Power Up Ain’t Easy

Today’s hand from the stream of Mr Shaban shows how easy it can be to misread the extra information Power Up can provide, and it’s a fun hand to watch besides that.

In this $15 Power Up game, Arlie has a big chip lead heads up, and for this hand is on the button. He is holding the Ace-Eight of Spades, along with Engineer, Scanner and Disintegrate power cards. He also has 15 points of energy. Arlie makes a min-raise and is quickly re-raised by the other player for most of the effective stack at play. Ace-Eight suited is probably good enough to call here regardless of any Power usage, unless this player has been playing particularly timidly.

However, Arlie maximises his odds, and plays his Scanner card. This exposes the Seven and Four of Spades, fantastic cards for our Canadian Hero. As can be so easy to do in Power Up, Arlie makes a small mistake that is magnified by his opponent’s actions. Rather than closing the action by just calling, Arlie takes the aggressive poker orientated strategy of moving all in. If this situation was in Hold’em, this would be the perfect move. However, in Power Up, it allows Arlie’s opponent to use power cards to skew the upcoming cards.

The other player clones Arlie’s Upgrade, and then plays it straight away. He now has the same information as Arlie does, and in most situations the top two cards on the deck are going to get sent to the muck. However, in the particular instance, the player keeps the cards and makes the call. We see why when he flips over the Eight-Six of Clubs, giving him a straight draw. With so much of his stack in the middle, this is probably as good as he can expect to see.

The flop is dealt to show the Seven, Four and Five of Spades for a flopped Flush for Arlie, and a flopped straight for the other player. What a cooler. The Ace of Diamonds Turn card and the Eight of Diamonds on the river don’t change anything, and Arlie wins the pot, and the prize pool.

Arlie is pretty vocal about his mistake, small as it was. In fact, he certainly shows the versatility of some words in the English language. However, it was a very small mistake, that was only amplified by his opponent’s ability to take advantage of it. Without a Clone card, or his own Scanner or Engineer, Arlie’s opponent wouldn’t have been able to do anything to change the cards coming.

That’s the thing about Power Up in my opinion. Everything is situational. From the cards you want to raise a hand with preflop, to the powers you want to play on the river. It all depends on the circumstances of the hand, the chip stacks, the community cards, the player’s own styles.

There is no GTO style that wins like a machine. You need to Improvise, adapt and overcome the situations you find yourself in. Sometimes you need to think your way out, and sometimes all you have left if three bullets and a busted flush draw. Sometimes life is easy as you make it.

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