How Lex Veldhuis Thought About Bluffing Andrew Robl At High Stakes Poker (Didn’t Work For Him)

The number one thought process to understand what goes through the minds of the strongest poker pros while they play.

Today we look at Lex Veldhuis’ difficult attempt to bluff Andrew Robl in an older season of high stakes poker.

The Dutch didn’t do well: Robl called and conceded. In a video posted on his YouTube channel, Veldhuis traced the hand and explained the thought he implemented street by street.

The hand

Live cash game $400-$800, min buy-in 200,000, table features all the legends of the game like Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius and Daniel Negreanu who opens with 4 $3,0003.

A young Veldhuis at 86èc]3-bet $11,000

Robl QQ he only calls from the big blind. Also call Negreanu.

flop 37Q after checks from Robl and Negreanu Veldhuis Veldhuis bets 23,800, Robl calls and Negreanu folds.

turn J Robl check Veldhuis check.

River A Robl checks, Veldhuis 54k, Robl calls and takes the pot.

As Lex Veldhuis thought

“My 3-bet is a bit loose, but Negreanu opened very wide while my image was still undefined because I hadn’t played many cash games with that many players at the table.

I think it’s really important to four-bet here instead of Robl because he’s out of position and up against perhaps the two loosest opponents at the table. He calls instead, but if the flop comes say ten-six-seven or ten-six-five, you have no idea where you are in the hand. Of course, after Negreanu’s call, I call too. The pot is 34.4k.

I bet a size on the flop, which would probably be a mistake today, but back when sizes were much bigger it was probably okay. On this not very good board, a raise from Robl wouldn’t make sense. Actually calling.

The double flush draw opens on the turn. At this point the board hits its reach really hard. The moment Robl calls that bet on the flop, his range narrows a lot, so I check afterwards with a plan to fold most of the time. Then comes the ace on the river…

On the river, Andrew can come out with small bets hoping I’ll bluff and do something. I think for him after my check behind turn I might have something like T-9 or 9-8, hands like these or even hands like pocket sixes, all good hands to bluff on the river on a board like this.

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But he knows that if he bets small across my entire value range, like AK AJ, he’ll limit himself to calling, while if he checks, I could bet bigger than him…

Robl also knows we’re both young and both aggressive, so he obviously expects me to bet big on his check river after I 3-bet preflop.

For my range, the ace on the river is a very good card because I might have A3-A7-AJ-AK or AQ… Point and Andrew have a decision to make here, although I think it’s a really easy decision. There are two hands where he loses: KT and AA.

Now I think it’s a good bet with KT on the turn and since I might as well have it right away, it’s two combos for the straight or the flush draw that I wouldn’t even fold all-in on the turn with

But you also have to keep in mind that if I bet KTs on the turn, I don’t get raised too often because as a Robl, how do you expect to get paid when you have sets with queens? JJ-AA-KK? There are very few hands he would call shoved with, so he has to slowplay a lot of hands because as an aggressive player and preflop aggressor, I’ll be re-raising quite often.

If I check the turn and then bet the river, the highest possible combo I have is a pair, and here I’m more likely to bluff all-in than with a pair. If I bet AK to a check-raise here, I’ll eventually call. If Robl has a hand like 7-8 in clubs or spades, he has to check-push that river occasionally, like with a pair of tens, but he’d be sick.

Andrew thinks for a long time and finally just calls.

Robl’s cuteness

At the end of the hand analysis, Veldhuis emphasizes Robl’s friendliness:

“It took him a really long time to call with a set. When he says he calls and has a set, I mean that as an excuse for mulling over the 3rd nuts for so long. Like saying, “I have a set, so feel free to muck your hand if you’re bluffing.”

According to Veldhuis, people sometimes find it difficult to show bluffs, although this is certainly not his case. But it’s attention like this, in addition to his outstanding level, that earns Andrew Robl so many cash game invites. From his line in hand, however, the Dutchman is not so sublime:

“I think he should have gone all-in on the river, but Andrew is obviously a genius at the game, so he definitely had his reasons for not going all-in.”

A fairly obvious finding: Robl probably thought that if he went all-in that his set of queens beat, he would only get called by the two combos.

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