Pro Hand Analysis with Daniel Negreanu
If you're looking for more tips, hand breakdowns, and vlogs from him, you can find them at www.youtube.com/DNegreanu.
CHIP COUNTS AT THE START OF THE HANDNick Petrangelo 1,595,000
Daniel Negreanu 1,400,000
PRE-FLOPPot Size: 315,000
Action: With the blinds at 25,000/50,000 and a 5,000 ante, Petrangelo made a standard 2.5x opening raise to 125,000 from under the gun. The action folded around to Negreanu, who opted to smooth call with AcAh.
Negreanu's Analysis: "When I make a play like that, it's to balance my range. I don't reraise from the big blind almost ever, so if I do, people can give me credit for having a really big hand. So when I do have a really big hand, sometimes that means I have to slowplay it and try to get aggressive players to bluff off all their chips to me. If I reraise in this spot, Nick's just going to fold, but if I call, I increase my chances of maximizing my profit on the hand."
FLOP (Kc3h2c)Pot: 595,000
Action: Negreanu checked, Petrangelo bet 140,000, and Negreanu called.
Negreanu's Analysis: "When you're in the big blind and you called a raise before the flop, you're going to check, no matter what you have. You're never going to bet. And if I check-raise, what's he going to do? Fold. He's got to throw his hand away unless he has a king or better, but if he's got a king or better, he's going to bet again on the turn. So it makes more sense to let him try to bluff me one more time on the turn. If I check-raise him here, then I lose my customer."
TURN (Js)Pot: 595,000
Action: Negreanu checked, and Petrangelo checked behind.
Negreanu's Analysis: "I think he thinks that when I called on the flop there was a good chance I had something like K-J or K-Q. I'm not calling with nothing. I'm not going to call with 9-10, so him checking behind me is respect for my call on the flop."
RIVER (3c)Pot: 815,000
Action: Negreanu led out with a bet of 110,000, Petrangelo called, Negreanu showed his aces, and Petrangelo folded.
Negreanu's Analysis: "I'm not really worried about getting raised. He checked back the turn, meaning he can't have a full house, right? Because if he had two pair or a set, he would have bet on the turn. So when he checked back the turn and the river comes that card, I know I've got the best hand and I know he's not going to raise me. If I check, I don't think he's going to bite one more time. So I figure, 'Well, if he's got a king or if he's got pocket tens, he might get curious and look me up.'"
THE TAKEHOME MESSAGE: As it does with most things, size matters in poker. Negreanu put a lot of thought into the amount he bet on the river, and it paid off when Petrangelo made the call with an inferior hand.
"When I bet 110,000 on the river, I wanted to make it easy for him to call with a really weak hand," Negreanu said. "If wants to be a hero and call with A-Q, A-J, or pocket sevens, I don't want to push him too hard. Also, with a bet that small, I'm kind of hoping that he raises me because I think I'm way ahead of his range. Sometimes when you make that little feeler bet on the river, people see it as weakness and they pounce on it with a bluff. If he'd raised, I definitely would have called. There was no way I was folding. A big raise would have actually made it easier to call because it's what we call a 'bull ride play.' You've either got the nuts, or you've got nothing. Well, in this case there's no way he had the nuts, so it's got to be nothing."