How to get out of a Sticky Situation

In power up, just as in poker, you can make mistakes but still recover from a sticky situation. Today’s example is again from Arlie Shaban’s stream, and again contains more learning moments for our favourite Big Brother Alum.

Arlie is on the Big blind, and last to act pre-flop. His situation is he is holding a pair of Fives and in his power card hand, he has Engineer, Disintegrate and a Clone along with 12 Energy (which enough to play all three powers if required).  Arlie checks his option after both of the other players match the Big blind.  With Pocket pairs being weaker in Power Up than Hold’em, due to the strength of power, I think Arlie’s check is fine here.

The flop is dealt with the Five of Diamonds along with the Seven and Six of Clubs, giving Arlie a set of fives. The player to Arlie’s right plays a scanner card and discards the cards on the top of the deck. He checks and puts the action on Arlie who fires out a two thirds pot bet. This, in my opinion, is Arlie’s first learning moment of the day. The bet is too large, and in the current Power Up meta, a min bet does the same as the size Arlie chose and also reduces the size of any raise. While Arlie is most likely ahead here, the potential for a straight and the Club flush draw mean we want to keep control over the situation.

However, in this case, the player to Arlie’s left raises over his bet, leaving him with less than a pot sized bet in his stack. The third player at the table folds, and we come to the next “learning moment” for Arlie. We must consider our opponent’s position here. They are showing strength by raising over Arlie’s bet, and combining that with their pre-flop passive play, a straight or a flush draw is very much in their range.

Arlie seems to have made the same read as I have but plays a Disintegrate to remove the Seven on the board. My play would have been to keep the Seven on the board but play the Engineer card to look to fill up into a full house and remove problem cards from the deck. If I find a Full house, I want to keep straights and flush draws in the hand, so I can get the remaining chips from our opponent. I would still just call even if I hit my “gin” card.

Arlie does call after removing the Seven, and the turn of the Three of Diamonds is dealt. A Diamond draw is now on the board, and a straight is back in play. Not a good card for Arlie’s hand. Arlie checks, putting the action on the Button player. They play an X-Ray card, exposing Arlie’s Five of Clubs, and then checks behind. Arlie now has no way of improving his hand, and the Two of Diamonds is a horrible river card. Any Four how has a straight, and 2 diamonds has a flush, either of which beats Arlie’s three of a kind.

From here on out, I really like Arlie’s play. When playing Power Up, or Poker for that matter, we must consider the situation we are in, and make the best decisions we can in the moment. Yes, Arlie has made some errors so far, but here he makes some perfect plays.

Our intrepid voyager on the Power Up seas, checks over to the button, who moves all in for less than the pot. Arlie has them covered but calling and losing will leave him with just 7.5 big blinds. Arlie plays his Clone card to add an X-ray to his hand, and then plays his new Power. This lets him see the Two of Hearts in the other player’s hand. This information is great for Arlie, he now knows that his opponent doesn’t have a flush, and he’s only worried about a four. Deuce-Four doesn’t make sense for the other player to have. They would have had the straight on the turn, and the best improvement the deuce on the river could have given would be a set of Twos, which Arlie beats.

Mr Shaban makes the call, and his opponent flips over a Seven to go with the exposed two. This makes sense from their point of view. They had top pair on the flop, a straight draw on the turn, and bottom pair on the river, with a massive part of their chip stack invested in the pot.

On the River, Arlie made up for his previous play, and wins a big pot, giving him a nice chip lead heads up. It’s a great example of making the most of his situation. On the River, the other player makes it look like they have Arlie crushed. All they need is a Four or 2 Diamonds to take the pot. In a No Limit Hold’em game, the decision would have been much harder. Power Up lets Arlie gain information that just wouldn’t have been available, and that information is what lets him win the hand.

What do you think? Am I being too harsh On Arlie here? Let me now in the comments below or join our Discord channel and let me know there.

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