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Advanced poker strategy with the pros. Smith against Phil


The 2016 Texas Super High Roller Bowl of Texas poker that was held at the ARIA in Las Vegas brought together 49 players who put $ 300,000 each to try to win the $ 5,000,000 first prize and one of the most prestigious poker titles . As the action was filmed to be broadcast by NBC Sports, at 888poker we believed that it would be fun not only to identify the best hands, but to offer an analysis of them by professionals.

This hand, which takes place in the fifth episode of SHRB 2016, Dan Smith and Phil Hellmuth complete in the blinds with an ace in hand each. One of them ends up getting in trouble. We asked the ambassador of 888poker Dominik Nitsche to gut our hand.

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The situation

With the blinds at 12,000 / 24,000 (3,000), there were five players at the table when Smith, who had 1,800,000, completes in the small blind with A ♦ 7 ♥ and Hellmuth, with 1,200,000, passes in the big one with A ♠ 3 ♦.

“I’ll start with the first important decision that is the one that preflop is taken,” says Nitsche. “Dan Smith decides to blind blinds, and it’s something you see often in world-class tournament players. The reason is simple: we have great odds to pay and we do not want to give many walks to the big blind. If we climb all the times, it would be very easy to play against us, since we are out of position. I think that most of the time, in this situation, I will limit myself to the best decision. ”

Of course I am not suggesting that there are always limpees from the small blind. If you did, many times it would be with strong hands giving the opponent the chance to see the free flop with their bad hands. Playing hand to hand, Q7 is in the middle of the 169 possible hands you can receive. If you have a better hand, you probably have the best hand. And like everything in poker, what you do depends on several factors: the starting hand, the rival, the stacks, etc. So do not adopt a rigid strategy in which you always complete the small blind.

The flop and the turn

When 7 ♠ 4 ♠ A ♣ appeared on the flop, Smith bet 24,000 with his maximum doubles and Hellmuth paid immediately with his maximum pair.

“Dan decides to bet, and I think it’s a good decision for a couple of reasons,” Nitsche explains. “First, he does not think it’s easy for Phil to have an ace. Think about it. He probably would have gone up or even gone all in with his 30 blinds. It will rarely happen preflop with the ace; This is more true the shorter the chips go. Also, I would not be surprised if Dan had bet with all the hands in his range. ”

Unfortunately for Hellmuth, the fact of wanting to hide his ace is going to cost him a lot of chips. When 5 ♥ comes out on the turn, Smith bets 85,000 and Hellmuth returns immediately.

“It’s a letter that does not change much, since Phil Hellmuth’s most likely hand is something like 7-4 or a color project,” Nitsche continues. “Dan may consider that he has the nuts, and try to make the pot as big as possible. It is up to him to make a big bet, and even if he does not have a hand made, he can bluff without fear because it is very difficult for Phil to have a hand that can pay peacefully “.

The river

After the J ♠ completes the table on the river, Smith bets 200,000 and Hellmuth takes a while before paying.

What does Nitsche think?

“While the river card can be a scary card, the reality is that it is not that dangerous when you have A-7,” he says. “Basically, the only way that Smith can lose is if he meets a color. But there are a lot of hands to win, many of which will pay on the river. The most interesting thing is to bet. Hellmuth can not have AJ because he would have climbed preflop, even with any pair that had completed a trio, he would also have gone up or gone all-in preflop. So you just have to worry about the color, and in a pot where the ranges are so wide by being blind versus blind in a limped pot, Phil can not have the color so often. ”

In effect, it is a situation in which Smith has to bet. If the river was a dangerous card of type four, five, six or eight, then it would be more reasonable to pass. As the hand went, it seems that Hellmuth can have a worse ace or double, two hands that Smith wants to draw value from. Of course, if the bet Hellmuth responds with a raise or going all-in, it would be an indication of having completed the color of spades. If it happened, Smith could throw himself calmly.

“I doubt he’s considered going on the river,” concludes Nitsche.

We will continue counting interesting hands of SHRB 2016, directly from the pros.