In this PokerNews strategy column, I look at a hand played by Garrett Adelstein, a seasoned high-stakes poker professional, on the Huster Casino Live stream where he puts his opponent to the ultimate test on the river by betting enough to put him all in.
His villain in this hand is Ethan, a player who is playing much higher stakes than he is used to. Garrett then decides to do something he has never done before, proving why he is such a fan favorite in the poker community.
With blinds at $100/$200/$400, Ethan raised to $1,200 from under the gun with and a player named Trevor flat-called from the cutoff with . Action then folded to Garrett on the button, who put in a three-bet to $5,500 holding .
Ethan decided to call, which I think is the right play. His hand is too strong to fold and by four-betting he risks being jammed on by Garrett. Trevor, meanwhile, made the right play and got out of the way with his dominated king-queen offsuit.
The flop came to pair Ethan’s ace and he checked. Garrett continued with a bet of $4,000. With top pair and a good kicker, Ethan should check-call on all betting rounds in order to keep Garrett in with his bluffs.
Incredibly, the turn brought the to give Garrett a set and leave Ethan drawing dead. Ethan checked and Garrett sized up to $17,000. Ethan called, which again I think is the right play, despite this being a bad turn card as it improves hands like ace-jack that now beat Ethan.
The river brought the and Ethan checked for a third time. With $55,100 in the pot, Garrett put Ethan all in for $66,500, putting Ethan at risk while playing much higher stakes than he is used to.
What would you do in this situation?
The river is an atrociously bad card for Ethan as it improves ace-ten and also Garrett’s most obvious bluff, king-queen. Garrett has an easy all-in for a little over a pot-sized bet and Ethan has a tough decision.
Garrett then did something interesting in the hand, telling his opponent “I’ve got it.” I think Garrett did so because he thought Ethan was about to make a big fold. I think in his mind, it was pretty clear that Ethan had some sort of ace. I don’t think he was trying to be a “nice guy” and save his opponent money, I think he was making the smart play of trying to get his opponent to call.
Ethan folded, which I think is the right play given the runout and facing a river jam. While Ethan ended up folding, you can make a play as Garrett did in this hand and it may work every once in a while.
For more on this hand check out my breakdown in the following video:
Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at PokerCoaching.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.