Is Doug Polk Ever Bluffing Here?

PokerCoaching.com

Since purchasing The Lodge Poker Club last year, all eyes have been on Doug Polk, Andrew Neeme, and Brad Owen as they continue to grow the Texas poker scene. Hosting large field tournaments and streaming exciting cash games, the boys can’t help sitting down themselves to take part in the action. Finding himself playing in a live streamed cash game, Doug Polk would take a profitable 7♠5♠ and try and convince his opponents he didn’t have it on the river.

The Game: $5/$10/$25/$50/$100 Cash Game at The Lodge
Blinds: $5/$10/$25/$50 with $100 straddle
Stack Sizes: 27 Big Blinds Effective

This video comes from Jonathan Little’s YouTube Channel. If you would like to stay up to date with more video content such as this, including hand breakdowns from Hellmuth vs Dwan, Daniel Negreanu, Bryn Kenney and more, click here.

Gettin’ Loose At The Lodge

Folded to under the gun (UTG)+3, the player known as DQ would limp in after looking down at 6♣3♣. As if sensing weakness from the limper, Poker Traveler AKA Cedrric Trevino would raise it to $600 holding 8♥8♣ as the big blind. Holding some suited gappers of his own, Polk would call from the UTG/Straddle with 7♠5♠. While Polk’s call can certainly be considered splashy, if you have a tight, aggressive image at the table you can get away with getting out of line on occasion. Following an additional call from DQ, three players would take it to the flop.

Flopping Some Strength

The Pot: $2,000
The Board: Q♠-7♣-5♦
Effective Stack: 22 Big Blinds Effective

Hitting the almost perfect flop, Polk would bet $550 after being checked to by Trevino. Holding pocket eights, Trevino was wise to check out of position as Polk’s range consisted of hands connecting well with the board. Betting for value and protection, Polk’s quarter pot bet sizing was strategically sound drawing a call from DQ. Calling with his gutshot straight-draw, DQ was better served folding his hand preflop as he found himself in a predicament against two far larger stacks.

Left with another flop decision, did it make sense for Trevino to call with 8♥8♣? For only another $550 it seemed like a no brainer for Trevino to call, but the snowmen actually had even less going for them than he realized. By holding two eights, Trevino effectively blocked most combinations of bluff hands that could have been available. 9-8, 8-7, and 8-6 were all potential bluff hands that had effectively been put on the shelf, so if Polk wasn’t bluffing what value was there in calling the $550 bet? While Trevino could have caught Polk bluffing with unpaired high cards, 8♥8♣ was not the hand to do so with, meaning he should have folded despite the small bet.

With both players making the call, Polk would be even happier when he saw the turn.

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Turning The Boat

The Pot: $3,600
The Board: Q♠-7♣-5♦-5♥
Effective Stack: 17 Big Blinds Effective

Polk surely saw money signs as the third five crept along the board completing his full house, but would he be able to extract full value from at least one of his opponents? Following a check from Trevino, Polk had to decide what bet sizing he could draw a call from. Even though neither opponent had a queen, Polk ideally was targeting paired queens that would resume calling the turn and maybe even the river. Polk elected to bet $1,400, while he may have been able to bet larger he was successful in drawing at least one call. Following a fold from DQ and a call from Trevino, it would be heads-up heading to the river.

Polk Goes For It All

The Pot: $6,400
The Board: Q♠-7♣-5♦-5♥-3♥
Effective Stack: 125 Big Blinds Effective

After being checked to yet again, Polk’s river strategy should have been heavily dependent on Trevino’s tendencies. If Trevino had been playing cautiously, Polk should have looked to make a medium bet that could have induced a call or even a check-raise. If Trevino’s play had suggested he was a calling station, Polk could have effectively moved all-in with a good chance of being called. With a lot of draws missing and Trevino clearly representing two pair, Polk was in a good spot and went for the all-in overbet. With his entire stack at risk, was Trevino strong enough to resist the urge to call?

Result: The Poker Traveler Travels On

Realizing he was probably behind since the flop, The Poker Traveler Cedrric Trevino successfully found the fold after tanking for some time. Despite not getting called on the river, Polk took down an impressive pot for the entire stream to see. While some players loose their cool hitting the boat on the turn, Polk showed why his poker prowess continues to be respected by maintaining the fundamentals. Kudos to Doug Polk for the nice hand, and a special thank you to The Lodge for letting us use the hand footage.

Author: Eileen Gilbert