Jaman Burton and his Drawing Dead vlog series continues to grow and bring eyes to the YouTube poker space. Making the rounds in the Las Vegas cash game scene, Jaman was put in a tough spot with pocket jacks at the Bellagio poker room. When you know an opponent is capable of bluffing, it can be incredibly hard to find tough calls, but was Jaman able to pull it off for his fans to see?
The Game: $5/$10 Cash Game Effective Stack: 150 Big Blinds Where: The Bellagio – Las Vegas , Nevada
This video comes from Jonathan Little’s YouTube Channel. If you would like to stay up to date with more video content such as this, including hand breakdowns from Hellmuth vs Dwan, Garrett Adelstein, Rampage Poker and more, be sure to check out the channel.
Raising With Pocket Jacks Preflop
Looking down at J♠-J♦ preflop, Jaman had a clear three-bet from the cutoff after his opponent raised $30 from the hijack. Raising it to $110, Jaman drew a call from the initial raiser, making it heads-up going into the flop.
The Pot: $235 The Board: A♠–8♦-3♥ Effective Stack: 139 Big Blinds Effective
Following a pesky ace arriving on the flop, Jaman’s opponent would check, with Jaman doing the same.
The A♠–8♦-3♥ is an interesting flop for pocket jacks. If Jaman were to successfully navigate this hand, it would require him to have a proper “gameplan” in place if he faced a bet on the turn and/or river. By checking back the flop, there was a high probability he would face a bet on the turn. When players check back ace-high boards, they usually are holding weak, paired aces or some type of underpair.
By betting the turn and river, you can potentially get players to fold out underpairs, even if they happen to be ahead. This dynamic can often produce a leveling war, one that puts other players in a spot where they may attempt to bluff you if they think you will fold. The problem though is your opponent may not be bluffing, but instead are going for value with a paired ace.
On dry, uncoordinated boards, it is usually ideal to make small bets following a check in-position. Letting it go check-check is fine, as long as you have a good read on your opponent’s tendencies.
The Pot: $235 The Board: A♠–8♦-3♥-7♣ Effective Stack: 139 Big Blinds Effective
With a relatively safe turn card, Jaman’s opponent decided to lead out for $130. Citing being underrepped against an opponent capable of battling, Jaman made the call.
If Jaman was facing a tight, passive player, he likely wouldn’t want to fold, but facing an opponent capable of bluffing, it was even more critical that he stayed in the hand. Despite the turn call being optimal, Jaman should have been considering folding on the river if he faced an additional bet. If the proper gameplan was to fold to an additional bet on the river, in theory, it may have made sense to fold to the turn bet to save money, but that was not the case.
Even if Jaman’s opponent were to bet again on the river, they may size down, giving Jaman great pot odds to make the call even if he was behind. Utilizing a Game Theory Optimal (GTO) strategy, you want to have some hands in your folding range. While pocket jacks was certainly strong enough for Jaman to call the turn with, calling would have strengthened his range considerably. If Jaman’s call on the turn didn’t dissuade his opponent from betting the river, it may have been in the vlogger’s best interest to lay it down if he faced more aggression.
Jaman Soul Reads On The River
The Pot: $235 The Board: A♠–8♦-3♥-7♣-3♣ Effective Stack: 126 Big Blinds Effective
After the 3♣ paired the board, Jaman’s opponent did not let up, leading out again for $400. With his pocket jacks turning into a bluff catcher, Jaman went into the tank as he weighed his options.
Jaman could certainly have been facing an ace, but against an opponent capable of bluffing, he had to consider making the call. Some opponents, especially in live cash games, only bet large on the river when they are bluffing. While Jaman’s opponent was a capable player, the sizing could have very well been a tip to Jaman that his jacks were good. In this incredibly tough spot, Jaman could have strategically rationalized calling or folding and would not have blundered either way, but what did he ultimately decide to do?
With ice in his veins, Jaman would push forward the additional $400. After making the call, Jaman was elated to see his opponent flip over K-10 offsuit, proving just how masterful his read had been. Congratulations to Jaman for the sick bluff catch, if you want to see Jaman dominate even more opponents, be sure to check out his YouTube channel.
About The Author
Two-time WPT Champion Jonathan Little is a powerhouse in the global poker community. He's authored several bestselling strategy poker books, and accumulated over $7 million in live tournament cashes in the last 15 years. Crowned 2019 Poker Personality of the Year at the Global Poker Awards, the American pro is constantly rolling out a stream of exclusive articles, videos, and webinars here on PokerCoaching.com.