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Strategy with Kristy: Reid Young Discusses Showdown Value

Reid Young

Reid Young is professional poker poker player who, prior to Black Friday, made his living playing online cash-games. In late 2010, he authored, The Blue Book: An Advanced Strategy Guide for No-Limit Hold'em Cash Games, which first sold for $2,500. Young is also a very sought out poker coach and has plans to launch an innovative coaching website. For this edition of the Strategy with Kristy Podcast, he discusses various topics, but really delves into advanced strategy concerning showdown value by illustrating it with a couple of hand histories.

Here is a snippet from the interview:

This straightforward guy raises in the cutoff. We are 100 big binds, effective, so we both have $200 at $1/$2. I reraise from the big blind with ace-nine suited just because it’s slightly below my calling requirements. I’m not really comfortable calling. I think I can take it down preflop often, combined with continuation betting a decent amount and outplay him postflop, plus the equity of my actual hand versus his calling range gives me several ways I can win money here.

I think they all add up to make me a small profit on the play. He called, and we’d gone back and forth a little bit before this. I was kind of surprised to see him call. I more expected him to four-bet or fold, which is also why I decided to three-bet a hand like ace-nine. I’m not as dominated by his calling range, and if he four-bets, I can just get away. It makes it easier to play and less likely that he’s going to have an ace-X hand that he can combat my light three-bet with.

The flop comes three-four-five, all different suits. This is a pretty good flop for me and one that puts him in an awkward position with a lot of hands like middle pairs. Also, he’d call a bet on the flop with a lot of better ace-highs that I think I can get him to fold by the river. It’s a good board for me being the aggressor and not one that he wants to get in a lot hands with. Even if he has a hand like pocket nines, in his best-case scenario, I have ace-king, and he’s only a little better than a two-to-one favorite. It’s not that amazing for him to raise pocket nines, so I have the green light to continuation bet here, looking to fold out queen-jack suited and hands like that.

So, I do c-bet, and he ends up calling. When he calls, combined with the fact that I said that we have a fairly pre-established dynamic preflop, it’s extremely evident to me that he either has a similar hand to mine like ace-jack or ace-queen, or he has one of those medium pairs like nines, eights, or sevens. I think sixes might be a little too light to peel on this flop, but who knows, he could have those for sure.

The turn is a two, which gives me the wheel. It’s one of those spots where I have so many ace-highs in my range. Sure, I could have continuation bet the flop with king-queen or complete air like seven-eight, and then continued betting on the turn to try and represent an ace, but I’ve found that more straightforward players that play their hands based on equity, just aren’t going to be calling down with pocket nines here. They are just worried about so much of my range, and they will worry about me betting the river. It’s not like they just have to call the turn and the hand is over. I can still over-bet shove the river. I can have sixes in my range as well so it’s not that amazing of a situation for him if he has an ace, let alone a hand like pocket nines. It would be a really tough call down for him. That’s why I decided to check.

Listen to the podcast to hear more of Young's analysis on this hand.

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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