Winning = No Pizza?

Today’s hand from Arlie Shaban’s stream is all about winning. And Pizza. Yes, I’m serious. Arlie recounts an amusing anecdote from his life away from the Twitch site, while showing the way to win at Power Up.

The hand starts with Arlie off screen, but still at the controls. It’s the first hand of the game, and Arlie is on the button. He’s first to act preflop, and raises with the Queen of Hearts, and the Ten of Clubs. Another min raise was the next action from the Small Blind player, and after a “Are you Kidding me!” emote from the last player, he also raises. First hand of a game, and it’s a triple raised family pot, and more is still to come!
Next up is a call from Arlie, but the player to his left plays a Reload card, and then makes a minimum raise for a second time. The Big Blind player makes yet another re-raise! Arlie makes a speculative call for a total of 600 of his initial 2000 to be at risk.

The Small blind player burns his second Power card, leaving him with none later in the hand. He plays Intel, which is best played before the flop to gets its biggest value anyway, and finally closes the pre-flop betting action.

The flop is dealt, and leaves the Four of Diamonds, the Ten of Hearts and the Eight of Diamonds on the table. As Arlie suggests, this isn’t a bad flop for him after the action that happened pre-flop. He has top pair, with a good kicker, and his opponents range includes a lot that hasn’t hit this flop.

The Small Blind raises to 900, which is exactly half the pot, and gets a call and a “Thank You” from the third player at the table. With this bet only leaving the other two players with 500 chips left in their stacks, and Arlie having top pair, the rest of the chips need to go into the pot here.

Before he shoves all in, Arlie wants to get the best chance of improving his hand, and reducing the chances of being beaten, so he plays his Engineer card. The options to leave on the top of the deck are the Ten and Seven of Diamonds, and the Queen of Clubs. The Ten gives Arlie three of a kind, but it also completes a flush draw. The Queen of Clubs gives Arlie a hidden two pair.

Here, he has the option of a stronger hand that give a better chance of being beaten, or a lesser hand that is either crushed by a hidden pocket pair that has hit a third card on the flop or he’s the most likely to win this hand. Having both the other players in this hand makes it riskier to put draw options on the board. Arlie, correctly in my opinion, selects the Queen as his turn card to give him two pair.

Arlie also had to make sure he couldn’t lose the hand if someone uses a power to mess with him. He decided to play an EMP card to protect his position and pushed his remaining chips over the virtual betting line. This brought another “Thank You” from the big blind and calls from both the other players. Arlie was up against The Ace of Hearts with the Nine of Clubs ion the small blind, and the King-Nine of Hearts in the big blind. Both players wanted to see a Jack for a straight and if I’m honest, Arlie’s opponents let this pot get far too big for the hands involved.

The Seven of Clubs sealed the deal, and gave Arlie the pot, along with the prize pool. His Two Pair was better than the high card the other held after their straight didn’t arrive. I like his play in every situation in this hand. The initial raise pre-flop is fine, as are the repeated calls before the flop. The odds and the size of the pot left him little choice here. Anything other than a call to the preflop action would need serious information for me. If he’d missed on the flop, folding would have still left him with a playable stack and decent chances of winning the game.

Post-flop the paired Ten gave Arlie a great position. Playing Engineer and picking the right card sealed the deal. In this case the Diamond wouldn’t have hurt him, but in the long term, someone is going to have two Diamonds in this spot. Two pair beats most other hands in his opponent’s range of probable holdings. Offering a flush add a nearly 20% boost to a player’s odd when they are holding just a single Diamond.

As Arlie says after winning, “…and that’s how you win Power up!”

What do you think? Do you think we are being too harsh, or too easy on Arlie’s play? Let us know on Twitter, or post in our Discord Server.

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