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Hand Analysis with David Benefield

David Benefield

David Benefield, also known online as "Raptor," is one of the most respected high-stakes online cash-game players in the world. He crushes both pot-limit Omaha and no-limit hold'em even while attending St. John's College in Sante Fe. He took the time to talk to PokerNews about a pot-limit Omaha hand.

The Lineup and Stack Sizes

Seat 1: Tom "durrrr" Dwan - $65,470 - Ante $100

Seat 2: "Esvedra" $49,098 - Ante $100

Seat 3: David Benefield - $140,188.00

Seat 4: Hac "trex313" Dang - $45,410 - Small Blind $300

Seat 5: "La Key U" -$30,000 - Big Blind $600

Seat 6: "DIN_FRU" $29,800 - Ante $100

Preflop Action: Tom Dwan raised to $1,800. Benefield reraised to $6,900 with {a-Spades}{q-Spades}{8-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds}. Hac Dang called, and Tom Dwan called.
Ace-queen-eight-seven double suited is a very strong hand in position against someone who opens as wide as Dwan. Three-betting is standard here for me, and even if "lackey" or Dang comes in with a four-bet behind me, I am not losing too much in equity calling.

Flop Action: The flop came {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts}{3-Hearts}. Dang checked. Dwan checked, and Benefield bet $6,000. Dang and Dwan called.
The standard move here is to probably check or fire out a bigger bet, but at this time, I had been experimenting with small, less than one-third pot continuation bets, and it had been going well. I find the most success when I am doing things that put people in awkward situations they are not used to dealing with.

Turn Action: The turn was the {a-Diamonds}. The action checked around. 

I didn’t see a whole lot of value to betting here. I am possibly ahead, and am not really scared about too many hands catching up to beat me. If I did bet, it would be to blow Dang and Dwan off of weaker flopped flushes, but to do so, I would have to follow up with a river shove, which may not even work. I decided to take a free card and try to fill up.

River Action: The river was the {10-Hearts}. Dang checked. Dwan bet $17,800. Benefield raised to $93,300. 

I think this is a great river for a bluff. Dwan will probably lead out here with jack and queen-high flushes, as well as all of his full houses. I don’t think it is very likely he has the ace-king full house, and it is not hard for me to represent that I have it with a shove. The only hand I am really worried about is ace-ten, which is probably too strong for Dwan to get away from. Most of his smaller full houses should fold here on the river, as they only beat a pure bluff. Me holding an ace also decreases his chances of having one. With $57,700 in the pot, it costs me $52,470 to shove all in here as a bluff, which means it only has to work about 48 percent of the time to show a profit. If Dang filled up or had a hand worth putting considerable money in with, he would have probably led out, so I am not too worried about coming over the top of Dwan with a raise here and running into a monster behind me.

Result: Dwan called with {a-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}{10-Diamonds}{9-Spades} and won $144,837 from the pot.
As you can see, my plan failed, and I lost a pretty big pot. One could play pretty ABC in a lot of the bigger stakes pot-limit Omaha games and show a profit, but taking advantage of situations like this is a way to really expand your game and increase winnings. Bluffing in big pots can be intimidating, and it will often fail making it more difficult to do. However, being able to see and take advantage of profitable situations in the form of river bluffs is one of the most important aspects of beating the bigger pot-limit Omaha games.

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