Negreanu and Matusow Debate Regarding Mariano's River Bet on Hustler Casino Stream

August 22, 2023
Nenad Nikolic

Renowned YouTuber and poker enthusiast, Mariano, has made significant strides in Hustler Casino Live, raking in impressive victories lately. In a recent highlight, he skillfully outplayed Andy "Stacks" Tsai by landing a straight flush, outshining the nut flush, and clinching a massive $610,000 pot.

Mariano's triumphs on the high-stakes poker stream in Los Angeles have been attributed to both his favorable luck and strategic gameplay. However, a recent setback has overshadowed some of his achievements, as he incurred a substantial loss of $226,000 during a recent show. This loss has sparked a heated debate among poker legends over a particular hand.

The Decisive River Bet Dilemma: Pocket Aces on Display

Set in the context of blinds set at $400/$800 and an $800 big blind ante, the action unfolded as Dan "Jungleman" Cates initiated proceedings with a raise to $2,600 from the hijack, wielding KhQh. Mariano countered with a three-bet to $8,600 from the cutoff, armed with AhAc. Jungleman, holding $138,000 in chips, called, cementing his position as the effective stack.

A lighthearted exchange took place between Jungleman and Mariano. Jungleman, gesturing toward Mariano, offered playful trash talk, humorously reversing the traditional pep talk by expressing his confidence in defeating Mariano.

The ensuing flop, 4hQcJh, was a dynamic one. Jungleman opted to check, prompting Mariano to seize the initiative with a $13,000 continuation bet. Jungleman, who held a top pair and a flush draw, opted to make the call, keeping the action alive.

The turn card, 2s, brought no significant changes to the table. Jungleman maintained his passive stance with another check. Seizing the opportunity, Mariano increased his bet size to $40,000, equivalent to roughly 90% of the pot. Jungleman, undeterred, continued his participation by calling the bet, which left him with a stack-to-pot ratio of approximately 0.7:1.

The river unveiled the 8h, completing Jungleman's flush. In a swift and seamless motion, Jungleman checked, setting the stage for a pivotal decision that would be the focal point of the subsequent discourse. The crucial question arose: should Mariano place a bet or check on the river?

The commentator pondered, "Does Mariano believe he can elicit value from inferior hands here?" Mariano's choice became evident as he boldly pushed all his chips into the center, an amount totaling $84,400 from Jungleman's stack. Jungleman swiftly matched the bet with a call.

With a wry smile, Mariano revealed his cards, exclaiming, "You win, I have aces." The comprehensive depiction of this gripping hand can be viewed on the Hustler YouTube channel, and, likely, a highlight reel of the hand will also be made available soon.

Diverging Views from Matusow and Negreanu

Predictably, the poker community wasted no time in expressing diverse opinions about the hand, including a perspective from seasoned player Mike Matusow.

However, prominent figures, such as the esteemed "Kid Poker" Daniel Negreanu, held opposing viewpoints to Matusow's analysis.

This debate is not the first instance of a disagreement between Negreanu and Matusow, nor will it likely be the last. Their history of divergent views, sometimes involving prop bets, adds a layer of intrigue to their ongoing discussions. Interestingly, Negreanu proposed seeking insights from the poker "wizards" and even named five potential contributors: Jason Koon, Andrew Lichtengerger, Doug Polk, FindingEQ, and Daniel Cates himself.

Matusow remained resolute in his stance. He was skeptical that more experts would advocate for a river bet over a check, prompting him to propose a bet. Negreanu embraced the challenge, displaying confidence by asserting that not only would all five experts endorse a heart-suited AA bet, but also three out of the five would advocate for it.

In the evolving landscape of modern poker, where advanced algorithms play a significant role, it's fascinating to witness diverse perspectives on a single hand. Negreanu leans toward betting, while Matusow staunchly argues in favor of checking.

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