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Strategy with Kristy: Denny Man Discusses Playing Flops Out of Position

Denny Man

Denny Man, also known as "The_End" online, is an online cash-game player, coach, and video instructor at LeggoPoker. He's the latest guest on the Strategy with Kristy podcast and he discusses flop decision making when playing in raised pots out of position. Using specific hand examples, Man talks about when it is optimal to check-call, check-raise, or lead.

Man analyzes a specific hand he played and reviewed in a LeggoPoker training video in which he weighs his options after calling a raise in the small blind with {a-Clubs}{5-Clubs} on a {k-Clubs}{6-}{5-} flop. Here is a snippet from that part of the interview:

On a dry board like this, I think it's quite likely that we will get barreled because in his eyes, we're going to check-call pocket eights, nines, and all sorts of stuff. He's probably going to try and represent the ace-king or king-queen on that board, so I don't really think that check-calling is an option.

The next thing that comes to mind is a check-raise because obviously folding should usually be the last option we consider because it's zero EV (expected value). What I like about this board to check-raise on is that it is very credible for us to have both six-five, pocket fives, and pocket sixes. So it's not only sets in our range, it's also two pairs. Also, king-six-five rainbow, there is actually something that I talked about in a training video called "imaginary draws." We have the imaginary seven-eight in our range, so if a nine rolls off or a four, I'll be continuing to barrel the turn and the river. I think it's just a really hard call for him with anything that's not a set or a straight. I do think his c-betting range on this flop is obviously a lot wider than sets. I think we can even get him to fold something as strong as ace-king by the river. It also helps that we have blockers to the pocket fives with our ace-five. And, we have a backdoor flush draw. So that's why I like check-raising there, a lot actually.

What if the board was a bit less draw heavy? Let's say the flop came king-five-two with one club. We no longer have two pairs in our range. Does this make it so that you are less likely to check-raise?

Yes, for sure. I think it's a totally different board. Not only for the reason you mentioned, but also, it's a board he's less likely to barrel. On king-six-five, there's more of a chance that he can have some hand that a gut shot or something that he will continue to barrel with. Whereas on king-five-two, it's less likely because it's harder for him to credibly barrel. That makes check-calling an option in that spot actually.

Tune in every week for new episodes of Strategy with Kristy. Feel free to send in questions, ideas or suggestions for the podcast to Also remember to follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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