PokerStars strategy: You know what? Sometimes they have it

It's so easy to believe you're being bluffed and pay people off. There was a flush draw and they could have been betting it right? Well, yes, they could. They could also have been betting sets, two pairs, straights and made flushes. Maybe, just maybe, your hand isn't good. But they could be bluffing.


Allan Baekke won €445,000 at EPT 6 Snowfest

Now then, we're certainly not calling Allan Baekke a fish - he's won an EPT and is a fearsome heads-up player - but perhaps he caught a touch of dontbelieveititis and gave his opponent a little too much credibility for making a high variance bluff. Watch the video below and see what you think.

Now then, it's always said that you shouldn't analyse hands in a vacuum, but let's do that anyway (you know, just as a point of discussion). If the flop is checked round and someone barrels the turn and river of a 9♣3♣T♣J♠J♥ board then how often do you expect your A♥T♦ to be ahead (in a vacuum, of course). Not often is the answer. Ask yourself how often they're trying to get value and how often they're bluffing? What are the potential value hands given the action? Slow-played flopped flush, turned straight (which is possible with playable king-queen and seven-eight hands connecting), rivered trips and full house? All those are possible, for sure. Naked bluffs and missed A♣ bets less so.

Hands like this are a good lesson in measuring polarised ranges. When there are so many possibilties, what is your opponent representing? And, compared to what's in the pot, are you getting a good enough price on calling a bluff against a wide range of value bets?

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is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in Strategy