Hand No. 25 with Dusty Schmidt

POKER STARS $5/$10 NO LIMIT HOLDEM – 6 PLAYERS

Playing with somewhat deep stacks, Dusty opens under the gun and gets called by two opponents.

Despite having an overpair, this is the sort of flop that Dusty will sometimes check and fold against wildly aggressive and tough opposition, since it’s so hard to get to showdown while getting the money in good. The button, however, is capable of paying off with some weak hands, so Dusty value bets. The fact that the flop is rainbow also helps, since there will be fewer gross turn cards.

While the K♠ is not fantastic looking, it doesn’t particularly hit anything the cutoff should be holding, so Dusty sticks in another bet. It’s possible that the cutoff slowplayed a set, particularly with the fishy player in the hand behind him, but he’ll probably let Dusty know by raising here, so there will be no further losses.

The cutoff could also hold a hand like pocket sixes or fours, giving him a pair and a gutshot, or seven-six which does the same. He could also have a stronger hand like nines through jacks or ace-seven. Dusty’s bet can get value from some of these hands, particularly the pairs with a draw, and occasionally folds from pocket nines or tens (though not that often). When the cutoff calls the turn, it’s clear that he’s got a small to medium pair.

Dusty’s turn bet is also motivated by a particular river dynamic that it sets up. When the river pairs the board and Dusty checks, which hands is the cutoff likely to bet with? Not any of the ones that beat Dusty. Pocket nines through jacks will be delighted to take a showdown here, hoping they’re good, but fearing a weak king. Weaker hands like pocket sixes and fours may get turned into a bluff, and missed draws like nine-eight and eight-six will almost surely bet.

This is a somewhat strange situation where by betting the turn and checking the river, Dusty often gets two bets in against the hands he beats, and only one bet in against the hands that beat him. A lot of times, the situation will be the opposite, where betting twice gets the money in against a weaker range. It pays well to learn the difference.

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