakes hand coming right at our analytical minds! This time we're stepping up even further by taking a look at a hand played on NL10K, including antes. And with prot0 there's at least one player involved that we haven't discussed previously.

Until a short while ago, he was only infrequently seen on the higher limits. That's changed during these last months, though, and he's becoming more and more active at the nosebleed tables. Still, he's doing everything he can to avoid any battles with other regulars.

In contrast, OhHeyCindy should be a familiar face to all of us by now and will be taking the role of today's Hero. Unlike prot0, he doesn't stay clear of reg battles and is instead playing them almost on a daily basis. His trademark is a super aggressive playstyle, resulting in a steeply rising red line in his winning graph.

If you're interested in getting to know him better, we recommend listening to the following podcast of Joe Ingram in which OhHeyCindy has been the guest of honour:

Diving into the action

OhHeyCindy open-completes in the small blind, a move that could leave a bit of a weird impression on players that are active on lower limits. However, due to antes, you're getting such good odds that you more or less must have a range for open-completing like that, leading to only very few hands that you wouldn't play in such a spot in the small blind.

High Roller Analyse oh hey
Today's action on NL10K

As a consequence, the Big Blind can and should raise a lot against the weak range of the Small Blind, especially since he would be playing in position. This kind of leads to a catch-22 because, in turn, the Small Blind has to call wide as well against the Big Blind's raising range to ensure he's not playing too many hands complete/fold.

Of course, is one of the weaker hands with which you would still call such a raise, though.

On to a kingly flop

raise anyway

The board is and Hero decides to go for a check/raise with middle pair. That's not completely mad but definitely not the line that's recommendable here. Instead, playing check/call would have been a much better choice since it would make it way harder for the opponent to put us on a range.

Check/raising is not a huge mistake, though, as long as you're only sporadically including it in your game for such a spot to keep your ranges balanced.

The size of the check/raise is chosen by Hero in such a manner that a 1/2 potsize bet on the turn would allow him to reasonably push all-in on the river in case the hand develops that way.

No more action on the turn


That's a first! We've probably witnessed the first street in all of our high stakes reviews where everyone just checks the board.

OhHeyCindy most likely would have played check/call, although you can never be too sure about a line with him. He's definitely capable of responding with another check/raise here.

Still, also in this case, check/calling is the optimal strategy and a check by the Big Blind of course a welcome sight with our hand.

Time for the right choice

NL10k High Stakes Analyse

Again, it's now up to you to decide on how to bring this hand to an end. We're still only holding mid-pair and the <img src= led to 96 and J9 hitting a straight. Of course, we could simply use that card in order to turn our hand into a bluff and balance our value range, either by playing bet/fold with a 1/2 potsize bet or by shoving all-in for maximum fold equity.

But maybe checking again could lead to the opponent bluffing often enough here, enabling us to play check/call. In contrast, our last option is a check/fold which would make most sense when you assume that Villain would check behind any weaker hands while only betting better ones.

Last high stakes review's result

Auslösung Pokerhand

In our last high stakes review you had to decide how to continue with on a NL5K turn spot and most of you voted for the all-in line to balance our value range.

Although the on the turn is surely a help for Hero's range, making an all-in more reasonable, it's still the wrong answer, though.

Even against a call-happy player like OhHeyCindy you don't have a push with nines in that spot. There are much better suited hands in LLinusLLove's range in order to shove, like any 8x hand, and of course you shouldn't be bluffing with all of the hands in your range. Pokersolver doesn't recommend a push in that spot as well.

In the end, LLinusLLove is known for a special playstyle and consequently there are some controversial discussions about some of his hands. Still, he's currently one of the two best regulars on NL5K.

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