Could You Fold the Second Nuts? A Tricky River Decision
In today's tournament hand I take a fairly standard line after defending my big blind, making top pair and check-calling both the flop and turn before rivering the second-best possible hand. But then I face a big, worrisome bet from my opponent — what would you do?
The blinds were at 2,000/4,000 with a 500 ante, and a loose-aggressive player opened for 8,000 from the hijack seat. This was a younger player with a big stack of about 500,000 who had earlier opened with -suited from early position.
It folded around to me in the big blind where had about 180,000 to start the hand and I'd been dealt . I called, and the flop came , giving me top pair. I checked, my opponent bet 9,500 into the 22,500 pot, and I called.
The turn was the and I checked again, and my opponent fired again, this time with an almost half-pot bet of 20,000. I called once more, bringing the pot up to 82,500. With each of these calls, I discuss in the video below my thinking as well as the merits of other options.
The river was the , making me a heart flush (and the second nuts). I checked one more time, giving my opponent the opportunity to bluff and/or perhaps try to value bet with lesser flushes. But he bet quite big — 68,500 (nearly half what I had left behind) — putting me to a relatively tough decision.
Take a look to see what I did and what happened, and hear further discussion of my decisions in the hand:
Have you ever made a hero fold on the river with the second nuts? How would you have played this hand?
Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,300,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.