I can watch this over and over again. The hand itself is worth watching but the way Luke talks himself out of getting bust is also worthwhile.





First check it out :

This is a HU short-table hand with Phil Laak and Luke Schwartz.

Phil covers Luke over 50% (Luke has 394k, Phil has 941k)

Blinds are 10k/20k so Phil has 47BB, Luke has just under 20BB

Luke raises preflop with , Laak calls with .

Flops comes

Luke is out of position and with this flop he really would have been better with it because he isn't dominating as much as he would like with the Queens. One King is bad enough but 2 out of position is just ugly.


The pot on the flop is 84k

Luke bets 50%, Laak quick calls without even thinking


Turn comes

A check here from Luke is right, it seems like he is giving Phil Laak respect for trip Kings here and if he is bet right here he has a good reason to lay it down. Your opponent is only going to call the flop and check/check the Turn if they are looking for a cheap showdown or have a monster they are baiting you with... either way he can't lead here with the flop being called and a check gives him a free card and some information.

He now knows Laak is either playing very weak or very strong and what he does on the River will determine how weak or strong he thinks Laak is playing.


River comes

As per the commentary from Phil Helmuth, I agree here he should have bet 50%. Anything less and he should fold.. anything more and he isn't giving the preflop raise-call or the speedy flop call or the cold check/check on the Turn any respect especially with the 2 Kings out there.

The bet here is for value, he is only getting raised with a better hand in this spot considering the way he played it. If he had Trip Kings I couldn't (and imagine Luke thinks the same) see Laak not betting the Turn for value. With the 2 scare cards out there if Luke has something that was the reason for his flop raise (like some kind of strong pair) then he is going to get more action out of him on the Turn than he could on the River... closer Phil Laak goes to the river without a bet the stronger his hand appears and the less chance of a call from Luke because of it.

He actually bets it 137k which is about an 80% bet here. That bet is representing a King or better still 77s or 88s which he doesn't have and in that spot.... and the only 2 things Phil can do here is , Call or Shove. 

He only calls if he has a lower full-house.... although I don't think he WOULD but only that he COULD... Had the bet been lower say 80k, Luke could have got value by a lower pair or Aces calling him there to see if their Two Pair was good enough to beat his Two Pair. I am not saying Phil would have called a 50% bet here but if Luke is convinced in this spot he is ahead and he can't be thinking he can push his opponent off a Full House so has to rate Phil has much less of a hand to consider making that bet.

Also if all Phil had here was Kx without the boat, he could consider calling if he fears a Full House but based on the way Luke has been playing and the stack sizes, i would see him shoving with Trip Kings as well.

A normal raise here doesn't really come into it. Luke started the hand with 394k, he has put enough of his chips into the pot to be close to pot committed and if Phil wants to get any payoff here he isn't going to do it with any other raise other than a shove.


So Phil shoves... correct play here as he has the nuts and is only get paid if Luke doesnt believe him. Realisticly Luke could only call here with a Full House and anything else he has to respect at least a pair of 7s or at worst 8s. He isnt just beat to a Full House but any rag Kx hand beats him alone.


I do love the way he talks himself out of it. He asks "How don't you shove 77s preflop?" ... I don't think this was a valid question because there would be no reason to shove 77 preflop at these blind levels and stack sizes... I think he asked the question to try and get a read from Laak where what he was really asking is "Do you have a 77s?" and perhaps trying to read if he is beaten by a boat with 77.

I think this was the hand that he thought beat him, 77 not K7. It made sense that Phil would call a raise with 77 rather than K7 or K8 but either way if he calls here he would be quite upset with himself not because it was the wrong result but because it was the wrong move.

QQ is a good hand... on a board of unders it can be a good showdown hand and win you pots. With just one K over it is an underdog to a better hand but not completely dead but with 2 overs you have so much that is kicking your ass and not enough  you are beating that with this much action it is a good fold.


I think Luke got stuck because he liked his Queens too much and his River bet shows that. He really didn't think what would happen if he got raised because if he did at best he would have value-bet it and at worst he would have check/folded.


Who am I to comment on his play? He is a massivly more skilled player than I am (LOL) but this video really does give a good example of how you can get married to a hand and end up making mistakes that with better position you can get away from.


If Luke had position here he would have been so much better off since Phil would have checked the flop and Luke would have bet 50%. Phil would have checked the turn and I am unsure if Luke would have bet the Turn but if he did it would have been a 50% bet considering he was getting call/checked with the KK on the board. Phil would have called... immediately this would have put Luke on the defensive going into the River and without a Queen he would have had to play it down.

I am unsure what Laak would have done out of Position here. He could have check/raised or bet straight into him. I think it would have depending on the action he got on the Turn. If Luke 50% the Turn or less.. or even checked it he would have to bet here. If Luke bet more than 50% say the 80% he did on the actual hand he would have considered a check/raise and in that spot Luke could have got away from his hand with a free check.


A very tough spot but its a good video and I can watch it over and over again just to see Lukes pain and struggle to do the right laydown.