Nik Airball Loses $477,000 Pot on HCL with Flush Over Flush

Nik Airball Loses $477,000 Pot on HCL with Flush Over Flush

Nikhil "Nik Airball" Arcot has been on a huge downswing that included losing over $1 million to Matt Berkey around the time this hand was played on the Hustler Casino Live stream earlier this year.

This crazy high-stakes poker hand took place in a game at HCL where the blinds were a huge $100/$200/$400. The game became uncapped and Wesley was sitting with a crazy $2,200,000 in front of him, which was bound to cause a huge pot sooner or later.

Nik Airball Says He's On $8M Downswing

In this strategy column, I'll talk about how when you are playing in an extremely deep-stacked cash game, you should be raising using a very large raise size with a very polarized range. I'll also talk about why Wesley should continue to use large bet sizes with his range that decided to check-raise the flop.

Action kicked off with Nik Airball opening to $1,000 on the button with 43. Wesley called in the big blind with A2. Both of these plays are perfectly standard.

The flop landed KJ10 to give both players flushes with Wesley having the best of it. Wesley checked and Nik Airball continued for $1,000. Wesley check-raised to $7,000 and Nik Airball called.

You may be asking why Wesley is raising so big with the second nuts. The answer is that they are playing super deep-stacked, which means Wesley will want to be raising big with his very strong hands and bluffs.

Nik Airball should not be raising with his small flush because he will only get action from better flushes and the ace-high flush draw. So, Nik Airball should just call and pray that a whole lot more money doesn't go in the pot.

The turn brought the 8 and Wesley sized up to $30,000 with about half of that in the pot. Nik Airball quickly called.

I like Wesley's overbet on the turn because of the polarized range he is representing. Nik Airball has no choice but to call with his inferior flush.

The 3 river completed the board with a total brick and Wesley took some time before announcing another overbet for $200,000. He was met with an instant call from his opponent.

How much do you think Wesley could have gotten paid in this situation?

I love this bet from Wesley and this is exactly what you want to be doing when you are super deep-stacked. I wonder if he could have won even more from Nik Airball if he knew his opponent was steaming from being significantly stuck in his challenge against Berkey.

For more on this hand, check out my breakdown in the following video:

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.


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