With an estimated IQ of 180 or 190, it's not surprising that Magnus Carlsen is skilled in games outside of the chess world.

Bencb broke down a wild hand that Magnus played on the Hustler Casino stream, where the blinds were $10/$20 – far lower than the usual stakes.

This hand definitely belongs in the category of the craziest calls of 2023. Let's get right into it.

Magnus Carlsen is here with the , 3-betting to $300. I actually don't mind it. I think perhaps he has some good instincts here, that these hands perform quite well against strong ranges, especially when facing a 4-bet.

suited – I would prefer having , . We want to get away from the and that we really need to make straight. Card removal effects are important in general. As a rule of thumb, if you face a 3-bet or even 4-bet, having suited, suited, suited is a lot better than let's say suited, suited or suited. Because these hands do not do so well against and and .

So, a lot of the cards that we need to make two pairs, trips, and straights are taken out of the deck. If you have , or suited, your opponent has or and maybe even as a bluff, as we see here, off.

Bluff in Poker: How To Tell A Believable Story
  • A is taken out of the deck.
  • Queens are very often taken out of the deck.
  • Even the Aces are taken out of the deck

We need those to make a straight with suited or suited or even suited. Very often, and are not played as 4-bets, so having those two other cards against let's say or is not really important.

Because as I said, or might just call the 3-bet or fold. So very often, you will see either the value hands like or or even some bluffs with or in the mix when facing a 4-bet or even 3-bet. So when you're deeper and you have suited, or suited, it's actually pretty good to call or even float against 4-bets.

Versus suited or even suited, is a lot closer because now it gets closer to kinds of hands, but I don't mind.

Of course, we should also consider they're no pros, so of course, they're going to be making some theoretical mistakes, but that's all right.

The Flop

I think both players played fine. I would probably just fold pre-flop. It's a hand that is gonna be in a lot of trouble postflop.

I've definitely seen a bigger punts. It's fine if ranges are really wide. We see is in the mix, and it's actually not that bad in these live games to be a little bit more out of line with your Ace-Jacks because, yeah, you will see some crazy defense, right?

So on the Flop, I think it's fairly standard. It's a good board for the .

has a clear call here from Magnus. He's still doing well against and with his five outs. His two payouts shouldn't be blocked.

I actually prefer having suited suited because if he'll hit your , very often, it's going to be very nasty. Because your outs are dirty, that means that if you hit your , very often your opponent hits two pairs or a set as well.

So suited a lot better here than the because if you hit your , then very often you're gonna have you're gonna improve to a better two pair that is ahead now against and .

A Spicy Turn

On the turn, it gets spicy.

Our opponent's second barrels.. but again, we actually have a pretty good blocker where we unblock a lot of bluffs.

Now we really want to think about, do we unlock his bluffs? Because if you have and like you're blocking a little bit of value with the or but you're also blocking a lot of bluffs.

Blocking always means – is it more likely or unlikely that the opponent has a bluff or value?

Now, since we don't block any of the , we don't block any of the , it's actually, probably a fine call, especially in an environment when things are getting very, very aggressive and we see that here.

I can imagine these games, you know, it's splashy, it's aggressive, people want to fight for parts right, it's televised, and then you really want to think about okay, what does my kicker look like and what are the most likely bluffs in my opponent's range right?

It's gonna be the , , and then you need to consider that randomness in life games that they maybe have an off or whatever. But more likely or more often, you want to unblock those bluffs.

An Even-Spicier River

Let's move on to the river! This is where things are getting really, really spicy.

And here, it looks really punty to call down with bottom pair, but this hand is actually not that bad.

I doubt that it's solver-approved, but nobody's gonna play a solver game here. I really like Magnus' instinct. He also says that this is a board that smashes his range. He's going to have lots of sets, he's going to have a lot of that is still better to call than , right?

So whenever you think, "Wow, this board is actually really good for me, I have a lot of value hands," you don't need to cause such a hand because you're very well protected overall. You have enough hands you can call down with, and you don't need to add bottom pair into the mix.

"I just don't believe you"

However, Magnus has some instincts here. He has a gut feeling and doesn't believe his opponent.

I would not recommend this call in any live games, online games, but in these games where they invite also creators and some players or people from other industries right, these games can get crazy.

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Wow, what a call, what a call to run it twice back. So well played by Magnus, and made some good adjustments, I was very surprised.

Is Magnus actually your poker Pro? Is he underrated? I mean, it definitely helps to have that strategic thinking from chess which I think he's pretty good at.

So well done, and I personally love seeing that kind of content. It's actually pretty good for poker, which makes the game more popular. So I hope I get to see more of these very funky plays.