Jonathan Little Faces a Check-Raise Holding Top Pair, Good Kicker

Jonathan Little
  • @JonathanLittle reviews a multi-way hand in which he flops well but faces multiple shows of strength.

  • Hand analysis: Consider how you would have approached this WPT L.A. Poker Classic hand.

Today I want to discuss another interesting hand I played early on during the $10,000 buy-in World Poker Tour L.A. Poker Classic, a freezeout tournament (i.e., no re-entries).

It was still the first level (blinds 50/100), and the hand began with a loose-aggressive player opening to 300 from under the gun. I was next to act with {K-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts}, and as I discuss below I could see either folding or calling here — in this case I called.

Both blinds also called (making it four-way), and the flop came {8-Hearts}{7-Hearts}{Q-Clubs}. It checked to me. I bet 800 into the 1,200 pot, and the small blind folded. But the big blind check-raised to 2,000, then the LAG player sitting UTG (the initial preflop raiser) called.

Suddenly my top pair of queens felt less comfortable. Watch the video and hear me discuss each of these two players' potential ranges and see what I decided to do in the face of such strength.

After getting check-raised and watching the original raiser call, I got out of the way. Talk about nitty!

Then again, sometimes you just know you're beat. Even when you have a hand that is near the top of your range, if you are marginal or in poor shape versus your opponents' ranges, you have to be disciplined and fold.

Jonathan Little is a professional poker player and author with over $6,400,000 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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