World Series of Poker Europe Coolbet Open

Getting Check-Raised on the River With Only Top Pair

Getting Check-Raised on the River With Only Top Pair
  • @JonathanLittle has top pair and bets for value on the river, but Jack Salter is check-raising him.

  • Another tricky spot for @JonathanLittle in a WSOP $5K 6-max. hand versus the aggressive Jack Salter.

Today I want to go back to that $5,000 buy-in, six-handed no-limit hold'em event from last summer's World Series of Poker and share another hand I played versus the very good, loose-aggressive U.K. pro Jack Salter.

We were still in the same level as last week's hand, with the blinds 1,000/2,000 and a 300 ante. In this one I had the larger stack between us with about 200,000 to Salter's 100,000, and with Salter waiting in the big blind I opened for 4,700 from the hijack seat with {Q-Clubs}{J-Clubs}. Salter called, and we both saw a flop come {J-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}.

Salter checked and with top pair, a backdoor flush draw, and an overcard, I bet 5,500. With the pot about 13,000 that's a relatively small continuation bet, which as I explain below stems both from the dry board and what should be a decent range advantage for me.

Salter called, the turn brought the {7-Hearts} to pair the board, and Salter checked again. I chose to check behind, and the river {3-Clubs} completed the board.

Salter checked a final time, and with just over 24,000 in the middle I bet 8,000 for value. That's when Salter check-raised to 18,000.

It was a tricky spot, for sure. Salter had given me good odds to call, which would suggest he wasn't bluffing. But again, as was the case in last week's hand, I found myself having to take into account my opponent's aggressive tendencies.

See what I chose to do and listen to further explanation of the hand:

As this hand again shows, it can be difficult to play against strong players because they consistently put you in tough spots.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,500,000 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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