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Matt Berkey Explains $45,700 All-In River Bluff

Matt Berkey

Poker pro Matt Berkey, co-founder of the Solve For Why Academy, recently played an interesting hand on LIVE at the Bike that ended with his making a big river bluff. In the video below, Berkey discusses his thought process throughout the hand and how it can happen sometimes in deep-stacked cash games that your cards don't even matter.

Berkey starts out addressing how playing with deep stacks — 400-plus big blinds, in this case — can cause players' "stack-off thresholds" to be on the tight side, "which is often going to lead to situations where you force them into overfolding."

In the hand, Berkey has a stack of $64,200 when he opens with {j-Spades}{7-Spades} from UTG+1, then gets three-bet somewhat small from the button by an opponent, Nick.

Berkey's understanding of Nick's playing style includes knowing that his preflop three-betting range is primarily comprised of value hands. That fact and the smallish reraise helps Berkey narrow his opponent's range greatly, while Berkey's own hand range remains essentially uncapped. With this in mind, Berkey called the three-bet.

The flop came {9-Hearts}{8-Spades}{9-Diamonds}. "My immediate instinct here is I'm going to have to turn my hand into a multi-street bluff," says Berkey, who begins by check-raising Nick's continuation bet, then leading with a bet on the {6-Diamonds} turn, with Nick calling both streets.

The {k-Clubs} completed the board, which is where Berkey chose to push his $45,700 stack — a more than pot-sized bet — all in as a bluff. Meanwhile viewers get to see throughout how Nick is holding {a-Hearts}{a-Clubs} and why Berkey's shove forced him to a "very long, tortuous tank" while making a tough decision.

Along the way, Berkey discusses how he was able to...

  • manipulate the stack-to-pot ratio with his bet-sizing
  • polarize his range, starting with his flop check-raise
  • recognize the significance of that river king and how his shove announces he has a nine (and that he does not fear the king)

Take a look and listen to Berkey talk through these ideas as well as analyze Nick's decisions street-to-street:

  • WATCH: Matt @berkey11 Berkey analyzes his big $45,700 river bluff as seen on @LIVEattheBike.

  • Sometimes in deep-stacked cash games your cards don't even matter, explains Matt @berkey11 Berkey.

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