2021 World Series of Poker 2021 MSPT Venetian

Schwartz Puts Max Pressure on Viffer in this “Vintage” Hand from 2011

Luke Schwartz

In today’s hand we throw it back to 2011 and take a trip across the seas to England in a £50/£100 live cash game. Luke “__FullFlush1__” Schwartz took on David “Viffer” Peat, who found himself in an extremely tricky spot on the river. Can he correctly decipher what is happening and make a disciplined fold?

I’m finding it really interesting analyzing these old-school hands especially after analyzing the Daniel Negreanu vs Doug Polk High Stakes Feud with PIOsolver. Back in 2011, there were no solvers and this meant the gap in skill level between players was generally much higher.

The retro £50/£100 hand from the partypoker The Big Game V – NLH Cash Game began when Viffer (£22,525) raised to £200 under the gun with the {a-Hearts}{j-Diamonds} and Schwartz (£22,525) three-bet to £700 from middle position holding the {5-Spades}{4-Spades}. Action folded back to Viffer and he called, which is all fine and standard.

You should be careful playing {a-}{j-} offsuit out of position especially when the stacks become shallower, but given Schwartz is a loose-aggressive player it’s fine to stick around. On the {2-Hearts}{a-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} flop, Viffer checked and Schwartz continued for £1,100.

Schwartz is likely to bet this flop at a high frequency due to his preflop three-bet and this board hits that range very well. Viffer just called and you might be wondering why he didn’t check-raise with what is likely to be the best hand. That’s because you have to remember that these players were 225 big blinds deep, so by check-calling Viffer can keep Schwartz’s range wide that would include bluffs.

The {3-Clubs} turn gave Schwartz his gutshot wheel and he bet £3,500 after Viffer checked. The latter called not realizing he was drawing dead. When Schwartz bet this turn for a large size he was starting to polarize his range basically saying, “I either have a very good made hand or I have some sort of draw or some low-equity hand.”

partypoker hand
What would you do?

Additionally, betting large gives a terrible price to Viffer for any of his draws. Again, Viffer does not want to raise as he will only get called by hands that already beat him or have good equity against him.

On the {a-Clubs} river, Viffer made trips and checked to Schwartz. What would you do in his spot with £10,775 in the pot?

  • Check
  • Bet £3,000
  • Bet £8,000
  • Bet all in for £17,725

In the modern game of poker, this would be an all in from Schwartz. He arrived at the river with a very polarized range, which allows him to continue betting big. That said, back in 2011 players would fold at a very high frequency against a big overbet on the river. For this reason, I think a medium-sized bet would get called more frequently when Viffer has an ace.

Schwartz hit the tank and Viffer called the clock. The former responded by moving all in for £17,225 and it was the latter’s turn to go into the tank debating what to do. Viffer’s hand becomes merely a bluff catcher on the river due to Schwartz’s polarized bet size. Eventually, he folded and Schwartz took down the pot.

For more on this hand, check out my breakdown in the following video:

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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