We analyse an audacious hand from UK poker pro Neil Channing: “I had a tell from a previous hand where he’d had Aces that made me almost certain Bambos didn’t have Aces or Kings”

UK pro Neil Channing is a fixture in the big game at the Vic where the cash games can be huge. During one big session he pulled off this audacious move…



BOARD: 9h-7s-2c-Jd-5c

Play is nine-handed. UTG raises to £150 and there are two callers, plus Neil who calls from the cutoff. Bambos then makes it £2,000 from the SB, ‘Thomas’ playing £4,000 calls from the BB as does everyone else. With the action back to Neil he makes it £12,000 to go…

Neil Channing

Makes a bold but calculated play at a very bloated pot

It was a nine-handed cash game during one of the festivals at the Vic and the game was playing very deep. I had about £30,000 in front of me, Charalambos ‘Bambos’ Xanthos had a similar amount and Thomas, a guy from France, is the shortest stack at the table with about £4,000. In this hand Shane, a businessman from Ireland who’s in a gambling mood, makes it £150 to go under the gun. Next to act is Ben Vinson, who’s playing about £18,000 and is steaming a bit; he calls the £150 as does another player from Corsica. It folds to me in the cutoff seat and I look down at Q-9 offsuit.

The player on the button has already given me enough information to suggest he’s folding, so I call, fairly confident I can see a flop for £150. However, Bambos from the small blind makes it £2,000 to go. Next to act in the big blind, Thomas (who, remember, only has £4,000 total) flat-calls the £2,000. This is obviously suspicious as he’s committed and when he flat-calls I put him on some kind of mid pair.

By just flatting, Thomas sets off a chain reaction. Shane, Ben and the Corsican all flat-call. Well, when it gets to me I can’t resist, can I? I make it £12,000 to go. The only other person who can call me here (apart from Thomas) is Bambos. While I knew he had a hand as he wouldn’t raise out of position in a big multi-way pot this deep, I also knew that by making it £12,000 I was effectively making him commit his entire stack of around £30,000.

I had a tell from a previous hand where he’d had Aces that made me almost certain Bambos didn’t have Aces or Kings. If he hasn’t got A-A or K-K he can’t call. To me the best hand he can have is Queens and I’ve got a Queen in my hand, so he’s probably got Jacks. He’s never putting £30,000 in with J-J or A-K in a £25/£50 game. The others also know that I have to beat Thomas as he’s committed, which makes my move look even stronger.

All this is reliant of course on Bambos not calling and luckily he mucked his Queens. Everyone else folded and I was up against Thomas. With all the money in the pot I put in £4k to win a total of £12k. Against the hands I put Thomas on I was about even money, and even though his actual hand was A-K I was still getting far better than the 3-to-1 the pot was laying me. A nine on the flop won me the pot.

Get more great poker content like this in PokerPlayer magazine every month HERE

Pin It

Comments are closed.