Getting Frisky With a Junky Poker Hand

Jonathan Little

This week's hand comes from a six-handed no-limit hold'em tournament I played in New Jersey — I believe it was a $1,000 buy-in event (perhaps larger).

It was early in the tournament, and with a stack of 20,000 and the blinds at 50/100, I was dealt {a-Diamonds}{8-Spades} on the button and opened for 300. It folded to the big blind where a very good, young player with a similar-sized stack three-bet to 1,050.

As I discuss in the video below, this player was strong and balanced enough to make it very hard for me to narrow his range very much when he three-bets in a situation like this. In fact, as I look back on the situation I would probably rather have folded to the reraise rather than call as I did.

The flop came {7-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{3-Clubs}, and my opponent bet 1,100 (about half the pot). With two overcards and the backdoor nut-flush draw, and with stacks as deep as they were, folding isn't really an option here, I think, so I called, making the pot about 4,300.

The turn brought the {4-Diamonds} and my opponent checked. With all my draws and my lack of showdown value, I knew I wanted to bet, but how much?

Take a look at what I decided to do with my turn bet and also what happened after I did.

As this hand shows, sometimes sticking around until your opponent shows weakness works out.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,700,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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