Analysis of Poker Hands


This is an example of a player making a semi-bluff raise with a drawing hand. The hand is between Blackpool-based player Howard Plant and Peter (the Bandit) Evans.

Howard and Peter both call a flop containing KS, JH, 10S.

Peter has A – K and bets £400.

Howard has QS, 4S and raises to £1000 (Howard has a very strong drawing hand, he is drawing to both flush and straight); this is a semi-bluff raise.

Peter re-raises, putting himself all-in, and Howard calls.

Fourth street brings a KC giving Peter three kings and Howard still has his draw.

Fifth street is a 5H meaning that Peter wins and Howard’s draw has been unsuccessful. Howard’s hand was actually a slight favourite on the flop, but this example illustrates the fact that sometimes both players in a heads-up situation can play optimally and eventually the result is a matter of luck.


Judgement Calls

This hand features Howard Plant. His opponent this time is Charalambos Xanthos, otherwise known as Bambos, a restaurant and hotel owner, now based in London. Bambos is very calm and methodical at the poker table; nothing seems to faze him. This is an example of Bambos making a judgement call.

Howard bets £300 with 9-8.

Bambos raises to £900 with A-Q and Howard calls.

The flop comes K-7-6.

The board is completed with no more betting to make K-7-6-J-J.

Neither player has any sort of a hand, but Howard tries a bluff with a bet of £900 (it’s the only way that Howard can win the pot which by this time is worth a lot of money).
Bambos, however, calls with only an ace high to win the pot, Bambos demonstrated excellent card- and player-reading skills.


Slow Playing

This is an example of a player slow playing top trips. The hand is between Hamish Shah and Tom Gibson. Hamish is a stockbroker based in London. Although he’s been playing regularly for ten years, he says he plays mostly as a pastime. Tom is from County Kildare, Ireland, and is a former civil servant who currently lives in Dublin. Tom has given up the civil service and now plays poker for a living.

In this pot, Hamish has A-A and raises the pot to £100, Tom calls with A-J.

The flop brings AC, 10C, 7H and fourth street a 6S.

Tom bets £200 with his ace-good kicker and Hamish calls. Here Hamish is slow playing his monster hand (trip aces), but note he is taking a risk in potentially lettingTom draw for a flush or straight.

Fifth street brings a KS.

Tom checks and Hamish bets £200. Tom calls and Hamish wins the pot.