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How to Play (and How Not to Play) Strong Hands Postflop

How to Play (and How Not to Play) Strong Hands Postflop


  • @JonathanLittle analyzes a WSOP hand that shows both good & bad ways to play strong hands postflop.

  • With a strong hand postflop, play in a manner that keeps in a wide range of marginal hands you crush.

With the 2016 World Series of Poker now just about a month away, I’ve been going back through hands I played at last summer’s WSOP. Today I’m sharing another from a $1,500 buy-in no-limit hold’em event, this one coming from very early on Day 1.

The first level had just started and we were only playing six-handed as players were still arriving. Partly because it was short-handed, I raised from under the gun with {A-Spades}{5-Spades}, the player to my left immediately reraised, and the next player to act cold-called the three-bet. It folded back to me and I called as well.

As you’ll see, I managed to flop a five-high straight plus a nut-flush draw in this three-way pot. I checked, the three-bettor continued, and the cold-caller called again. Noting that a lot of turn cards could kill further action, I decided to check-raise, and after the three-bettor folded the caller stuck around by calling once more.

I was lucky to flop so strong, but even luckier that my remaining opponent ended up playing the hand in a way that would get me off the hook if I didn’t have such a strong holding. Always be sure to play your hand in a manner that keeps in a wide range of marginal made hands that you crush.

Take a look:

How would you have played the hand? 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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