At just 21 years of age, Dan Kelly has accomplished more than many poker pros will in a lifetime. Until he was of legal gambling age, he consistently cashed in MTTs online, and this summer, he nabbed a World Series of Poker bracelet in the $25,000 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em event and a seven-figure top place prize. Unlike many young poker players with similar success, Kelly has decided to finish school.
He's currently attending Villanova University. During winter break, he went to Atlantic City to play the WSOP Circuit Regional Championship at Harrah's. He talked to PokerNews about a hand he played on Day 2 of the tournament against Brett Richey.
Blinds: 1000-2000 with a 300 ante
What had your table image been previous to this hand?
Probably pretty aggressive, although I don't think I had been too out of line.
Had you played with Brett Richey much before this hand?
I've played versus him a bunch online, but mostly mixed games, not so much no-limit tournaments.
Preflop Action: Richey opened in middle position to 4,500. Kelly called in late position with .
Do you ever want to three-bet with your hand against him?
Maybe if stacks were a bit deeper or if I was out of position, but with the actual stacks/positions, I didn't want to have to three-bet/fold a hand with as much value as . He could easily just jam on me with the given stacks if I three-bet.
Also, can you explain why you would be more inclined to three-bet if you were out of position?
I wouldn't necessarily three-bet there, but I'd be more likely to because it's harder to call profitably when you are out of position.
Flop Action: The flop came . Richey checked, and Kelly bet 8,800 into a pot of 14,400. Richey called.
Why did you decide to bet? And what kind of range did you think he would not continuation bet with?
I think most of his checking hands will be marginal hands with showdown value like pocket tens through kings, or a weak ace. Occasionally, he could have a very strong hand or air, but I think he'd usually bet with those hands. Even though I don't expect him to fold to my flop bet a whole lot, I would still always bet here because of the equity my open ended straight draw gives me. Also, I could potentially fire multiple barrels, depending on the turn card. Or, I can check back the turn and see a free river if he calls flop and checks turn.
What turn cards would be good for you to barrel? Turns that give you more pot equity, or turn cards that might help your range against pocket tens through kings that are in his range with showdown value, or both?
Yeah, both. A spade would be pretty good since he'll rarely have spades. Although it's not that great since he could easily have a pair with a spade and would call turn
So now, after he just called your flop bet, he's either slowplaying a big hand or he has one of those showdown hands you put him on, right?
Turn Action: The turn was the . The board read . Both players checked.
What was your thought process on checking this turn?
It's not a great card for me to barrel because it's now less likely I have an ace, and he's less likely to fold tens through kings. I'd rather just take the free card.
I see. But, if you had tens through kings, would you ever bet the turn for value? What does your hand look like to him? Or is that not part of your range because you normally would three-bet preflop?
Yeah, I would expect him to think I would three-bet those hand preflop, and I probably wouldn't bet the flop with them if I happened to flat pre.
River Action: The river was the . The board now reads . Richey checked, and Kelly bet around 23,000. Richey quickly moved all in.
He pretty quickly moved all-in, which was pretty surprising. Now, at the time I thought he me covered, which would make it a pretty big check-raise, but I realized after the hand that he didn't have that many chips. It actually was only around a minraise. [Laugh] I'm pretty dumb. I ended up folding because it just didnt make sense for him to be bluffing based on his line up to this point.
And can you explain why it wouldn't make sense?
He would have to be turning pocket jacks through kings or some other random pair into a bluff, unless he was check-calling the flop, planning on bluffing at some later point, which isn't very likely. And, I don't think he would turn those other hands into a bluff because my range is fairly polarized on the river given my line. I'll generally have complete air or seven-eight. Maybe sometimes I could have an ace, but I don't think he expects me to fold an ace ever. Plus, a hand like ace-ten or pocket tens makes sense for him to play that way.
So had you known the correct stack size, would you have called?
I'm not sure. It would have been a much tougher fold getting such good odds, but I still might have folded since he'd be even less likely to bluff giving me such good odds.
Right. Does this happen often? Is knowing stack sizes harder for you since you come from online? Or was it just a freak occurrence?
It used to happen more often when I first started playing live, but I'm much better about it now.
Looking back at the hand, is there anything you would do differently?
I'm happy with how I played it.