Art Papazyan knows Garrett Adelstein is a loose-aggressive player who’s tough to bluff, but that didn’t stop him from making a clever check-raise in a curious spot to force an agonizing decision during a recent “Live at the Bike” session.
Crazy Game of Poker
Playing in a $100/$200 ring game, Adelstein, known as one of the top cash game grinders in Los Angeles, opened to $600 with K♥K♠ and then faced a three-bet to $3,000 from Papazyan, a WPT champion who was holding A♣K♦.
With both players sitting down with over $130,000 in cash, Adelstein saw an opportunity to win a big pot, so he bumped it up to $9,000. After the livestream concluded, in an interview with “Live at the Bike,” Papazyan admitted his next move was the worst play.
“This is where the hand gets pretty weird because I can five-bet here. I think five-bet or fold is the two best options,” Papazyan said.
He chose neither play and, instead, made the call and saw a flop of Q♣10♠Q♥, a “dangerous board,” commentator Ryan Feldman announced.
“I can bet here for value sometimes,” Adelstein said in the post-game interview. “I can check here for deception. I always try to mix it up.”
In this specific hand, the aggressive Adelstein went for pot control and both players checked. The 8♥ did nothing to improve either player’s hand, so Garrett knew it was time to start getting some value from his hand, thus, he fired out a $6,000 bet after Papazyan checked, and got called.
The 8♦on the river was again of no significance to either player’s hand. Papazyan was still holding ace-high and Adelstein’s kings are now officially the best hand.
Tough Spot to Bluff
The WPT champ, for a third straight time, checked it back to his opponent. With $30,300 already in the pot, Garrett made a sizeable bet for value of $20,000. Papazyan then did the unthinkable, check-raising to $51,000 against a tough-to-bluff opponent with ace-high.
“Why didn’t I just check?” a frustrated Adelstein uttered.
Garrett was getting decent odds to call (better than 3-1) with an over pair to the board. But he had to contemplate if his opponent, even a skilled player such as Papazyan, would even attempt such a sick buff in that spot.
After mulling over his decision for more than four minutes, he mucked his hand. Papazyan showed the bluff and all Adelstein could do was smile.
“It’s just a really great play by Art,” a humble Adelstein said afterwards. “Not many people can raise $51,000 as a bluff but he deserves all the credit for that.”
While explaining his decision to fold, Adelstein said Papazyan would bluff in that spot “almost never,” so he couldn’t make the call. But, unfortunately for the “Live at the Bike” regular, he was bluffing.
Papazyan said he initially intended on folding to a river bet, but sometimes you have to divert from your initial strategy in poker.
“I was playing real tight the whole session and I feel like I have a really good image to bluff here. I shouldn’t have a lot of bluffs here. I’m probably not bluffing at a high percentage on the river here,” he explained. “So, I feel like it’s a good spot. I don’t have to bet a lot because I don’t have many bluffs here. It’s a very polarized board. It’s going to be really hard for him to call here with aces or kings.”
He trusted his instinct and it paid off. Well played, sir.