World Series of Poker Europe Coolbet Open

Getting Out of Line: Jonathan Little Flops Nothing, Decides to Run a Bluff

Jonathan Little
  • Ever get well out of line to exploit what you perceive to be weaknesses in your opponent's strategy?

  • @JonathanLittle flops nothing and embarks on a three-barrel bluff in a $1,000 WSOP event.

This hand comes from early in a $1,000 buy-in World Series of Poker event and finds me being somewhat unsure of my decisions on each postflop street. Tell me what you think as you play along.

I have a stack of about 25,000 at 100/200/25 and watch an older, loose-aggressive player raise to 500 from middle position. I decide to call from the cutoff with {10-Clubs}{8-Clubs}.

The flop comes {Q-Diamonds}{7-Spades}{4-Clubs} and my opponent leads for 750. Thinking that board doesn't connect very well with his preflop raising range, I choose to raise to 2,000 — a pure bluff, as I haven't much equity at all.

My opponent calls, then the turn brings the {5-Clubs} to give me a gutshot straight draw and a flush draw. He checks this time, and I bet 3,000 into the 5,525-chip pot — more of a semi-bluff this time. My opponent calls again.

When betting the turn I was already thinking about having to bluff fifth street if I missed, and after the {K-Hearts} rolled off on the river and my opponent checked again, I indeed fired one more time.

Take a look and hear me talk through each of these postflop streets, and see how things played out:

Here was an example of me uncharacteristically getting a bit out of line — flopping nothing but a backdoor flush draw, a backdoor straight draw, and unpaired middle cards, and deciding to run a huge bluff through subsequent streets.

Do you ever get well out of line in order to exploit what you perceive to be weaknesses in your opponent's strategy? Tell me about it in a comment below, and share your thoughts as well about the hand including whether you would have played it differently.

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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