Poker pro bencb reviews Hellmuth’s Q4o hand
Professional player Benjamin ‘bencb’ Rolle entered the Poker Lab to find out.
But today we’re going to analyze this hand with one of my favorite poker tools to see how Hellmuth should theoretically play this hand and what we can learn from this interesting hand.
The event was a US Poker Open 25,000 event with five players remaining.
The hand started with scoreboard leader Alex Foxen raising to 2BB with 99 and he had about 50BB left on his scoreboard.
This is clearly an easy opening for Foxen, who wants to have a fairly wide opening range from the button as the scoreboard leader. Even hands like K4o would want to open raise from this position, as Foxen can put a lot of pressure on Nakamura and Hellmuth, both players with very short scoreboards.
Using a powerful tool called “Poker Resource Calculator”, we solved this hand, starting with Foxen’s opening range.
You can see that the solver uses a mixed strategy here, but wants to raise pocket nines 100% of the time.
The small blind folded, and Hellmuth held Q4 in the big blind with about 15 big blinds on his scoreboard.
With little hesitation, Hellmuth made a bold 3-bet to 5.8BB, leaving him with less than 10BB left on his own scoreboard.
While Hellmuth’s 3-bet looks problematic at first, it’s actually not a terrible play as far as following the GTO. As you can see, the 3-bet hands that the solver likes in this position are K3o-K5o.
One thing to note is that Hellmuth could probably be a little smaller in size, as Foxen would struggle to defend with hands like J8o and 98o, but overall this aggressive action isn’t terrible. Hellmuth also probably won’t pick a 3-bet hand like AK or 99 in this situation, so he’ll probably have JJ+ value on a 3-bet and wouldn’t mind playing postflop. So, 3-betting a bad offsuit combo here might actually be a GTO decision, but Hellmuth should have made it a smaller size so he could have more fold equity against all-in .
Picking a weak combo like Q4o to 3-bet makes some sense in terms of blocking, since the button’s fold range is dominated by medium hands containing 7s, 8s, or 9s.
Using the Holdem Resource Calculator, we can find the range to follow when opening raises from the big blind 3-bet from the button.
Facing a 3-bet from the blinds at this depth of the scoreboard, Foxen made an easy decision with pocket nines and insisted on a 4-bet all-in.
Now that Hellmuth has to make a decision about his tournament fate, he has invested about 1/3 of his scoreboard. After thinking about it for a few minutes, he decides to go for it and shocks the table by calling with Q4o.
As we see the range here, Hellmuth should basically just go with JJ+ and AK in the face of this interference. A hand like Q4o folds as soon as Foxen gets all-in, but Hellmuth found some white magic results.
The board did come out fantastic: QK75Q.
Hellmuth hit a set of queens to double his scoreboard, giving the poker world an interesting hand to review and study, just like we do at HRC.
In my opinion, the revelation here is not that Hellmuth is a big fish or anything.
Everyone makes mistakes at the poker table, and the fun is learning from them and adjusting our strategy.
Using the Holdem Resource Calculator, we were able to analyze this complex point and see how the solver builds its range. We learned that hands that the big blind can technically 3-bet, such as weak Kx and Qx offsuit combinations, still follow a GTO strategy.
And, once in the horse race, we all know that anything can happen on the flop, turn and river.
Good game Hellmuth!
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