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When a Full House May Not Be Enough: A Tough River Decision

When a Full House May Not Be Enough: A Tough River Decision
  • @JonathanLittle turns a set and rivers a full house, but his opponent is betting more than the pot.

  • @JonathanLittle analyzes a hand from early in a $1,500 no-limit hold'em @WSOP event.

Today's hand comes from early in a six-handed $1,500 buy-in World Series of Poker event.

The blinds were 50/100 and a tight-aggressive player opened for 275 from under the gun (or the "lojack" seat in this six-handed situation). It folded to me on the button where I had been dealt {10-Spades}{10-Diamonds}. Both the opener and I were sitting with about 7,500 to start the hand.

I typically call in this spot with this hand, although as I explain below three-betting would be fine as well. I did call here, and after the big blind (with about 5,000 back) called as well, the flop brought three overcards to my pair of tens, coming {A-Clubs}{K-Clubs}{Q-Hearts}.

Not a great start for me, but after it checked around the {10-Clubs} came on the turn to improve me to a set. Of course, the board still wasn't the greatest for me, with both a flush and a straight very possible for my opponents.

It checked to me again, and I decided to make a small bet of 275 into the pot of 875. Only the original raiser called.

The river then brought the {K-Hearts}, making me a full house. Good, right? But then my opponent led with a big bet of almost 1,600 — a little more than the size of the pot.

Now what?

Take a look at what happens below, and hear my analysis of what types of hands my opponent might have with which to make a big river bet like this.

As I say in the video, in this particular event (and at this stage of the event), this was most likely a fold for me, but I nonetheless called.

Ignoring what my opponent ended up having in this hand, what would have been your response to his big river bet — fold? call? raise?

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,500,000 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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