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Betting for Value and Protection with Middle Pair in a Multi-Way Pot

Betting for Value and Protection with Middle Pair in a Multi-Way Pot
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  • Sometimes a bet serves multiple purposes, as @JonathanLittle shows in a early-level tournament hand.

  • @JonathanLittle analyzes a WPT Main Event hand featuring some interesting postflop betting decisions.

Here's a hand and situation from early in a World Poker Tour Main Event for you to consider — an interesting one that features kind of an unusual line from me.

Everyone is deep-stacked with 300 big blinds. I was dealt {7-Spades}{6-Spades} in middle position and raised 3x to 300, and both the button and big blind called.

The flop came {9-Spades}{7-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}, giving me middle pair and a gutshot draw. The big blind checked, and as I discuss in the video below I decided to bet both for value and (partially) for protection given how many bad cards could come for me on the turn.

I bet 550 and only the button called, then the turn brought the {2-Diamonds}. The hand having become heads-up, at this point I was thinking of my marginal made hand value. I decided to check, my opponent bet 1,300, and I called, bringing the pot up to about 4,600.

The river brought the {8-Spades}, making me a straight, and I decided to lead with a bet of 2,800. I don't always advocate leading with a bet after having check-called on the previous street (as I did here), but in this particular spot I felt as though my opponent could call my bet with some lesser hands. Take a look:

What do you think of leading on this river for value with a marginal straight? Would you bet or check there? What would you do if the button raised you after that river bet?

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,300,000 in live tournament earnings. He writes a weekly educational blog and hosts a podcast at JonathanLittlePoker.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

Have you ever wanted to write your own articles about poker? Maybe you've got some experiences or opinions about poker that you'd like to share. PokerNews is proud to launch The PN Blog where you can have a platform to make your voice heard. Learn more here.

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