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Bizzar hand I just watched

Heads up blinds 5 10

Cove on the button with 8♠7⋄ calls
Starts with 16 BB

Firth with 5♥6♥ checks
Has Cove covered

Flop 3⋄J⋄7♠
Firth check
Cove check

Turn 4♥
Firth check
Cove check

River 7♣
Pot 20
Firth straight
Cove trips
Firth bets 19
Cove all in for 150
Firth has her covered and naturally calls

How could either have played better?

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Well with 16BBs Cove shouldn't have even played the hand in my opinion, even on the button. 7,8 off with 16BBs is just a waste of your chips. Be aggressive with that stack or fold.

So one way they could have played it better is to just fold. Once they've seen the flop, I hate the check with 7,8. You've played with a weak hand when you have no chips, you hit and you don't bet? What are they hoping for, a flopped straight, trips, a house?

I don't see why they shove either on the river, you're only being called by better hands, there is literally no reason to shove on that river with that action. Like you're risking your entire stack of 150 to win 54 chips. You either get a fold and still gain the extra 19 chips on the river, or you get called and lose your stack. When Firth calls the all-in the only thing as Cove you're hoping for is he got some goofy two pair by the river, everything else he is calling with is beating trips. If she just called 19, she gets to see the bluff, still get the 19 extra chips, or like in this case she can keep her stack if Firth has hit a monster. Firth likely doesn't have a jack with the way they've played the hand, so their bet is only a bluff or a super strong hand, it's so hard for it to be a middling hand here. Firth would want to protect a jack hand because of the flush draw on the flop, so the fact he checks means it is so much harder for him to have a jack hand.

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The hand looks pretty standard. Straight vs river trips with 16BB shortstacks, will naturally end up in an all-in situation. It's one of those "cold decks", if we can call it that.

Of course players could have played differently, ex. Cove could have bet the turn, where he is miles ahead his opponent's range, but we don't know the dynamics and their history. He could assume that he can take better value in the river, or lure his opponent into bluff-betting. It's really complicated to comment on a hand without any history, especially between strong players who will play more than ABC poker.

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Won't accept my own answer

Pre flop seems fine

Flop is in both of their ranges given pre action

Three partial draws
diamond diamond
37
7J

Cove with middle pair decides to slow play
With the draws on the table and given she is short stacked I don't like this play
Firth would have raised pre a strong jack
I think cove should should bet a 1/2 pot and hope for a call from a draw or a 3
Bet the full pot you only get called by J or stronger 7 that you are behind

Turn fills in a straight draw but closes out the other two draws. Yes Firth could have 56 but from what Clove has seen that is not even 10% of her range. I like the check from Firth and I guess if Cove is not going to bet the flop for value then not bet the turn for value. But if the river goes check bet fold she gets no value from middle pair. I think Cove should bet like 1/2 the pot for value. Bet the full pot to fold out a 3 or 4 only to get called by a Jack, 56 or stronger 7 does not make sense.

River Firth bets just short of the full pot for right at 1/8 of Cove's stack. I think 1/2 would be better as Cove on trips does not really make sense here. I think Firth is more trying to represent a bluff. Cannot fold trips getting just under 2:1. Cove's hand is under represented - Cove has to think she is good. Only losing to JJ and 56 and JJ would have raised pre. With even a min raise Cove is almost pot committed and short stacked. So it is call or jam. Jam can get called by 2 pair or a set. But a pocket pair would have raised pre and 2 pair would have bet the flop or turn. Not like Firth has the last 7. A bluff would fold. 56 gets there and that is exactly how it would have been played. Easy when you know the cards but call is a better play.

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