One of the most “action” poker vloggers out there, Rampage Poker continues to provide high-stakes content whether it be on live stream or his very own YouTube channel. Taking a shot at a higher stakes cash game in Las Vegas, it only took Rampage two hands to get his entire stack in the middle.
The Game: $25/$50 NLH Cash Game
Effective Stack: 139 Big Blinds
Where: Resorts World – Las Vegas, Nevada
Action began with a $125 raise from the lojack, which drew calls from both the button and small blind. Playing from the big blind, Rampage looked down at 9♣-8♣ before making the call.
When deciding between calling or executing a three-bet, Rampage noted in his vlog how he decided to call due to unfamiliarity with his opponents as well as the higher stakes he was playing at. When taking shots in higher stakes tournaments and cash games, it is not in your best interest to play more cautiously. If anything, you are better served playing more aggressively preflop, as opponents in higher stakes games can probably play better post-flop than your usual competition.
While Rampage could have considered raising, calling with 9♣-8♣ was a fine play as well, but would he hit anything on the flop?
Rampage Poker Hits All The Draws On The Flop
The Pot: $500
The Board: J♥-10♣-6♣
Effective Stack: 136 Big Blinds
Rampage Poker: 9♣-8♣
Following a check from Rampage, the villain in the lojack made a $300 continuation bet which induced folds from the button and small blind. Ready to play for stacks, Rampage check-raised his opponent $1,100 and would get a call.
Although he flopped both a flush draw and an open-ended straight draw, Rampage was better off calling rather than check-raising. When the preflop aggressor bets into a multi-way pot with a coordinated board, it strongly suggests they are holding a good hand. Assessing the villain’s range, it contains a lot of overpairs and overcards that may make up straight draws and flush draws. Such a range puts Rampage’s 9♣-8♣ in poor shape even if he happens to hit a straight or a flush. Additionally, Rampage’s check-raise did not produce much fold equity against this specific opponent, and sometimes the villain may decide to just rip it in which is disastrous!
Although his check-raise was not a complete blunder, Rampage was better off check-calling and assessing his strength on the turn.
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Paired Board On The Turn
The Pot: $2,700
The Board: J♥-10♣-6♣-10♦
Effective Stack: 114 Big Blinds
Rampage Poker: 9♣-8♣
Citing the lack of tens in his opponent’s range, Rampage elected to lead out with a $1,600 bet, which the villain would call.
The problem with betting the 10♦ on the turn is that it did not connect with any of the value hands in Rampage’s range. Missed draws like 9♣-8♣ were better off checking in this spot and responding to whatever the opponent decided to do. If the villain had decided to bet, 9♣-8♣ would not have been a suitable hand to check-raise with as Rampage would have been far better off check-raising hands with showdown value.
Rampage was certainly in a tricky spot to play following his flop check-raise. Even though he lacked ten’s in his range and could have been behind better draws, with an open-ender and flush draw he was better off continuing his aggression on the turn.
Rampage Poker Rivers A Blank
The Pot: $5,900
The Board: J♥-10♣-6♣-10♦-3♦
Effective Stack: 80 Big Blinds
Rampage Poker: 9♣-8♣
The 3♦ was an absolute brick on the river, leaving Rampage with just nine-high to play with. In quite the pickle on the river, what was the best play for Rampage to make?
If Rampage has accurately put his opponent on having a jack or better, it was in his best interest to check and give up on the hand. While it never feels good to give up on the river, when all of the draws miss it is incredibly hard to bluff an opponent off of top pair (especially if you’re known to bluff like Rampage Poker).
On the other hand, if Rampage believed his opponent would call the flop check-raise and his turn bet with A-K or A-Q, he could have been in a position to go for the bluff. While Rampage did not believe these hands were in his opponent’s range, there are opponents who would float the flop and turn with A-K and A-Q. Targeting A-K and A-Q, what size bet could potentially induce a fold? Crazy enough, a small bet for $1,500 may be enough to get the job done. If the opponent in fact had only ace-high, they could potentially find a fold even to a small bet, incentivizing Rampage not to blast it as he would only get called by better hands.
In an incredibly tough spot on the river, Rampage has to either bluff his opponent off of the hand or give up, but what would one of the best poker vloggers in the game decide to do?
With no other options and not willing to give up, Rampage went for it all piling in his remaining $4,100 to go for the bluff. After thinking for some time and perhaps familiar with Rampage’s tendency to bluff, his opponent would make the call flipping over Q-J offsuit for top pair-no kicker. Although we hate seeing Rampage Poker being on the losing end of a $14,000 hand, we appreciate him letting us review this hand on the YouTube channel and blog. If you would like to read more about Rampage Poker, be sure to check out this hand where Rampage tries to get a bluff past high stakes crusher Garret Adelstein.