World Series of Poker Europe

Value Betting on a Four-Straight Board

Jonathan Little
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  • .@JonathanLittle questions his own decision to value bet his trips on a four-straight board.

  • Consider how you would play @JonathanLittle's hand having made trips on a four-straight board.

In this week's tournament hand analysis I go for thin value on the river in a spot where looking back I wish I hadn't.

With the blinds 50/100 and effective stacks about 200 big blinds deep, I was in the big blind when a player I judged to be a little bit loose and aggressive raised to 300 from the button. I called from the big blind with {10-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}, the flop came {A-Hearts}{J-Spades}{10-Clubs}, and we both checked.

The turn then brought the {10-Hearts}, improving me to trips and giving me a decision whether or not to bet. As I talk about in the video below, my decision was influenced by the range of hands with which my opponent would raise preflop (which doesn't narrow his range much) and then check the flop (which definitely narrows his range).

I talk through the combos of hands the button might have here. He could have a marginal ace, a jack, the other ten, or garbage like eight-seven offsuit with which he is just giving up.

Of those hands, only the marginal ace would probably continue if I were to bet — or better hands, against which I could be in bad shape. Checking, though, gives my opponent a chance to bluff with worse.

I did check, and my opponent bet 500 into the pot of 650. Should I raise or just call here? Again I talk through my read of him as loose-aggressive and other factors that led me to check-raise to 1,800. My opponent called, bringing the pot up around 4,200.

The river then brought the {K-Hearts}, a horrible card for me that put four to a straight on the board and completed a backdoor heart flush. Despite that, I bet the river, a decision I don't like so much in retrospect.

Watch below to hear why I'm not crazy about this attempt at making a (very thin) value bet on this river card, and to see how things played out.

I'm trying to get called by an ace with that river bet, but I don't like my sizing and the overall situation makes checking much better, I think. How would you have played this hand?

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 JonathanLittlePoker.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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