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Getting Frisky With Ace-Queen Versus Erik Seidel

Erik Seidel
  • @JonathanLittle gets creative in a first-level tournament hand vs. Poker Hall of Famer @Erik_Seidel.

  • Play along with @JonathanLittle in this tournament hand against the formidable @Erik_Seidel.

Here is another hand from the very first level of the $10,000 buy-in World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic — a "freezeout" event (i.e., no re-entry). This one involved me playing versus the Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel, winner of eight World Series of Poker bracelets and more than $32 million lifetime in tournaments.

With the blinds 50/100, the action began with Seidel opening for 250 from early position. It folded to me in the cutoff where I'd been dealt {A-Clubs}{Q-Spades}.

Here I could have either called or three-bet. Considering how it was a freezeout event in which I tend to be a little more aggressive early, I reraised to 700. Andy Frankenberger was in the big blind and he decided to cold-call the reraise, then Seidel made it 3,350 to go.

As I talk about in the video below, at this point I know ace-queen isn't strong enough with which just to call, meaning I could either fold or reraise again as a bluff. I made it 6,000 (too small, looking back). Frankenberger folded and Seidel called.

The flop came {7-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{2-Spades} and Seidel checked. I bet 4,500 and Seidel called, bringing the pot close to 22,000. The turn was the {3-Clubs} and Seidel checked once more.

At this point Seidel had just about the size of the pot behind and I had a little more. See what I chose to do and hear my explanation for why I did:

In this case after turning the nut flush draw, I decided to go for maximum fold equity. No one wants to go broke early in a major event without a premium hand!

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,400,000 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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