Going for Value: Hitting Trips After Having Raised Limpers
Today I wanted to share another hand from the $3,500 World Poker Tour event we've been discussing over the last few weeks, this one turning out to be a big early hand that helped launch me toward a relatively decent run in the tournament.
The blinds were 400/800 with a 800 big blind ante, and the hand began a little unusually with a player limping in from middle position. The hijack limped in as well, then I looked down at in the cutoff.
As I explain below, you don't always have to raise limpers — with some hands you might well want to limp in behind as well. But with ace-jack I do want to raise, and here I raised to 5,200 (3x the big blind plus what was in the pot already).
The small blind called my raise as did the original limper, but the hijack folded despite the great pot odds.
The flop then came to give me trips, and it checked around to me.
What is your instinct here? Slow play and check? As I talk about, that's probably the wrong instinct. Do you play to get your stack in with your best hands or are you content instead to win a small pot every time? (You can guess my answer.)
Watch below and see how I chose to start building a pot with my strong hand and how things developed from there, and listen to my analysis of both my own and my opponents' play in this hand.
When both my opponents called on the flop and the turn brought the , I had a bit of a decision, especially as my stack at that point was less than the size of the pot. But with such a draw-heavy board, I had to bet and I couldn't really bet small, so I jammed (and thankfully for me, the small blind made a mistake by calling).
Would you shove the turn, or play more cautiously?
Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at PokerCoaching.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.