WSOP 2018
2018 World Series of Poker Cash Game Festival London

Call or Fold? Jonathan Little Faces a River Check-Raise with a Full House

Jonathan Little
  • @JonathanLittle makes a big river bet for value, then gets check-raised. Do you call or fold?

  • An early EPT Main Event hand finds @JonathanLittle having to contemplate folding a full house.

This week's hand again comes from a €5K buy-in European Poker Tour Main Event I recently played.

It was still early in the tournament, with the blinds 150/300 with a 25 ante. The action began with the player on my right in the hijack seat opening for 700. He had about 17,000 to start the hand, while I was already up to about 50,000.

In the cutoff I looked down at {A-Clubs}{9-Clubs}. In general, I'd probably prefer three-betting this hand in this spot, but here I just called and the two of us saw a flop come {K-Clubs}{K-Diamonds}{2-Spades}.

We both checked, then the turn brought the {9-Hearts} to improve my hand. My opponent led for 1,300 (about two-thirds pot) and I called. The {K-Hearts} then fell on fifth street to complete the board, meaning I had nines full of kings.

My opponent checked and with the pot almost 4,700 I went for a big bet of 5,000. In the video I explain my reasons for trying to go for value with this river bet.

Rather than folding or calling, however, my opponent check-raised all in with the nearly 15,000 he had left. Now what?

Hear what I say about my response to this check-raise, and see what happened:

Even when you have a traditionally strong hand, it is still important to think about your opponent's range and play accordingly. Your hand can be strong, but if most of your opponent's range beats you, you have to make a disciplined fold.

How would you have played this hand? Leave a comment and let me know.

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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