Getting Raised on the Turn While Holding Pocket Aces

Getting Raised on the Turn While Holding Pocket Aces

Here's an interesting hand in which I was dealt pocket aces (great!), but have to deal with some postflop aggression from an opponent with position on me (not great!).

It was early in a $10,000 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament, with the blinds 75/150 (plus a 25 ante) and the effective stacks around 50,000.

Sitting under the gun I was dealt {a-Spades}{a-Clubs} and raised to 400. Looking back I might prefer raising a little more (say, to 500), given the deep stacks. Both the tight player on the button and a younger player in big blind called, and the flop came {k-Spades}{q-Clubs}{7-Spades}.

After the big blind checked, I bet 1,000 (two-thirds pot) and both opponents called. The turn then brought the {5-Clubs} and the big blind checked again.

This is a spot where a lot of people think primarily about opponents being on draws and thus size their bets to price them out. As I discuss in the video below, often in this situation opponents' ranges will actually contain more decent made hands than draws, which means you also want to keep those players in as your overpair rates to be best.

In any case, with 4,500 in the middle I bet 2,300, and the button (a tight player, remember) made a raise to 5,200. The big blind folded and I had a decision to make.

What sort of range might this player have to make this tricky small turn raise? How would you proceed in this spot? See what I did and how things played out, and listen to my analysis of this difficult situation holding pocket aces and facing a player in position showing aggression.

After putting me to a test on the turn, my opponent chose not to do so on the river. As I say in the video, I probably would have called a river bet, but would you have? Why or why not?

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,800,000 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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