Hand No. 4 with Dusty Schmidt


For whatever reason, Dusty is sitting at a five-handed table with four other world class players. There is no one at the table who’s made less than a million dollars playing online poker. That’s not the sort of game selection we suggest you practice, but let’s assume that the sixth player who recently left the table was quite bad and justified such a line up. As it is, everyone in the hand can be expected to make rational and high quality decisions.

Despite the high caliber of Dusty’s opponents, getting 5-to-1 immediate odds is more than enough to justify playing a good multiway hand like eight-six suited.

When the flop checks around, it’s clear that no one has a strong hand. It’s possible that someone has ace-king or ace-jack, but that’s the top of everyone’s collective range. It’s also extremely unlikely that anyone holds a flush draw and declined semi-bluffing at this board.

The only player who may have flopped a good hand is the small blind, but he dispels that concern by checking the turn. Since no one has a strong hand and Dusty has a tight image, he decides to represent a failed flop check/raise by making a large bet on the turn. Much to his surprise, he gets two callers.

It’s likely that the cutoff holds either ace-king or ace-jack. In fact, it’s almost certain. But what could the button have checked through on the flop but decided to call a river bet with? It’s possible that he turned a set of deuces, or perhaps made two pair with ace-deuce.

Dusty’s plan is to fire any river besides an ace, king, or a jack. The 7♣ is a fantastic card, since it completes his phantom flush draws. Since he’s bluffing into two players, each of whom clearly holds something decent but not powerful, he makes a bet close to the size of the pot. Making a smaller bluff here would be a mistake, since it would allow either of his opponents to justify a hero call with their marginal made hand. This is not the time to save a few dollars. It’s time to lock up the pot and let the two excellent players make their “good” folds.

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