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Jonathan Little Examines João Simao’s Huge BLUFF with just Eight High

João Simao

There are so many interesting decisions in this hand from the $25K partypoker South America MILLIONS Super High Roller that make it a great one to analyze. Brazilian superstar João Simao runs a huge semi-bluff on the turn with just eight high. Meanwhile, Niall Farrell has top-top but is put in a very tricky situation with how the hand has played out. Let’s get into it.

With 16 players remaining, Simao (1 million) raised to 30,000 holding the {8-Diamonds}{7-Diamonds} under the gun. Sergio Iralasky (1.2 million) called next to act with the {q-Clubs}{9-Hearts} and Farrell (2 million) came along from the big blind with his {a-Diamonds}{j-Hearts}.

If Farrell’s hand was a little bit better or worse, he could justify a three-bet, but this particular hand makes for a great call. The {10-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} flop gave everybody a little something. Farrell flopped top pair with a backdoor flush draw and checked to Simao, who had straight and flush draws.

Farrell was going to check the flop under the assumption that one of his opponents would bet frequently, Betting with Simao’s weak draw makes more sense when deep stacked because he can call a raise more comfortably, so I think betting is reasonable. That’s what he does when he bet 40,000 into the pot of 108,000.

"If you believe you will often be called, then you do not want to shove your marginal draws."

Sergio called with his open-ended straight draw, which I think is pretty reasonable as he is getting a good price. He should not raise as his hand cannot face a reraise, so I like flatting here to see another card. However, the ace-jack of Farrell was a neat spot as Simao’s smaller bet size often indicates a wider betting range. Given that, raising with ace-jack has merit, though if he did raise he could be put in a tricky situation if someone decided to three-bet.

I think you can go either way between calling or raising, and here Farrell opted to raise to 150,000. I think the best and really only option for Simao is to call as if you believe you will often be called, then you do not want to shove your marginal draws. Likewise, Sergio should look to call if Simao does as he too has a strong draw and would be closing the action.

Indeed, both Simao and Sergio called and the {3-Clubs} paired the board on the turn. Farrell has a hand that doesn’t want to play a hugely bloated pot, so what do you want to do here in his shoes? You could check and see what develops, but I guess you could also bet and call if either of your opponents either raise or jam.

Farrell did check, which is what I would have done, and with the stack-to-pot ratio being smaller now, Simao could reasonably jam his draw on the turn. This is a good draw to bluff with as it has no showdown value but it will mostly have good equity if called.

Simao did jam for 820,000 and Sergio had an easy fold. Farrell’s big problem is he has the {a-Diamonds} in his hand, which makes it a much harder call as it blocks the nut flush draws that Simao could be bluffing with.

Farrell was a 75 percent favorite, but of course he didn’t know what Simao had. In fact, Farrell wound up folding and Simao took down the nice pot with just eight high!

For a more thorough breakdown of this hand, check out my thoughts in the following video used with permission from partypoker:

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at PokerCoaching.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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