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Bet or Check With Pair Plus Flush Draw in a Multi-Way Pot?

Bet or Check With Pair Plus Flush Draw in a Multi-Way Pot?
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  • Play cautiously or blast all in with pair & flush draw in a multi-way spot? @JonathanLittle analyses.

  • Tournament strategy: @JonathanLittle considers how to play a marginal made hand in a multi-way pot.

This week we're going back to that World Series of Poker side event to analyze a hand in which I play suited connectors versus three opponents and manage to catch some good cards postflop.

The blinds were 250/500 with a 50 ante, and it folded around to me in the hijack seat where I had been dealt {8-Spades}{7-Spades}. From a starting stack of about 30,000, I raised to 1,300, and a tight-aggressive player with about 50,000 to start called from the cutoff.

The blinds both called as well, and with 5,600 in the pot the four of us saw the flop come {10-Spades}{7-Hearts}{4-Spades}. Both blinds checked, and I had to decide what I wanted to do with my flush draw and second pair.

How would you proceed in this spot? Would you play cautiously here or would you blast your stack in? As you decide, think about whether this marginal made hand would likely win at showdown.

I'll stop there and let you see what I chose to do and how things played out, and also let you hear my reasoning for how I chose to play postflop:

If this were a heads-up pot, I probably would have checked the flop with this marginal made hand plus a draw. Multi-way, though, there was more merit in betting to protect.

After hitting the flush on the turn, bet sizing was important as I tried to keep inferior hands interested. The same was true on the river when I wanted those one-pair hands to call.

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 JonathanLittlePoker.com. Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at PokerCoaching.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle..

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