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Hand Analysis: Terrible River for a Set

Hand Analysis: Terrible River for a Set

This week I want to share a hand I recently played in the World Poker Tour Borgata Poker Open Championship where I made a nice run but ended up getting knocked out with less than 40 players left.

This hand came from early on when the blinds were 100/200 with a big blind ante of 200. Everyone was deep (effective stacks about 200 BBs).

I picked up {q-Hearts}{q-Spades} on the button and raised to 600, then a loose-passive player in the small blind three-bet to 2,100. As I discuss below, the player being normally passive suggests he probably has something especially strong when he three-bets here.

The big blind cold-called the reraise, and while I might have reraised I chose to be cautious and called, making the pot 6,500.

The flop came {j-Spades}{9-Clubs}{2-Hearts} and the loose-passive player bet 4,500. The big blind folded, and I had to decide whether to call or raise. Again I took the cautious route and called, then the turn brought the {q-Diamonds} to give me a set.

This time my opponent checked, and with 15,500 in the middle I bet 6,500 and he called.

The river then brought the {10-Spades} — a bad card for me for many reasons — and my opponent checked. Now what? Check behind? Go for thin value?

I'll let you see how this hand ended up playing out, and as you watch listen to my reasoning for how I played my set in this situation.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $7,000,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at Sign up to learn poker from Jonathan for free at You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

  • [email protected] turns a set at the WPT Borgata Poker Open, but a bad river card gives him pause.

  • Consider how you would play @JonathanLittle's set of queens in this WPT Borgata Poker Open hand.

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