In our Poker Hand of the Week we analyze one of the best Hero Calls in recent times by Rampage vs. Nik Airball in a $312,900 pot at Hustler Casino Live.
Poker Hand of the Week Setup
This hand was played in the Super High Stakes table at the Hustler Casino live stream, which featured Ethan “Rampage” Yau, Nik Airball, Bill Klein, Francisco, Mike X and Dentist Dave.
The blinds are $100/$200/$400 with a $400 big blind ante. Both players are pretty deep with the effective stack size being 875 big blinds. Nik Airball has Rampage easily covered.
Poker Hand of the Week Action
Rampage raises from the cutoff to $2,000 with A♥K♦. It folds to Nik Airball in the straddle, who 3-bets to $10,000 with A♦3♠ and Ethan just calls, everybody else folds. Pot Size: $20,900
The flop comes Q♠2♦Q♥, which is decent for both players as Ace-high could easily be good here. Airball makes a small continuation bet of $6,000 into $20,900 (29% pot) and Rampage calls. Pot Size: $32,900
The Q♦ on the turn doesn’t change much and Nik Airball fires an almost pot size bet second barrel of $30,000. Yau calls again. Pot Size: $92,900
The backdoor flush comes in on the 8♦ river and now Nik Airball overbets the pot with $110,000 into $92K and Rampage almost immediately calls. Airball shouts “Oh my god”, when Ethan turns over Ace-King-high, which is good to take down a huge $312,900 pot.
Poker Hand of the Week Analysis
What a call! Let’s take an in-depth look at this very interesting hand and try to find out why Rampage made it.
Ethan’s cutoff open with AKo is standard. Airball decides to make a loose 3-bet with A3o in order to defend his straddle aggressively.
An important background information here is that Rampage has won several big pots from Nik and he seems to be steaming at this point.
Yau has two options here, he can 3-bet and get more money into the pot in position with a very good hand or to control the size of the pot by just calling. He chooses the second option.
The Qs2dQh flop is pretty good for both players, since Ace-high is often the best hand here. Nik Airball tries to take the pot down with a small 29% pot cbet and Rampage’s hand is too strong too fold, so he calls.
The Qd on the turn doesn’t changes anything and if Nik doesn’t have a Pocket Pair then Ace-King is the best hand here. Airball sizes up and fires a huge second barrel of almost pot size and Ethan calls again.
The 8d river brings in the backdoor flush and now Airball overbets the pot and polarizes his hand to a very strong hand or a bluff. He represents a big Pocket Pair such as Kings or Aces here, but Rampage doesn’t believe him and snap-calls.
And it is a great call as Yau’s kicker plays securing him as massive $312,900 pot.
Poker Hand of the Week Conclusion
One of the best calls of 2023 so far. However, when you see the big picture and put the pregame history into perspective you can understand why Ethan made that call.
As you can see from the below video, Nik Airball got destroyed that night by Rampage, lost several six figure pots to him and clearly seemed to be on Tilt, when that hand happened.
On top of that, Nik Airball is very polarized here and the only hands he represent are big Pocket Pairs such as Aces or Kings. Rampage blocks both of these hands with Ace-King making them very unlikely and generating a high probability that Ace-King is the best hand here.
Putting all the pieces of the puzzle and their history together it actually does make a lot of sense to call here, but you still need to have balls.
Well played by Rampage!
Watch the Poker Hand of the Week here:
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