This is a hand from last year’s PokerStar’s Caribbean Adventure where I was commentating. I will share with you a particularly sweet hand played by Daniel Negreanu. Daniel made it clear that he had been working hard on his game, and this hand clearly illustrates that to be the case.
Daniel has all the options at his disposal with his pocket twos. Calling to try to flop a set in position is certainly an acceptable play, but if he expects someone yet to act to frequently reraise, he should instead either reraise or fold. Calling essentially says that he is not too worried about someone yet to act getting out of line, which made sense given the way the play had gone throughout the day. Reraising may also make sense if he thinks Ivan will rarely pay him off if he flops a set. Folding is also reasonable, but with stacks this deep, seeing the flop is ideal.
Everyone else folded. The flop came. Ivan bet 28,000 into the 92,000 pot. Daniel raised to 95,000.
While many players elect to call in Daniel’s shoes, mainly because they don’t want to play a big pot with a clearly marginal hand, raising accomplishes a few objectives. When Ivan bets so small (about 1/3 pot), he is giving himself a great price to see the turn when he has over cards, which will be most of the time. Raising negates those odds, forcing unpaired hands like Q-J to fold and putting slightly better hands like A-K in a rough spot. Raising also allows Daniel to bluff out some better hands on the turn or river when the board gets scary. All in all, I love his raise.
Ivan called Daniel’s raise. The turn was the ()- . Both players checked.
I was surprised by Daniel’s check, although it may make sense, depending on how he structures his flop raising range. If Daniel had a full house, he would want to continue value betting in order to build a giant pot when he is against an over pair, which makes me think he should continue betting with at least some of his bluffs for balance purposes. While I don’t expect many decently strong hands like over pairs to fold to a turn bet, I do expect some of them to fold to a turn plus river bet. Perhaps Daniel’s plan was to raise the flop to protect his hand from the various unpaired hands and then check down if called, which seems fine to me.
The river was the ()- . Ivan checked and Daniel bet 400,000 into the 284,000 pot.
I am not a fan of bluffing the river, mainly because the over pairs he is trying to make fold are all quite strong. Also, I don’t think many players would check behind on the turn with full houses, so the only value hand that makes logical sense to play this way is 8-8.
Ivan quickly folded 9-9.
I was surprised by this fold, but if Daniel’s line will make his opponent fold over pairs, clearly it is great!