October 24, 2021 Poker News, Poker Strategy Lars Liedtke

Poker Hand of the Week – Aces against Seven-Deuce or Best vs. Worst Poker Hand

It’s the clash of all clashes: The best vs. the worst poker hand. It’s always exciting when Seven-Deuce goes up against the Aces and we found a very nice example from the 2021 WSOP between Harvey Mathews and Brandon Caputo for our Poker Hand of the Week.

Poker Hand of the Week Setup

We are at the final table of WSOP 2021 Event #13: $3,000 Freezeout No-Limit Hold’em with $371,914 up top.

Poker Hand of the Week – Aces against Seven-Deuce or Best vs. Worst Poker Hand

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There are only five players left and Harvey Mathews is chip leader, while Brandon Caputo is the short stack the start of our Poker Hand of the Week.

Poker Hand of the Week Action


At Blinds of 80,000/160,000 and a 160,000 Big Blind Ante, it folds around to Brandon Caputo, who finds Pocket Rockets A♠A♦ in the Small Blind with only 1,800,000 chips (11 big blinds) left.

This is an absolute dream spot for a short stack in poker tournaments and you need to aim for a double up here. Caputo believes the best way to achieve this is to just call and set a trap. Chip leader Harvey Mathews picks up 7♦2♦ in the big blind and checks behind. Pot Size: 480,000.


The flop of 10♠3♥2♦ is pretty interesting as Mathews picks up equity with a pair and a backdoor flush draw equalling to a 22% chance of winning the hand.

Brandon bets 160,000 (33% pot) and Harvey makes the call. Pot Size: 800,000


The 8♦ on the turn is another spicy card as it gives Harvey Mathews even more equity. With his pair and flush draw he is now 30% to win the hand.

Caputo fires a rather small second barrel of 300,000 (37.5% pot) and now has only a little bit more than pot size behind. After thinking for a few seconds Mathews shoves All-In and Brandon snap-calls. Pot Size: 3,930,000


The 8♦ on the river and Brandon Caputo is eliminated in 5th place for $87,288, while Harvey Mathews wins a big 3,930,000 pot with Seven-Deuce!

Poker Hand of the Week Analysis

Sick hand! Worth taking an in-depth look at it, so let’s analyse it street by street.

Preflop is very interesting as Brandon Caputo makes a mistake here from a GTO perspective. When the action folds around him in the small blind and he picks up Aces with only 11 big blinds and the big blind left, this is a very clear shove.

Why? Because Caputo is the short stack with only 1,885,000 chips and there are already 400,000 in the pot. So by shoving and just picking up the blinds and ante, he can increase his stack by 21.22% making this a clear fold or shove spot.

He does go for the slowplay though and decides to just call. This is very suspicious though and Mathews doesn’t take the bait by correctly checking behind.

The flop is pretty standard, since Harvey picks up a pair and backdoor flush draw and therefore can’t fold to Brandon’s small cbet.

Things get interesting on the turn, where Mathews picks up a flush draw and even more equity. Caputo bets small again as he really wants to double up with his Aces and don’t want to lose his customer. However, Harvey gets almost 4 to 1 and with 30% equity he simply can’t fold.

Now the question for Harvey Mathews is call or shove? The problem with shoving is that Caputo has only a little bit more than pot behind, so he has basically no fold equity. That’s why a call is the better play. Harvey decides in favour of a shove and gets snap-called.

So Brandon Caputo got what he wanted, a chance to double up with Aces, but and that’s a big but Harvey Mathews has still 30% equity, which means he wins the hand every third time. Needless to say the river is a Diamond and Brandon Caputo busts in 5th place.

Poker Hand of the Week Conclusion

The question here is: Is calling preflop with Pocket Aces the right decision? And the simple answer is No.

If the shove gets through, which it would have, Caputo would have increased his stack by 21.22% making this a very clear shove according to poker tournament strategy.

Increasing your stack by more than one-fifth is a lot and a great result, which could have been reached here with minimal risk as only the big blind is to act behind you.

Slowplaying always bears the risk of not getting any action as well as to get sucked out on and in this case it even ended up costing Brandon his tournament life and the chance to win a WSOP bracelet.

Watch the Poker Hand of the Week here:

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