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Daniel Negreanu Runs A High Stakes Bluff


High Stakes Poker Season 9

High Stakes Poker on PokerGo welcomed viewers to their ninth season with a star-studded assortment of players. While old show regulars such as Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, and even Doyle Brunson appeared on the live felt, some new faces made the trip to the Aria to leave their own mark on the historic show. One of these new additions, Swedish slot machine streamer Kim Hultman, tried his luck at the table against some of the poker’s best. Having a piece of a monotone board, Hultman may have bitten off more than he could chew when he came face to face with Kid Poker.

The Game: High Stakes Poker – $200/$400
Blinds: $200/$400 with $400 Big Blind Ante
Stack Sizes: 200 Big Blinds Effective

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Negreanu Gets Loosey Goosey

Folded to on the hijack, Negreanu looked down at 6-4 and decided to mix it up with a $1,600 raise. Regardless of the hand, four big blinds can seem like a hefty size for a player to make, but when deep stacked with over 200 big blinds in a cash game you can bet these large sizes. Following a fold from Phil Ivey, the slot master Kim Hultman called from the button. Drawing an additional call from Brunson on the big blind, the three players would take it to the flop.

Spades Galore

The Pot: $5,400
The Board: T♠-9♠-6♠
Effective Stack: 196 Big Blinds Effective

The best Negreanu could get on the flop was bottom pair and an almost absent kicker. Following a check from Brunson, Negreanu would make a small bet for $1,500. While Negreanu’s bet followed the new school strategy, such a bet only gets called by made hands and draws with a ton of equity. A player holding only one spade would realize over 40% equity with two overcards, suggesting Negreanu should have checked this board. Following the bet from Negreanu, both Hultman and Brunson would make the call.

What’s Another Spade?

The Pot: $9,900
The Board: T♠-9♠-6♠-A♠
Effective Stack: 192 Big Blinds Effective

Witnessing an additional spade and check from Brunson, Negreanu was left with the decision of whether or not to go for the bluff. With both Hultman and Brunson calling his flop bet, the best play for Negreanu at this point in the hand was to check. Two calling opponents means at least one of them is holding a spade the vast majority of the time, and will struggle folding the K♠, Q♠, and J♠. Lacking fear or perhaps utilizing the supreme reading ability that has made him one of poker’s best, Negreanu decided to make a decently sized bet for $5,500. While this bet could certainly seem like an insane play, players at the level of Negreanu often make plays that leave some people puzzled, but the funny thing is these plays often work for them! Facing continued aggression from Negreanu, only Hultman would call.

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The Weakest Trips You’ll Ever See

The Pot: $20,900
The Board: T♠-9♠-6♠-A♠-6
Effective Stack: 178 Big Blinds Effective

Despite having trips, Negreanu was surely behind all of the flushes in Hultman’s range. Negreanu had to decide what bet sizing was enough to get Hultman to fold out a flush, but what size was right? Calling the turn bet when Brusnon had yet to fold, Hultman demonstrated strength ont the turn with what was likely a flush. From a GTO view, Negreanu should act with cards in his hand that are good to bluff with. While it may seem like an error to bluff into an almost guaranteed flush, if Hultman had a spade weaker than a queen there was a chance he would find a fold. Hultman may have even folded out the K♠ if Negreanu were to properly represent the full house. Negreanu would likely not bet many turns with two pairs or sets, but by having trips he in turn blocked Hultman from having two pair or a full house.

To get Hultman to fold, Negreanu would have to bet for a large size, and ultimately he would pushing $36,000 into the middle. Surely behind, did Negreanu bet enough to get his weak trips through?

Result: Negreanu Gets It Through

The hefty bet from Negreanu was enough to fool Hultman into folding Q♣J♠, surely sending him into fits when he saw the replay on PokerGo. With a whole season of poker action ahead of us on High Stakes Poker, there is still time for Hultman to get his revenge, and we may even review the hand!


Jonathan Little

Two-time WPT Champion Jonathan Little is a powerhouse in the global poker community. He’s authored several bestselling strategy poker books, and accumulated over $7 million in live tournament cashes in the last 15 years. Recently crowned 2019 Poker Personality of the Year at the Global Poker Awards, the American pro is constantly rolling out a stream of exclusive articles, videos, and webinars here on PokerCoaching.com.

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