Hold'em with Holloway, Vol. 114: DAT Poker Podcast Hosts Break Down My River Check w/ the Nuts
I love poker podcasts, so much so that I actually co-host one — the LFG Podcast with Jamie Kerstetter, right here on PokerNews.
Our podcast is devoted to the mid-majors, so in order to keep atop poker outside that niche I consume a lot of other shows such as the PokerNews Podcast, The Fives with Donnie Peters and Lance Bradley, and DAT Poker Podcast, just to name a few.
DAT Poker Podcast is hosted by Adam Schwartz, Terrence Chan, and Daniel Negreanu, with Ross Henry producing. The show features a lot of fun segments as well as insightful hand analyses.
I recently submitted a hand I played to get their take, and while I'm not sure whether or not they'll actually talk about it on their show, Schwartz and Chan were kind enough to go ahead and give me some feedback to share in this week's Hold'em with Holloway.
In the 2019 WSOP Bracelet Winners Only Event, it was Level 5 (300/600/600) when Blair Hinkle raised from under the gun to 1,500. The short-stacked Ron Ware (with about 8,000) called from the button and I was in the small blind with -offsuit and a stack of roughly 55,000. I called and Russian pro Vitaly Lunkin (with about 50,000) came along as well from the big blind.
The flop came with one diamond. Everyone checked and the dealer burned and turned the to put two diamonds on board. I bet 2,000 with my up-and-down straight draw and much to my surprise I received three calls.
A offsuit river gave me the nuts, but also put four to a straight on the board. I opted to check hoping one of my three opponents behind me would bet.
My question to DAT Poker Podcast concerned my river decision. Should I have led out for value, or was this a good place to go for a possible check-raise?
Terrence Weighs In
"I personally don't care much for -offsuit as a small-blind defend at this stack depth," Chan hit me straight off the bat. "I think it's good as a big blind defense, but offsuit hands out of position are just so poor multi-way."
The flop played itself with a round of checks, but on the turn Chan had some advice.
"As I see it you win more chips by leading and hoping someone gets sticky."
"I think I prefer a larger turn sizing. You are drawing to the nuts, and you rate to have hit this board much harder than Blair or Ron," he explained. "Ron particularly has demonstrated he has absolutely nothing by taking this line given his SPR (stack-to-pot ratio) of 1. A larger sizing pushes out pocket pairs and overcards, and if called you still have significant equity (and the opportunity to barrel again on the river)."
I can't disagree with his point, but as it was I bet on the smaller side and found myself with a decision on the river.
"On the river as played, I would lead and just hope that another has a tough decision," said Chan. "An is unlikely to bet for you four-handed (as you found out), Blair has not very many [hands] opening under the gun, and Ron should have almost no [hands] flatting at that stack size."
"So, we're looking at only Vitaly having a , and he might not even call the check-raise. So, as I see it you win more chips by leading and hoping someone gets sticky with an or two pair/set."
Adam Offers His Take
"I'm fairly sure I'm not the one of the three hosts that you want to take advice in NLH tournaments from," Schwartz began, "but here's my take."
"With about 90 BBs this seems like a fold for me," he said of my hand preflop. "If we're calling a raise here out of position in the small blind with -offsuit, where are we folding it? The flop plays itself obviously."
"I have a personal rule that I almost never check the nuts out of position on the river."
"The turn seems reasonable," he continued. "Depending on how sticky the three players behind you are, it might be tough to get this bet through, but if you get called and bink river, the hand is well-disguised.
As for the river play, Schwartz offered the following thoughts.
"I have a personal rule that I almost never check the nuts out of position on the river, but if there was ever a case for it this might be it," he said. "An overbet to get a one card straight to call seems good, too."
SPOILER: So how did it all play out? All three players checked behind and Ware tabled for a wheel. I tabled my bigger straight and both Lunkin and Hinkle mucked. Had I led out with a bet, there's a good chance I'd have gotten a little value. Worst case everyone folds and I'd have gotten the same result.
For more from Chan and Schwartz, and from Negreanu as well, check out the DAT Poker Podcast.