From his humble beginnings playing $1/$2 at Red Rock Casino, poker vlogger Brad Owen can now be found playing some of the highest stakes in Las Vegas. If you’re going to mix it up at $10/$20/$40, there is no better place than the Bellagio poker room. Taking part in the stand-up game, Owen looked to not just get a huge bluff through, but take a seat in the process. Could the World Poker Tour ambassador fool his opponent?
Photo Taken By Oliver Biles
Brad Owen Plays The Stand Up Game At The Bellagio
Growing in popularity in cash games all over the United States, the stand up game requires every player at the poker table to stand up and remain standing until they win a hand. The stand up game ends when only one player remains standing, with that player then paying every player at the poker table an agreed-upon amount of money.
Still on his feet and hoping to avoid paying everyone at the table, Owen checked his under-the-gun (UTG)/straddle with 10♣-7♣ following limps from UTG+1, the button, and the big blind.
Flopping A Flush Draw
Effective Stack: 241 Big Blinds
Brad Owen: 10♣-7♣
First to act, the player in the big blind led out with a chunky $400 bet. Seeing a regular named Troy size up a bet before it was his turn to act, Owen knew his opponent usually did this to intimidate the next player to act. Wanting to represent strength and show he was not intimidated, Owen called.
As Owen expected, Troy’s out-of-turn chip stacking was an attempt to get him to fold. After Owen called, Troy mucked his hand as did the player in the button, making it head’s-up.
“Whenever you play live poker, especially with the same players on a regular basis, you will pick up reads. Quite often these are really reliable.”
Flop Analysis – Analyzing Live Reads and Tells
By making a 2x pot-sized bet, Owen’s opponent in the big blind had a polarized range that most likely consisted of draws and vulnerable made hands (like a paired 8). Facing such a big bet in-position, Owen’s only real option was to call. Although the big blind made an incredibly big bet, playing deep-stacked it was okay for Owen to call holding the ten-high flush draw.
When there are multiple opponents yet to act, usually it is in a player’s best interest to fold their non-premium draws. However, by recognizing Troy’s out-of-turn bet sizing as an attempt to get him to fold, Owen utilized the live tell to call and avoid over-folding. Whenever you face opponents you play with on a regular basis, remember their tendencies and habits to exploit them better.
Brad Owen Bets Big
Effective Stack: 236 Big Blinds
Brad Owen: 10♣-7♣
Following a check from his opponent, Owen made a big $700 bet to complete the semi-bluff. Not flinching at Owen’s big bet, the player in the big blind called.
Executing A Semi-Bluff – Turn Analysis
Betting $700 for a semi-bluff was a brilliant move by Owen. It is unlikely Owen’s opponent had a queen, and even though he didn’t have many queens in his range either, Owen could easily represent a set by making a large bet.
Along with sets, a large bet on the turn should also be made with vulnerable made hands and draws that lack showdown value (like Owen’s 10♣-7♣). Owen played this turn masterfully, but what happened on the river?
Going For A Big Bluff After Missing A Draw
Effective Stack: 218 Big Blinds
Brad Owen: 10♣-7♣
Bricking his flush draw, Owen knew the only way he could win this hand was by bluffing. Following a check from his opponent, Owen went for it all, firing out a huge $3,000 bet.
Brad Owen Goes For A Huge Bluff – River Analysis
Before making a river decision, it is important to not only consider what your opponent may have but also what you have in your range. In this hand, Owen has plenty of queens and kings in his range, but if he had one of the two he would want to make a small value bet and not a huge overpot bet.
By taking this line, Owen signaled to his opponent that he had two pair or was trying to bluff. Even though Owen had some two pair combos in his range, there was still a chance his opponent could sniff out the bluff after multiple draws missed.
If Owen knew his opponent would always fold an 8, 3, or 2 to an overbet, his bluff was a fantastic play. Sending his opponent into the tank, did Owen’s bluff get through?
“When looking to find hero calls against good players who are willing to bluff, make sure you do not block their logical bluffs.”
Although he nearly bluffed his opponent off of the best hand, Brad Owen’s opponent eventually found the call with J-8 offsuit. Stuck $5,000 only an hour into his session at the Bellagio, Owen could find solace in the fact he created some fantastic content for his 661,000 YouTube subscribers. A special thank you to Brad Owen for letting me review this high-stakes hand! If you enjoyed this hand from the Global Player Index Award winner, be sure to check out this hand where Brad Owen faced an all-in with pocket aces.