High Stakes Hand Analysis with Pro Player Melika Razavi

High Stakes Hand Analysis with Pro Player Melika Razavi P3

High stakes regular, magician, pageant queen, and CoinPoker ambassador Melika Razavi loves hitting the cash game tables. To give our community some insight into her pot-winning strategies, Melika will walk you through two great hands step-by-step.

Hand #1 

On a 100/200 No Limit Hold’Em table I open the from BTN to 600 (I like to open 3x from this position). As a result, Sb folds and BB (fedow) defends.

The flop is 2h 8d 5s, making it a dry board with no flush draw and low cards. This means fedow will not have many two-pairs in his range. He most likely has folded all the off suited two pairs (i.e. 2-5, 2-8, and 5-8) preflop.

Most likely we have all the overpairs while fedow does not since he only called preflop.
For these reasons, I like to cbet very widely here. I bet almost my whole range; 1/3. By choosing a smaller sized bet, I am able to make enough cheap bluffs, which I can get away easily, to make the wide cbet range profitable.

Against most players defending tendencies I believe it’s very profitable to cbet all pairs, and at least some Ace high combos such as A3 and A4 for value.

Usually players with trips on boards this face-up will almost always go for a check-raise or check-call.”

So I bet 450 and fedow calls. The turn is 8C and fedow decides to donk-bet half the pot. In this spot, I really don’t believe that he has an 8. Usually, players with trips on boards this face-up (8 high on the flop and an 8 on the turn) will almost always go for a check-raise or check-call.

I decided to call to let him bluff the river as weThere’seres really no point in raising at this moment. The river is 6h and fedow snap-checks.

At this point, I put him on a hand that’s either complete air, a small pair, or 6-7, 6-9, 4-6, 5-6 etc. I bet slightly over half the pot with 1800the on Rive. He calls and I win the pot.

Hand #2

This time in a 20K No Limit Hold’Em game, player Oribatej opens with 600 from the button, Player Wajahat96 calls from SB, and I call from BB with 3-4h.

The Flop is 2d Qh 8h. SB checks, I check and Oribatej cbets 1200 into 1800. The short stack in SB calls with only 4800 behind, and I decide to check-raise for the following reasons:


  1. I don’t mind getting the money in with a flush draw against a short stack when there is dead money in the pot. This probably only happens when SB has a Q or a draw himself.
  2. I can make Oribatej fold some pairs, like a weak Q, 9-9, or J-J, plus I make him fold his bluffs and straight draws.
  3. My raise looks strong to both players. I assume these players understand that I cannot be doing this check raise against two players unless I have a flush draw, two pairs, or a set. I gain a lot of respect when I check-raise, and it’s not fun to be out of position without initiative with a 4 high flush draw.

Therefore, I check-raised to 6000 to put SB all-in, and both players called.

The Turn is 7s, the pot is 19800, and SB is all-in. Oribatej and I now play a side pot, where the remaining 18600 is in play.  This is where it gets really interesting, and I cannot go all-in.
SB is already all-in with a pair or a higher flush draw. If I go all-in and Oribatej folds his flush draw or pair, I can only win the pot by hitting my draw and it’s not really worth investing 18.6k to win a 19.8k all-in turn with 4 high.
He checks behind with Aces, which I think is a huge mistake.”

I have to check-fold and Oribatej needs to shove his KQo+ to protect his hand against my flush draws. He checks behind with Aces, which I think is a huge mistake. I would never check turn if I had a hand better than KQ+ when a player is all-in already and there is a flush draw to get paid by.

The River is 5d and I got to see it for free, but obviously need to check-fold now since it’s not possible to bluff my missed draw, fold, and then lose the pot to SB.

Oribatej checks behind River, and I am not sure why. To me, it’s clearly a value-bet and the size can vary from 1/3 to all-in. It’s all speculative and depends on the game flow, and this was early on in the game.

In the end, Oribatej scoops the pot with rockets!

Check out more hand analyses by poker pro Melika Razavi here:

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