How To CRUSH Heads-Up Poker!

How To CRUSH Heads-Up Poker!

GGPoker Millions Final Table

When you are heads up at a final table, the pressure is on, especially when its at the weekly Super Millions Tournament on GGPoker. Having provided us with some entertaining play in the past, this week we review some entertaining heads up play featuring two GGPoker regulars known as “C Jeppson” and “T Muehloecker”. With draws, bluffs, and everything in between, this hand was sure to have left both players sweating.

The Game:  GGPoker Super Millions
Blinds: 80,000/160,000, 20,000 ante
Stacks Sizes: 40 Big Blinds Effective

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Expanded Ranges Heads-Up

On the button, Jeppsson virtually looked down at 6-9 and min-raised to 320,000. Holding 6-5♠, Muehloecker made the call. If you find that you are folding hands like 6-9 and 6-5♠ preflop when heads-up, you are essentially lighting your chips on fire if you fold to min-raises. When playing heads up you cannot be afraid to get in there and battle, in tournaments the non-existent rake allows you to call min-raises from late position players to compete post flop.

A Pair And A Gutshot

The Pot: 680,000
The Board: 8♠-5-2♣
Effective Stack: 38 Big Blinds

Hitting middle pair on the flop, Mueloecker would check it out of position to Jeppsson who would make the 234,000 continuation bet. Holding a gutshot straight draw as well as the nine for a potential top pair, this is a strategically sound continuation bet. Many players would avoid this continuation bet for fear of getting raised, but when you hold a gutshot and are drawing top pair you must call such raises, especially heads up.

Holding middle pair, Muehloecker was put in a rough spot. When your middle pair gets worse as more draws come into play, check-raising is a potential play as a way of protecting your hand. Most of the time, however, calling is the preferred action. Mueloecker would elect to protect his middle pair and raised Jeppsson 706,240. While Mueloecker certainly provided his hand more protection with this raise, if Jeppsson had any sort of decent draw or made hand he would never have folded to this sized bet. In response, Jeppsson made the proper call, as a bluff-raise could have ruined his chances of hitting the straight.

Even More Low Cards

The Pot: 2,092,480
The Board: 8♠-5-2♣-4♠
Effective Stack: 33 Big Blinds

The 4♠ on the turn would bring in some options for Muehloecker out of position, he could check planning to call a bet or bet small with his paired 5. Betting large is ill-advised as it would serve as a bluff and only gets called by better hands. When you are value betting with a clear marginal made hand, you want to bet on the small side as it allows hands like ace-high to call you. That being said, it is disastrous when you bet small and get shoved on, making a check likely the best move in this situation.

Muehloecker elected to bet 690,519, leaving Jeppsson with the decision to call or raise. Calling is fine as any time you draw immediate odds to hitting a straight, you must always continue. Taking a raise into account, Jeppsson doesn’t want to have much of a raising range, because if he has a straight he can get his money in on the river and if he has a hand like two pair it doesn’t require the protection (even with the flush and straight draws). Jeppsson elected to call, taking the hand to the turn.

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A Bluffable River

The Pot: 3,473,518
The Board: 8♠-5-2♣-4♠-J♠
Effective Stack: 28 Big Blinds

By check-raising the flop and betting the turn, Jeppsen is representing a good made hand or a draw. Muehloecker must ask himself if the J♠ on the river is good enough to get Jeppsen to fold out a pair of eights. It likely isn’t, which means his options are to check or bet small, both fine options with the preferred being to check. Muehloecker checked, leaving Jeppsen with the only option of raising if he he hoped to win the hand.

While a bluff would be more preferable with a spade blocker, Jeppsen should reference previous hands in case Muehloecker has checked back flushes on the river. When you are on the river with a bad hand, you need to bluff if you want to win. If Jeppsen were to bluff it should be for a large size that gets low pairs to fold out (like Muehloecker’s paired 5), but not too large as any better hand is going to call or shove. Jeppsen would make a bet for 1,714,641, inducing a fold from Muehloecker and perfectly executing the river bluff.

Conclusion: Jeppsen Forces The Better Hand To Fold

Jeppsen ‘s quality bluff on the river would reward him with a sizable pot and chip lead. With the momentum, Jeppsen would beat out Muehloecker for the top prize of over $290,000, congrats to Jeppsen and best of luck in future poker tournaments!

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