TODAY'S HAND looks like the well-timed use of a check-raise, and indeed, that is part of the story.

But Daniel Negreanu married a powerful betting tool with an expert read on his opponent to win a hand.

With blinds at $400-$800 plus a $100 ante at the World Poker Tour's Doyle Brunson North American Poker Classic at Las Vegas' Bellagio in 2006, the under-the-gun player opened with a raise to $2,000. Action folded to Negreanu, who held 4-5 of clubs in the big blind.

"It's a perfect hand for a flop if he's got something," said Negreanu, winner of three World Series of Poker bracelets.

Negreanu faced a call of $1,200 into a pot worth about $4,200. He was getting about