High Stakes Cash Game Overview
As the title suggests, this exciting flush versus flush hand from Season 12 of Poker After Dark attracted a large pot, but also a strategy segment from yours truly! Featuring established pro Justin Young and Main Event Final Table veteran Ben Lamb, this hand not only hit six figures, but had enough diamonds to fill a jewelry store.
The Game: $100/$200 NLH
Blinds: $100/$200 w/$400 Straddle
Stacks Sizes: 250 Blinds Effective
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Preflop Play “After Dark”
Utilizing the straddle, Justin Young charges the table $400 to stay in the hand with 8♦4♦. After the 5-handed table folds around, Ben Lamb makes it $1,500 on the Big Blind with A♦7♦ . While many players would assume a fold would be the right move in Young’s position, taking into account the ability to close the action, and additionally Lamb’s wide raising range, a call in this spot is wise and lets Young play the flop.
Draws on the Flop
The Pot: 3,300
The Board: 2♦-9♠-J♦
Effective Stack: 48,900
In the moment, Young surely loved to see diamonds dancing on the board, but little did he know Lamb had two prettier ones in his own hand. With the ace high flush draw, Lamb made the continuation bet for $1,700, roughly half the pot. Having a flush draw himself, Young easily had to call. In this spot, Young makes the correct play as a raise in this situation would be truly terrible due to the game being deep stacked. If Young were to raise, a following 3-bet would leave him guessing and very vulnerable to stronger hands, acknowledging Lamb’s preflop raise. If Young were to raise effectively in this situation, he should do so with his best, premium hands, as well as premium draws that could call a 3-bet.
The Pot: 6,700
The Board: 2♦-9♠-J♦-5♦
Effective Stack: 47,200
While Young does hit his flush on the turn, he is stone dead as Lamb’s much higher flush left him completely dominated. As the first to act, Lamb has multiple options to proceed with his nut hand. One of these options would be to bet big, as such a bet would extract value from opponents in the hand with jacks, nines, and various diamond combos. On the other hand, a check in this spot would greatly protect Lamb’s checking range, making him less susceptible to exploitative bets from opponents in future hands. Lamb does exactly that, and checks to Young, who proceeds to fire into the pot with a $3,500 bet. Lamb wisely calls this bet, as raising in this spot would risk inducing a fold before Young can sacrifice more of his chips on the river.
Six Figure River
The Pot: 13,700
The Board: 2♦-9♠-J♦-5♦-10♥
Effective Stack: 43,700
Out of position with the best hand, Lamb wisely checks, luring Young into a value bet of $8,500. With the nuts, Lamb pushed his entire stack into the middle, putting Young in an incredibly tough spot. While we have the benefit of knowing what both players have, Young was playing live and could not specifically know what Lamb was shoving with. Young is forced to make a reluctant (emphasis on reluctant) call in this spot to acknowledge Lamb’s ability to turn cards into bluffs and tendency to battle at the table. Making the call, Young pays off Lamb’s ace-high flush, contributing to a very lucrative hand for Lamb.
Results: Young Pays for a Very Expensive Flush
Despite the fact Young navigated this hand with an effective and proper strategy, he could not get away from the much better flush held by Ben Lamb. If this review has left you wanting to improve your own draw play, be sure to check out our draws quiz, as well as countless other hand quizzes from real hands played by our very own coaches.