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Narrowing Ranges and Value Betting With Catalin Pop

Catalin Pop
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  • Catalin Pop analyzes a hand from his 888pokerLIVE Festival Bucharest Main Event final table run.

  • Hand analysis: A quick video lesson in postflop range narrowing and value betting from Catalin Pop.

Catalin Pop of Romania had a strong 2017 including collecting three tournament titles in the 888Live King's Festival Main Event in Rozvadov, the 888Live Festival Barcelona High Roller, and a side event in the World Series of Poker Circuit Rozvadov series.

Pop has gotten off to a good start in 2018 as well, most recently final-tabling the 888pokerLIVE Festival Bucharest €888 Main Event won by Andrei Racolta.

On his way to finishing fifth in the 469-entry event, Pop took the time to analyze an interesting hand he played on the feature table with about 30 players left.

With a stack of about 400,000 and the blinds 5,000/10,000 with a 1,000 ante, Pop raised from UTG with {K-Spades}{J-Clubs} then saw Florian Tatu quickly reraise-push for 65,000. Levente Pal called the shove from the cutoff (also quickly), and the action folded back to Pop.

As Pop explains below, he didn't feel Pal would call with just ace-king, and noting the good pot odds Pop decided to call.

The three players saw the flop come {K-Clubs}{9-Clubs}{4-Hearts}, and feeling "pretty sure" he was best versus Pal, Pop value bet 40,000. Pal quickly called. Something similar happened after the {9-Spades} turn, with Pop betting smaller — 35,000 — and Pal calling without hesitation once again.

The swift calls of these small bets into the side pot convinced Pop that Pal had queens, jacks, or tens, which meant the {2-Clubs} on the river didn't concern him too greatly, and Pop made an even smaller value bet of just 25,000.

Watch below to hear what happened next, and listen as well to how Pop was able to narrow Pal's range after the flop from street to street:

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