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The River Overbet: Taking an Optimistic Line in a Rare Limped Pot

The River Overbet: Taking an Optimistic Line in a Rare Limped Pot


  • In a rare limped pot, @JonathanLittle rivers the effective nuts and goes for a big overbet.

  • If an opponent thinks you're capable of big bluffs, overbetting big hands can at times be profitable.

Most of us know that open-limping before the flop in no-limit hold'em is generally not a move made by knowledgeable players, although there can be exceptions.

But do we see players limp sometimes, even in higher buy-in tournaments. This week's hand — coming from early in a $5,000 buy-in event — features just such a situation.

The blinds were 50/100, with the effective stacks close to 30,000. In fact it was early enough in the event that the table was short-handed as players were still arriving.

In the hand a couple of early position players folded, and the action was on a 40-year-old player on the button who just called. I then completed from the small blind with {J-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}, and the player to my left in the big blind checked his option.

The flop came {K-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{4-Clubs} — reasonably good for me. I led with a bet of 200, the big blind folded, and the button-limper called. The turn was the {10-Spades} and I decided to check, and my opponent checked behind.

The {6-Clubs} then completed the board, giving me trips and the effective nuts in the hand. At that point I decided to take an abnormal line that was either amazingly great or horribly bad.

You might recall last week's hand where I made a huge overbet on the river as a bluff. Here I also decide to make a big overbet of 2,200 into the 700 pot.

See what happens:

If you get the vibe that your opponent thinks you're loose-aggressive and inclined to bluff in a spot like this, such a big value bet can sometimes be a good idea.

Do you ever attempt this play in this situation? 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.

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