Poker Breakdown: When Should Vanessa Selbst Raise?



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Vanessa has a big hand on High Stakes Poker against Doyle Brunson. The question is, when should she pull the trigger? Grant and Jonathan break it down.

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20 Responses

  1. Chris Benjamin says:

    She has a serious “I need to speak to your manager!” Look going on always.

  2. andy hyde says:

    So no one is gonna talk about bill Klein limping with AQ?

  3. Vincent Olmos says:

    Any 75 would be a great hand to raise, blocking 76, 56 and having pretty decent equity. Incorporating most sixes the exact same fashion would be the balance.

  4. Kane Burt says:

    There is no next best 6, J doesn't matter, so your right if he is folding 86, he is folding J6, but 8/6 and J6 are the exact same hand on that board

  5. Gabriel Rockman says:

    I think she played it right. She got an extra 4k on the turn by calling instead of raising. Doyle may or may not fold the turn if she raises. She got 15k on the river by letting Doyle bet, whereas a raise on the turn would have caused Doyle to check-fold the river.

    But most importantly, I think she was setting the trap to three bet the turn if any of the three players behind felt like they could raise and get Doyle's 4k and Vanessa's 4k and get them both to fold. Certainly if any of the three players behind her had a six, I would expect them to raise instead of call, which lets her take advantage of her reputation by three betting. They also might be tempted to do it with a club draw, or even just with a pure bluff, thinking that Doyle was just trying to steal and Vanessa was just trying to float.

    I don't know why you think that she should have raised the turn, but you don't think that there's much chance that any of the three players behind her would raise. Once she calls the turn, is it really that bad of a move for any of the three behind her to raise? Does her calling really look that strong? Especially with her reputation for floating?

  6. brodudemanbro says:

    So if she didn’t have a hand, this is a good bluff?

  7. Toby Holland says:

    If she raised on the turn, she wouldn't get the 4K call from Stein, nor the 15k bet from Doyle. Imagine she raised to 9k on the turn. Doyle would put in another 5, and maybe check instead of leading out on the river.

    Also, the point is made below that with a K and Q on board, the ONLY kicker to worry about is A6. She got the most out of this situation. I think her check on the flop was the only mistake in this hand, and for some reason you decline to talk about all the flop checks.

  8. Fred Fenner says:

    Doyle's fold is based on the fact that he loses or chops against any other 6, so his pot odds are effectively divided in half.

  9. doktarr says:

    Not that it really matters, but J6 is not the "next best 6" because KQ is on the board and the jack doesn't play. Brunson's hand is already the hand that's one pip worse than Vanessa's.

    The question is whether Brunson folds with the same hand, but I basically agree with your analysis that a turn bet is better.

  10. Erik Brinkhof says:

    Two honest questions:
    1) Could Vanessa have been less worried about a club draw on the turn because she was holding Ac?
    2) From what I understand, you guys are saying she shouldn't have raised the river. Should she just have called then?

  11. Jay Hwang says:

    one thing to point out on the river: the kicker of most 6’s wouldn’t matter as there’s a K and a Q on the board. It would’ve been cool to see if Vanessa would raise just 6x to fold out potential chops from Doyle or Klein.

  12. steve goldy says:

    I think you are being a little harsh on vanessa here. She is a world class exploitative player and if anyone is floating turn with a wide array of draws in order to over-bluff this river spot than its vanessa. Her ability to recognise when players are going to be over-folding in spots like these is incredible. vanessa can have top 2 pair, 53,75, and club combos all as bluffs here which also means she should be raising thinner for value and A6 becomes a clear raise. I think you guys got caught up too much in theory land when in reality vanessa will be playing this spot very exploitatively which will be generating more EV in the long run against Doyle imo. #FGTO

  13. nylac100 says:

    I do agree, but at the same time, nobody was thinking in terms of balance in 2010.

  14. nylac100 says:

    Norm MacDonald is the best!

  15. nylac100 says:

    I'll take 10 year old High stakes poke hands over any of the garbage coming out of latb.

  16. Timmy the Poker Warrior says:

    PF: Viffer thought he could pick up two ladies. He had position on Klein and Ruffin. He was salivating. OTT: Vanessa wasn't slowplaying. A slowplay is when you want other players to improve, so they will bet more. That's not what she did here. OTR: Doyle realized he was beat about 7 seconds after he bet. He was "blocking," so he wouldn't have to call a larger bet. Summary: Vanessa played the way she did because she had no reads. The same as when she got felted by Prahlad. She is obviously not a great live cash game player. Brunson is.

  17. donald paluga says:

    Methinks if she raises on the turn she doesn't get the extra $15K Doyle put in on the river.

  18. James Fondren says:

    oooooooo Grant said the "S" word!

  19. James Fondren says:

    Thank you PG's for your time.

  20. James Fondren says:

    There were so many better hands to look at on that episode. Viffer(92) v. Ruffin(K3). Everything about that hand was great and relatable to lowstakes game situations. I don't have the Tweeter so……….. that's that.

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