Making the Effective Nuts with Ace-King... and Getting Raised!

Making the Effective Nuts with Ace-King... and Getting Raised!
  • Call or fold? @JonathanLittle flops top pair w/ A-K, turns trips, then bets river... and gets raised!

  • Consider how you'd play @JonathanLittle's hand: trips with A-K and bet the river, then get raised.

Welcome, all. I have another interesting tournament hand to share this week, one in which I start with a premium hand, make what appears to be the effective nuts postflop, and still somehow get raised on the river!

With the blinds 75/150 I had about 40,000 in my stack when I picked up {A-Spades}{K-Clubs} in the hijack seat. I raised to 400 and was called by both the button and big blind.

The flop came {K-Spades}{7-Hearts}{2-Clubs}, giving me top pair, and after the big blind checked I bet 500 into a pot of just under 1,300. As I explain in the video below, having a big range advantage here as I do, I can usually bet small on a board like this (dry with one big card). Only the button who had about 25,000 to start the hand called my bet.

The turn brought the {K-Hearts}, improving me to trips. This time I bet bigger — 2,000 into almost 2,300 — and my opponent called again.

The river was the {J-Spades}, and I bet 5,000 or about 80 percent of the pot. Then my opponent raised to 12,000.

What to do?

Watch below as I go through the various hands in my opponent's range and the combos available, and explain further my thinking when deciding how to respond to his river raise:

What a nasty spot this was. My opponent slow played a flopped set and earned good value from me. Sometimes they get you.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,700,000 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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