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Call or Shove? Jonathan Little Flops Huge in Multi-Way, Three-Bet Pot

Jonathan Little


  • You flop top two in a four-way pot and an opponent bets. Raise to thin field or call to keep them in?

  • In this WSOP hand, @JonathanLittle decides between playing a strong hand fast or slow on the flop.

The 2016 World Series of Poker starts tomorrow with the first of 69 bracelet events. This week I’m again looking back at a hand from last year’s WSOP, this one coming from the $777 Lucky Sevens event that came near the end of the summer, a tournament that drew a big field of 4,422.

This hand comes from early on when the blinds were 50/100. I have 4,200 to start the hand, down from the starting stack of 5,000.

It begins with a maniac on my right raising to 250 from middle position. Next to act, I call holding {A-Spades}{9-Spades}, then a tight-aggressive player on my immediate left reraises to 675. The small blind (a straightforward player) calls as does the original raiser, and so with such good pot odds I call as well.

That means there were four of us still in with the pot up to 2,800. The flop is a good one for me, coming {A-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{2-Spades} to give me top two pair. I have the effective nuts here, but the small blind surprisingly leads with a bet and the maniac on my right calls.

While most players would push all in here hoping to pick up the pot easily, the best play even in this multi-way situation is to call and give your opponents plenty of room to commit additional errors on the turn.

Take a look at how the hand ended up playing out:

Would you have gone all in on the flop in this situation? Let me know in a comment below.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,200,000 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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