Poker friends Michael McDonald and Mike Watson both made the final table of the PokerStars European Poker Tour Barcelona Super High Roller event, finishing in fifth and third place, respectively. For this edition of the Strategy with Kristy podcast, host Kristy Arnett pulls each of them aside to discuss a hand of choice from the tournament.
McDonald chose a hand he played versus Ilari Sahamies at the final table. Here is a snippet from that part of the interview:
"It folded to him [Sahamies] in the cutoff. The blinds were 20,000-40,000. He made it 100,000. I called in the big blind with . He had maybe 1.5 million to start the hand. There aren't that many reasons to three bet here against someone who is opening a decent amount of the time and there's not much reason to fold. It's a pretty standard call preflop.
"The flop came , two spades. There was about 260,000 in the pot and maybe 1.4 million effective. I checked, and he checked behind. This was a spot where, first of all, I could lead a decent amount because it's one of the few flops that hits my range about as hard as his range. I can have all two-pair hands. I can have all straights, and also, he'll have a lot of ace-high hands that would generally be better than my ace-high hands. I'd give myself the opportunity to take down the pot. Say I had something worse like queen-eight or something like that. I think that'd be a good spot to lead. Here, my hand had a little more value, so I elected to check it. When he checked behind, he could have a number of hands, but I think that he'd bet both his strong draws and strong hands more often than not. I would say that when he checks back, he'd have a lot more weak top pairs, middle pairs, ace-highs, over-with-gutter-type hands. Generally, I don't think he'd check the stronger range of his hands.
"The turn came some sort of complete blank like a . This was a spot where I think a lot of people, if they were in my shoes, would say that they have ace-high which has showdown value so they should try to get to showdown. And, my draw isn't really that strong. I only have one over, one under, and a non-nut gutter. It's not that great of a spot. But, I think overall here, if he has similar strength hands, I think he's probably folding. I also think that if he has slightly better hands, he can often fold by the river. What I thought here was that when he checked back flop, he had me beat a majority of the time. Even though ace-high does have showdown value, this specific ace-high isn't going to win the pot that often. I thought that betting turn and betting most credibile rivers was probably the best way to go."
Find out what happened on the river in this hand, and tune in every week for new episodes of Strategy with Kristy. Feel free to send in questions, ideas or suggestions for the podcast to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also remember to follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.