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Poker Trends: Return of the Hoodflat?

Kelly Minkin at the WSOP

Poker is a dynamic industry in terms of vocabulary, with new terms popping up when a need arises to describe a new trend. Back in the early 2010s, the term "hoodflat" was one of those.

Part of the reason the term may not have blossomed into mainstream poker vocabulary could be the trend away from the strategy to which it refers, which is very much not "GTO" — but could it be making a comeback?

Defining the Poker Term "Hoodflat"

The "hoodflat" is a term that was used to describe flat-calling a raise or reraise with a hand that does not have the correct odds based on the equity of the hand, or calling with a marginal hand with a relatively shallow stack (which is also mathematically not correct when considering implied odds).

In 2010, "charder30" explained the term in a 2+2 thread as:

"simply, it means calling a bet or raise before the river (usually preflop) in which you're not getting the proper odds; like calling a raise with 15bbs with T8s or peeling a 3 bet with less then 2x pot with some suited BS."

This type of play has also been referred to as "street poker" or playing "street," and is still referred to as such by many old school players. Terminology trends in recent years seem to categorize strategies on a spectrum of "GTO" (Game Theory Optimal) and "Exploitative" play on the opposite end. The hoodflat would definitely fall on the exploitative end, as the play is not GTO, by definition.

Much like the vocabulary used to talk about different poker topics evolves, so do poker strategy trends. With the increasing popularity of GTO solvers and GTO strategy, poker has become a tougher game than it was in the boom years, and has consequently also become more boring to watch, in the opinion of many.

But recently a couple of streamed cash games provided some hope that street poker – and the hoodflat – are making a comeback. The heroes leading the return? Gus Hansen and Kelly Minkin.

Hoodflats by Hansen (Five-Deuce) and Minkin (Seven-Deuce)

In one of the better known varieties in the $1,500/$3,000 Mixed Games edition of Poker After Dark last week, two legends in their own right tangled in a big pot of limit hold'em. The "Great Dane" Gus Hansen flopped a very strong holding with trip deuces, and no... he was not in the big blind.

As discussed here last week, Hansen had raised with the ol' five-deuce, got three-bet by Brian Rast who had picked up pocket kings, and after Hansen called he flopped trips. Alas for him, a king came on the turn to spoil his fun (see below). Read more about that hand and what happened in "Brian Rast and Gus Hansen Play Slow, Then Fast on Poker After Dark."

Another recent televised hand perhaps illustrating the comeback of the hoodflat also showcases a return of the "seven-deuce" game that was a staple in many old school televised poker games. Designed to help drive some loose action, if any player wins a hand with seven-deuce, whether by default after their opponents fold or with the best hand at showdown, everyone else at the table must pay that player a set amount ($100, for example).

In a Friday Night Poker $5/$10 game that was playing rather big, Kelly Minkin was dealt a chance to try to collect the seven-deuce bounty, and she went for it. With all players at the table donning Halloween costumes and having imbibed an undisclosed number of alcoholic beverages, Justin Young started the action off with a raise to $70 on the button with ace-six offsuit.

Bryan Piccioli called with queen-eight suited in the small blind and Minkin three-bet the seven-deuce to $310. Perhaps sensing weakness, Young four-bet to $1,200 and Piccioli got out of the way.

With effective stacks of around $12,000, an all-in here would be quite extreme, but for Minkin, folding was not really an option either. Enter the hoodflat. Minkin just called the four-bet and Daniel Negreanu in the commentary booth commented, "Oooh, this is so street!" Hence the term — "hood" flat.

The {a-Clubs}{4-Spades}{k-Hearts} flop did not bode well for Minkin, and the commentators quickly lost hope in her likelihood of winning the pot. However, Young opted to check back with his weak top pair, and the {7-Spades} revived some hope for Minkin. She led out $1,600 into a pot of $2,500 and Young quickly clicked it back, min-raising to $3,200.

Minkin stared down Young for a while, eventually saying, "Sticky spot," before putting in a call.

"What's she doing?" Negreanu asked at this point. "Does she have a plan to go coo-coo on the river? She can't think the sevens are good."

Regardless of what her actual plan was, the {7-Hearts} on the river sent the commentary booth into squeals and Minkin's potential need to bluff the river promptly vanished. She checked it over to the aggressor and Young moved it in.

A possible nit-roll, Minkin took some time, saying, "I didn't expect this to happen," and then put the chips in. Upon seeing Young's hand, she proceeded to stand up and needle the table as she collected the well-earned $100 bounties to go with the $23,270 pot in a friendly Friday $5/$10 game. Watch the action unfold below.

The hand was so epic, it even inspired Joey Ingram to return to doing a hand breakdown video after a long hiatus.

Fans can catch more of Minkin when she returns to PokerGO this week on Poker After Dark's 888poker week that starts tonight (Nov. 5-6). Who knows — maybe we'll even see some more street poker breaking out.

  • WATCH: Gus Hansen and Kelly Minkin display some street poker techniques including the 'hoodflat' on stream.

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Valerie Cross

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