Flopping Trips Blind Versus Blind
This week I want to share a hand from a tournament involving a common situation — a blind-versus-blind hand in which I have a poor starting hand but flop well and have to decide how to proceed against an opponent who should have a weak range.
The blinds were 400/800 with a 100 ante, and both the small blind and myself in the big blind had about 20,000 or 25 big blinds to start. It folded to him and he limped, and with I checked. In the video below I talk about how against certain opponents I could raise here (even with this hand), but in this case I didn't.
The flop then came giving me trip fives, and my opponent checked.
I'm fortunate to have flopped so strong, but it's a tricky spot since my opponent who limped preflop and checked the flop mostly likely doesn't have much. Should I bet here and hope my opponent has something worth continuing with, or should I check behind and try to build a pot later?
I'll stop there and let you see what I decided and how things played out from there. As you'll see, I would have more challenging decisions to make before this hand was over.
When my opponent bet the turn, my focus shifted from extracting value to pot control. Then when he bet the river a combination of my live read and his bet sizing caused me to put him on a marginal made hand, although as I explain it was difficult for me to know just how strong he was.
Would you have called or raised on the river?
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.