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Turn Bluff Leads to a Tough River Spot

Turn Bluff Leads to a Tough River Spot

Here's an interesting hand that took place early in a $1,500 buy-in World Series of Poker no-limit hold'em event

With the blinds still 50/100, it folded to a tight-aggressive player on the button who raised to 225. A loose-passive player in the small blind called, and I looked down at {q-Spades}{10-Clubs} in the big blind.

As I discuss below, I've sometimes been three-betting in this spot rather than just calling, but this time I just called and the flop came {k-Spades}{7-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}. The small blind checked and so did I, and while I was ready to fold to a continuation bet the button checked as well.

The turn was the {9-Spades} to give me a gutshot straight draw, and the small blind checked again. Here I decided to bet my draw as a semi-bluff, making it 400 (about 60 percent pot). The button folded and the small blind called.

The river then brought the {10-Diamonds} and my opponent checked. There was 1,475 in the pot. I was prepared to have bluffed at most rivers here if I had missed, but I now have a pair of tens. Should I bet for value? If so, how much?

Take a look below and see what I decided to do and hear my analysis of the situation as well.

How do you play this situation? This is actually one of those spots where it is important to get value, and even though the bets might be small they add up over time.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,900,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

  • Go for value? After bluffing the turn @JonathanLittle makes a medium-strength hand on the river.

  • Hand analysis: A turn bluff by @JonathanLittle gets called, leading to a tricky river decision.

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