Evidence convinces pro to lay down his set
In poker, three of a kind beats two pair but isn’t good enough to overcome a straight. There are two ways to make three of a kind. You can either make a set or trips. The former happens when you hold a pocket pair and find a third on the board, while the latter is when there’s a pair on the board and you having a matching card in your hand.
For example, if you hold 4d 4c and the board comes 5d 9d 4h, you have f lopped a set. On the flip side, if you hold 8c 9c and the flop is 8h 8s Kc, then you have trips. It’s that simple.
Now, let’s talk about a hand in which someone flopped a set and somehow managed to not go broke. It happened in November at the $1,100- buy-in Mid- States Poker Tour Denver Poker Open main event, a tournament that drew 383 players to the Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado.
In Level 9 ( blinds of 400- 800 with an ante of 100), World Series of Poker bracelet winner John “KasinoKrime” Beauprez raised to 2,000 in early position with pocket jacks. The player in the cutoff seat called, Tye Rogers came along from the big blind, and the flop came down Qc Js 3h.
Rogers checked, Beauprez continued for 3,800, and the player in the cutoff seat got out of the way. Rogers called and then checked for the second time on the 9d turn. Beauprez bet again, this time 5,200, and Rogers woke up with a check-raise to 15,200.
Beauprez just called, and the 7c completed the board on the river. Rogers jammed for 39,000, and Beauprez, who had just a bit less, gave it some thought before laying down his set.
How was he able to do it? By thinking through the hand — Beauprez had to put his opponent on a straight — and following the evidence.
For instance, take the pref lop action. Rogers called out of the big blind, meaning he likely held something like a small pocket pair, two paint cards, or hands with a ten such as J-10, 109, 10- 8, etc. One hand Beauprez could rule out was pocket queens. How so? Because Rogers probably would have three- bet such a strong hand pref lop.
When Rogers check-raised the turn, he was advertising that he either had a made hand, like K-10 or 10- 8 for a straight, or some sort of semibluff, like a pair with an open- ended straight draw. Beauprez could have pushed back, but by just calling, he opened the door for his opponent to value- bet worse hands on the river. If his opponent checked, Beauprez could comfortably bet.
On the river, Rogers went for the big payday by moving all in. A lot of players would have called if they were in Beauprez’s shoes, but the WSOP champ thought better of it. He likely deduced that Rogers was on the tighter side and wouldn’t bluff the river with a missed draw, in which case putting him on a straight seemed like a logical deduction.
That said, putting your opponent on a hand is one thing, and folding your premium holding is another. Like Kenny Rogers said, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.”