April 3, 2022 Featured Articles, Poker News, Poker Strategy Lars Liedtke

Poker Hand of the Week – Xuan Liu’s Brilliant Bluff vs. Doyle Brunson on High Stakes Poker

Xuan Liu is the first time at High Stakes Poker and in our Poker Hand of the Week she shows that she is very capable to play with the big boys by bluffing the Godfather of Poker Doyle Brunson.

Poker Hand of the Week Setup

Our Poker Hand of the Week comes from the latest episode of the brand-new High Stakes Poker Season 9, which features poker superstars Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Tom Dwan, JRB, Patrik Antonius, Doyle Brunson, Garrett Adelstein and Jennifer Tilly.

Poker Hand of the Week – Xuan Liu's Brilliant Bluff vs. Doyle Brunson on High Stakes Poker

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In our Poker Hand of the Week, its newcomer vs. poker legend, when Xuan Liu takes on Doyle Brunson. Both of them are pretty deep with effective stack size being 358 big blinds and Doyle has Xuan covered.

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Poker Hand of the Week Action


Xuan Liu open-raises from Under The Gun with A♣Q♥ to $1,200 and Doyle calls from the cutoff with J♥2♥.

When the action comes to Jennifer Tilly on the button she picks up a beautiful-looking A♦K♠. Jennifer 3-bet to $5,000, but both Xuan and Doyle decide to make the call. Pot Size: $16,000


They go 3-way to the very interesting flop of J♦2♠10♣, which is a dream for Doyle as he flops Two Pair, with both Jennifer and Xuan having a gutshot to the Nuts and two overcards.

It checks to the preflop raiser and Jennifer makes a standard 44% pot continuation bet. Liu calls and now Brunson has to raise here in order to protect his hand. This is what he does by making it $24,o00 to go and interestingly Xuan decides to stick around. Pot Size: $71,000


The 10♠ on the turn is one of the worst cards in the deck for Doyle. Firstly, because every Jack counterfeits him now and secondly, because Xuan also has most of the Tens in her range. She checks and Brunson checks behind. Pot Size: $71,000


The 7♣ on the river doesn’t change to much as 89 is unlikely at this point. Liu sits there with Ace-high and has to bet if she wants to win the hand.

She decides to make it look like a value bet with a 70% pot bet and that seems to be the right sizing as Doyle Brunson folds relatively quickly, while Xuan Liu wins a huge $121,000 pot with a brilliant bluff.

Poker Hand of the Week Analysis

Very interesting hand. Let’s go through it step by step.

Preflop everything is pretty standard except for the call of Doyle Brunson with J2s. However, once he calls Xuan’s preflop raise, he also has to call Jennifer’s 3-bet as he is getting great odds.

The flop is very interesting as all three players pick up equity with Doyle hitting it by far the hardest. The remarkable thing about the flop is that that Liu calls Doyle’s check-raise with just a gutshot and two overcards. At this point, she has already laid out the plan.

The turn is one of the worst cards in the deck for Doyle as his Two Pair gets counterfeited by any Jack and now a Ten also has him beat. Consequently, it goes check-check.

The turn makes it even better for Adelstein as he now can be certain to have the best hand. Jennifer wisely check-calls Garrett’s small second barrel.

The river doesn’t changes much, except for 89 getting there, and Xuan Liu now has two choices: To bet, if she wants to win the hand or give up. Betting is the much better option for two reasons, Doyle showed weakness on the turn by checking behind and the board allows you to credibly represent a ten or full house here.

In addition, Xuan most likely called the check-raise on the flop with the plan of taking the pot away on the river in case she misses and now simply follows the plan.

Poker Hand of the Week Conclusion

Brilliant bluff by Xuan Liu. She made a plan on the flop for the rest of the hand and then pulled the trigger, when needed to.

You should always have a plan on the flop for further streets. Once Doyle shows weakness on the turn and Xuan misses her draw on the river, the plan says that she needs to bluff and try to steal the pot.

Furthermore, the board texture is very well suited for a bluff, since she can credibly represent a Ten here or even a hand such as Pocket Jacks here.

Well played by Xuan Liu!

Watch the Poker Hand of the Week here:

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