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Playing a Straight on a Three-Flush, Paired Board

Jonathan Little

This week I have another tournament hand analysis for you, a hand in which I flop a straight although both the board and my opponent's actions turn the situation into a difficult one.

The blinds were 1,200/2,400 with a 300 ante, and I had the biggest stack at the table with more than 210,000. A loose-aggressive player opened the action with a raise to 5,000 from middle position and the button called. Dealt {5-Spades}{4-Spades} in the small blind I called as well, as did the big blind.

The four of us saw the flop come {a-Clubs}{3-Clubs}{2-Clubs}, giving me a straight. I discuss in the video the merits of leading with a bet here, but I decided to check and in fact it checked all of the way around.

The turn brought the {2-Diamonds}, pairing the board, and this time I did lead with a bet of 14,000 into the pot of almost 23,000. Only the LAG player (the original raiser) called, bringing the pot up over 50,000.

The river was the {q-Diamonds}. What would you do here? Check? Bet? I checked, and my opponent made a big bet of 50,000, almost exactly the size of the pot.

Now what would you do? Take a look at how I decided to play it (and hear my explanation), and see how things turned out:

Would you have played this hand differently? Let me know in a comment below.

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.

  • @JonathanLittle analyses a tournament hand in which he flops a straight but may not be best.

  • @JonathanLittle flops a straight, but by the turn both flushes and full houses are possible.

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