Your call: Simon Deadman – the solution!’s Karl Mahrenholz tests out your poker skills with this tough hand from a recent major tournament. This month: Karl’s fiancée Amy Trodd battles with UK star Simon Deadman – can you work out the best move?


The situation

Event: £500+£50 GUKPT Walsall
Stack: 20,000
Blinds: 50/100

This hand comes from the second level of Day 1A of the recent GUKPT main event in Walsall. This is a well structured event with one-hour levels. Players are allowed one re-entry on each of the two starting days.

Amy has been at the table since the event started and has been playing pretty solidly. The table is made up of local players with a couple of circuit pros, including Simon Deadman who is in the seat to her right.

In this hand action is folded to the lady in the cutoff who limps for 100. The button folds and Simon makes it up in the small blind. Amy raises to 650 with K-K from the big blind and both players call. All players in the hand have around their starting stack of 20,000. The flop comes 9-T-2 with two clubs. Simon checks and Amy bets 1,250. The lady in the cutoff folds and Simon Deadman calls, giving Amy position.

The turn is the 5♠. Simon checks and Amy checks behind for pot control. The river is an offsuit Six and Simon checks. Amy bets 2,200 into 4,450. Simon raises to 7,200 after a short think. Simon is one of the strongest players on the circuit with very impressive recent results. He has played plenty of small pots up until this point, none of which have gone to showdown. We know that Simon is prepared to re-enter should he need to. Should we call, fold or raise?

The solution

Based on the preflop action, I would narrow Simon’s range to semi-connected playable cards and possibly small pairs. On the flop T-9 or 2-2 seem like the only hands we can be losing to, but when Simon check-calls we can assume we are still winning most of the time. The river completes the 8-7 straight but bricks the flush draw.

The check-raise on the river is tricky because our hand is quite face-up at this point. I don’t think this is a spot where Simon will be bluffing very often. He is an aggressive player but he is unlikely to risk such a large portion of his stack early on against what he suspects to be a value hand. The obvious club and Q-J draws have both missed, making it more likely we will hero call. Simon’s most likely hand appears to be 8-7, although a slow-played 2-2 is also possible. I would advise making a frustrating fold here. On this occasion Simon showed 8♠-7♠.

The winner this month is @LRMFJ on Twitter who correctly read that Amy’s hand looks face-up as an overpair, meaning that Deadman is unlikely to bluff in this spot. Congratulations!

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