$20/$40 No-Limit Hold’Em At The Lodge
Quickly making a name for himself on the felt and in the YouTube space, poker vlogger and WSOP bracelet winner Ethan “Rampage Poker” Yau continues to make amazing content drawing the attention of many poker fans. Travelling to Austin, Texas to play at The Lodge Poker Club, Rampage found himself getting loose with a suited ace. Having previously bluffed the eventual villain with queen-high, was Rampage able to get another one through?
The Game: The Lodge Poker Club in Austin, Texas – $20/$40
Stack Sizes: 232 Big Blinds Effective
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The Leveling War Begins
Following a limp from the UTG+3 player, Rampage would raise it to $150 after looking down at A♣-9♣. Folded to the button, the villain of the hand would three-bet $500 inducing a fold from the limper. Holding a hand that could either fold or call to try and flop some clubs, Rampage elected to make the call.
Often when playing cash games you will encounter limpers like the UTG+3 player. When you have a decently strong hand, you don’t mind having a raise called as the hand will often be head’s-up going to the flop. Facing the button three-bet, Rampage wisely called with his deep stack and suited ace hand, a very profitable hand when you can hit your flush. With over $1,000 in the pot, both players would take it to the flop head’s-up.
Nothing But Air
The Pot: $1,100
The Board: 10♦-6♦-2♠
Effective Stack: 219 Big Blinds Effective
Flopping nothing but air, Rampage would check it out of position to his opponent, who would make a small $350 bet. Citing the fact the bet was small and that he had previously bluffed the villain, Rampage made the call.
When the flop comes 10-6-2 with no clubs, the plan for Rampage should have been to check then fold to a bet. While the small flop bet may encourage a call with ace-high, the lack of clubs to produce even a backdoor flush should discourage a call. Even if Rampage were to hit an ace on the turn or river, his opponent had all of the stronger ace hands like A-K and A-Q which dominated him. Rampage highlighted the leveling war he felt he found himself in during this hand, but when you stick to playing smart, strategically sound poker such situations can be avoided and allow you a better chance to profit in future hands.
While Rampage should have given up on this hand, he made the call taking it to the turn.
Calling Without A Care
The Pot: $1,800
The Board: 10♦-6♦-2♠-K♣
Effective Stack: 201 Big Blinds Effective
Still lacking any hand strength, Rampage checked it to his opponent who sized up with a $1,300 bet. Despite only holding ace-high, Rampage continued to play the hero with another call.
When the turn brought the K♣ it was a terrible spot for Rampage, as he was behind or dead against hands like A-K, K-K, K-Q and K-J, hands well within the villain’s range. Rampage should have ignored the leveling war in his head and made the fold, while he would have been ahead against Q-J there were a lot more hands in his opponent’s range he lost to rather than beat. In general, the line of check-call flop, check-call turn, lead the river is not a good line when all of the draws miss, if your opponent has any made hand or a bluff catcher they will find the call.
With enough air to breathe for years, Rampage prayed for an ace on the river.
Going For Broke
The Pot: $4,400
The Board: 10♦-6♦-2♠-K♣-8♠
Effective Stack: 168 Big Blinds Effective
Other than blocking 9-7, Rampage had put himself into quite the predicament by the river. Hoping his ace-high might be good, Rampage checked it to his opponent who then bet $2,200. Figuring it was his only way of winning the hand, Rampage thought for some time before moving all-in. Snap calling, the villain would reveal K♠-K♥, crushing Rampage for just under $10,000.
It is never fun when you bluff all-in and your opponent instantly calls. When a decent opponent bets for half pot on the river their range usually consists of a few nut hands (sets and two pairs), strong premium hands like pocket aces, and a few bluffs. Despite having already lost $10,000, is this a spot Rampage should ever be bluffing? Assuming Rampage has a balanced range, his bluffing options are heavily dependent on what cards he is holding. If his opponent is capable of folding strong hands like pocket aces, Rampage does not want to bluff with hands that block folding hands. By holding the A♣, Rampage essentially blocked the possibility of his opponent having a foldable hand, in turn making this bluff ill-advised.
Conclusion: Rampage Punts It Off
While Rampage may have miscalculated this bluff, he took it in stride and was nice enough to let us review this hand. We greatly appreciate Rampage and his support, be sure to check out his deep tournament runs and WSOP wins at his YouTube channel. Until next time, be sure to study hard, and best of luck in your games.