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Jonathan Little Hero Calling Versus a Tight-Aggressive Player

Jonathan Little


  • In a recent tournament hand, @JonathanLittle finds reasons to "hero call" a player's postflop bets.

  • Sometimes live tells can sway your decisions against certain players, as @JonathanLittle explains.

This week's hand comes from a $1,000 buy-in tournament I recently played at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida. The blinds were 200/400 with a 50 ante and I was sitting at around 12,000 to start the hand when I was dealt {9-Clubs}{9-Diamonds} in the hijack seat.

I opened with a raise to 900, then a tight-aggressive 50-year-old player three-bet from the cutoff to 2,000. The button and blinds folded, and I chose to call and see what developed. After that I decided to make some "hero calls" of his bets on subsequent streets.

The first came following a {K-Spades}{8-Spades}{4-Clubs} flop after I checked and he bet just 1,200 into a 5,050 pot. Then on the turn the {K-Diamonds} fell, I again checked, and he bet 3,500 (closer to half the pot). Against most tight, older players a fold would be in order here, but something possessed me to call again.

The river was the {A-Spades} — a terrible card for me — and I checked. See what happened next:

Do you ever get out of line in a situation like this by continuing to call down, or do you fold and wait for a better spot? I talk some about live tells in the video, and it is important to use live tells and recent past actions to sway your decisions one way or the other. If you aren't paying attention to these things, you are certainly leaving money on the table.

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 You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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