April 23, 2023 Featured Articles, Live Poker News, Poker News Lars Liedtke

Poker Hand of the Week – Chess World Champion Magnus Carlsen Makes A Huge Hero Call

In our Poker Hand of the Week we analyze Chess World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s Huge Hero Call against Nick Austin at Hustler Casino Live. 

Poker Hand of the Week Setup

This hand was played at the at the Creator Poker Night at Hustler Casino live, which featured Chess Prodigies Magnus Carlsen and Alexandra Botez, Mariano and Tana Mongeau among others.

Poker Hand of the Week – Chess World Champion Magnus Carlsen Makes A Huge Hero Call

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They are playing NL$10/$25 with a $25 big blind ante and Nick has Magnus Carlsen slightly covered.

Poker Hand of the Week Action


Mariano open-raises from UTG+1 to $50 with A♥7♥ and Magnus Carlsen makes a loose 3-bet to $300 with 4♥3♥ from the Hijack. Nick Austin looks at A♣J♠ in the small blind and makes it $1,200 to go and only Carlsen calls. Pot Size: $2,775


The flop of 8♣4♠K♠ heavily favours the preflop raiser and Nick goes for a small $700 continuation bet (1/4 pot). Carlsen has flopped a pair and can’t fold. Pot Size: $4,175


The 9♥ on the turn doesn’t change much and Nick fires a $1,600 second barrel. Magnus only beats a bluff, but decides to see a river. Pot Size: $7,375


The 10♣ on the river completes some unlikely straight draws, but the flush draw busts. Austin goes for the Triple Barrel Bluff and chooses a Value Bet sizing of $3,200.

Magnus Carlsen goes into the tank and then flicks in the call by saying “I don’t believe you at all” and the Chess World Champion is right! He wins a nice $13,775 pot with just bottom pair!

Poker Hand of the Week Analysis

What a call by the No. 1 ranked Chess player in the world Magnus Carlsen, who once again shows that he is also a great poker player.

Let’s have a look why Carlsen made the call here. Preflop is already pretty interesting as Magnus makes a loose 3-bet from the Hijack with 43s after a UTG raise and Nick then goes for the cold 4-bet.

Both plays are debatable. You could argue that both hands are folds, since Austin is out of position and Mariano had raised from UTG+1. However, they both raise instead and Carlsen decides to call the 4-bet in position with Suited Connectors.

The King-high flop heavily favours the 4-bettor, but Magnus Carlsen has flopped bottom pair. Nick goes for a small continuation bet of 25% pot, which I like as he has Ace-high and it gets a lot of better hands to fold, however not a hand that has hit the flop.

The turn doesn’t change anything and Austin continues to represent the King with a second barrel intended to get hands such as bottom and middle pair to fold.

Yes, Carlsen’s hand actually is a fold against a second barrel on the turn, but the Chess World Champion is a non-believer.

The Ten on the river is pretty irrelevant and Nick pulls the trigger with the Triple Barrel.

GTO-wise Magnus Carlsen has an easy fold, since Nick Austin credibly represents a hand such as Ace-King, Aces or Kings.

Those are not too many combos though and Carlsen continuously says “I don’t believe you”, while tanking. So the Norwegian superstar decides to go with his read and he is good!

Poker Hand of the Week Conclusion

The real question regarding this hand is: Did Magnus Carlsen make a good call or not?

According to the optimal poker strategy the answer is: No. If you call frequently with bottom pair on a wet board like this, then you are simply calling too much. With fifth pair you are too low in your range to be able to call profitably here.

On the other hand, going with your read is important in cash games and this hand also shows the great hand reading abilities of Carlsen.

With his talent Magnus Carlsen can quickly become a top poker player, if he continues to play a lot and gains more experience.

Watch the Poker Hand of the Week here:

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