Call or Fold? Dara O'Kearney Faces River Shove from Steve O'Dwyer in $25K

Steve O'Dwyer (left) and Dara O'Kearney (right)

Sometimes in no-limit hold'em you reach the river with what seems a strong hand and bet for value, but then face an unexpected raise from an opponent. Deciding how to respond in such situations often requires thinking back through the hand to determine if your opponent has any bluffs in his or her range, and if your opponent does not a difficult fold might be in order.

Such was the situation Dara O'Kearney faced not long ago in a $25,000 High Roller played online, a hand he and David Lappin of the The Chip Race podcast have analyzed in a new strategy video with additional input from poker pro Daiva Byrne.

The hand occurred relatively early in the tournament with the blinds at 1,500/3,000 (with a 3,000 big blind ante) and O'Kearney being the one with an effective stack of 93,000.

With O'Kearney in the big blind, a player O'Kearney didn't know at the time raised to 6,600 from middle position and O'Kearney called with {8-Clubs}{4-Clubs}. As he later learned, his opponent in the hand was none other than Steve O'Dwyer, an obviously formidable foe. (In fact, O'Kearney says if he had known who his opponent was, he wouldn't have defended.)

The flop came {a-Spades}{10-Clubs}{8-Hearts}, and with bottom pair and a backdoor flush draw O'Kearney check-called a bet of 8,000. With 33,700 in the pot the turn was the {8-Spades} to give O'Kearney trips, and both players checked.

The river was the {7-Diamonds}. This time O'Kearney led for 20,000 and was somewhat surprised when his opponent pushed all in to put O'Kearney to the test for his remaining 61,400.

What would you do if you were in O'Kearney's spot? Look and see what he ultimately decided and listen to the trio analyze the decision-making by both players throughout the hand:

The Chip Race is a weekly podcast sponsored by Unibet Poker, and can be heard on iTunes and anywhere else you listen to podcasts. Follow David Lappin on Twitter @dklappin, Dara O'Kearney @daraokearney, and Daiva Byrne @balticblonde.

  • Would you call or fold to this river shove by @steveodwyer? See what @daraokearney decided to do.

  • In a new video @thechiprace examines a $25K High Roller hand between @daraokearney & @steveodwyer.

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