November 21, 2021 Featured Articles, Poker News, Poker Strategy Lars Liedtke

Poker Hand of the Week – Doyle Brunson’s Incredible Fold With Trip Aces Top Kicker at the WSOP Main Event

In our Poker Hand of the Week we analyse Doyle Brunson’s incredible fold with Trip Aces holding Ace-King to a small check raise of Chau Nguyen on the river on Day 1A of the 2021 WSOP Main Event.

Poker Hand of the Week Setup

This hand was played in Level 4 of Day 1A of the $10,000 WSOP Main Event 2021 between poker legend Doyle Brunson and Chau Nguyen.

Poker Hand of the Week – Doyle Brunson's Incredible Fold With Trip Aces Top Kicker at the WSOP Main Event

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We are still early on Day 1 of the 2021 WSOP Main Event and Doyle Brunson has Chau Nguyen slightly covered at the start of our Poker Hand of the Week.

Poker Hand of the Week Action


At Blinds of 300/500 with a 500 Ante, Chau Nguyen limps under the gun with {10-Spades}{10-Clubs} and Doyle Brunson just calls with {a-Diamonds}{k-Clubs} from the cutoff.

Eliran Yamin gets an amazing price in the small blind with {4-Clubs}{2-Clubs} and David Lolis with {q-Clubs}{3-Clubs} checks his option in the big blind. Pot Size: 2,500


4-handed to a dry flop of {2-Spades}{9-Hearts}{a-Clubs} rainbow. Yamin now leads out for 1,000 with bottom pair and backdoor flush and straight draw.

Lolis quickly folds, Nguyen makes the call and Doyle Brunson just calls with top pair top kicker. Pot Size: 5,500


The turn {a-Spades} is another Ace, which makes Brunson Trips. Yamin steps on the breaks by checking after getting two callers on the flop and Chau checks behind.

When the action comes to Doyle he bets 2/3 pot with 3,500 into 5,500. Yamin has an easy fold and Nguyen calls with second pair. Pot Size: 12,500


Chau binks the two-outer on the {10-Hearts} river and checks over to Doyle. Brunson makes an almost pot size bet and Nguyen check-raises to 30,000.

Doyle Brunson goes into the tank and after thinking it through correctly folds Trip Aces with top kicker while Chau Nguyen wins a 54,500 pot.

Poker Hand of the Week Analysis

Doyle Brunson shows with a great fold that he still got it. Let’s go through this spectacular hand step by step.

Preflop play of this hand is very peculiar both from Chau Nguyen, who limps with Pocket Tens from UTG+1 as well as from Doyle Brunson, who only limps behind with Ace-King from the cutoff. I would prefer to isolate the raiser and build the pot here, especially since we are playing the rest of the hand in position with a holding as strong as AK. Like that they are leaving both of the blinds basically for free in.

Since it was a limped pot, the lead of Eliran Yamin with bottom pair and backdoor flush draw is fine as you don’t have to out your opponents on an Ace and this play is intended to take down the pot cheap right here.

Once he meets opposition by getting two callers with Chau and Doyle and don’t improve on the turn, he is done with the hand without having to invest much. This is the case here.

The turn is a pretty interesting card as the Ace pairs and as being said you can’t really put anybody on Trip Aces. Eliran and Chau check and Doyle now makes a pretty substantial bet with 63% pot. Yamin quickly folds, but Nguyen isn’t convinced, because Doyle didn’t raise pre and makes the call.

What a river for Chau as he hits the two-outer! On top his full house is very well-disguised. Checking is also the right play here as you want to set up a check-raise and leading out would look very strong and probably only get you one street of value.

Consequently, Nguyen checks and Doyle Brunson now bets almost the size of the pot. Chau now check-raises to 30,000, which is over the size of the 24,500 pot.

Since Doyle had already bet pot himself and gets now check-raised for more than pot size on the river, this raise is clearly representing a full house. Brunson knows this and after thinking the hand through one more time Doyle realizes that his hand can’t be good here and he makes a fantastic fold.

Poker Hand of the Week Conclusion

Countering a pot size bet with a large check-raise on the river early on in a tournament is almost always a value hand and close to the top of the range.

As played, there is simply no weaker hand, which is check-raising the river, turning Doyle Brunson’s Ace-King solely into a bluff catcher.

Don’t forget that we are only in Level 4 of the first day of the tournament, which is making this a very underbluffed spot and the likelihood of a check-raise for value significantly higher. Doyle Brunson for over 5o years and with his unrivalled experience, he manages to put the pieces of the puzzle correctly together.

Good Fold!

Watch the Poker Hand of the Week here:

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