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Jonathan Little Flops a Marginal Top Pair in a Three-Bet Pot Versus Tuan Le

Jonathan Little (left) and Tuan Le (right)
  • Whenever someone cold-calls your preflop three-bet, be aware the caller likely has a strong range.

  • Jonathan Little analyzes a hand he played versus Tuan Le in a $5,000 NLHE event at the 2015 WSOP.

Here’s another hand from the same World Series of Poker event from which I shared a hand last week, Event #25: $5,000 No-Limit Hold’em Eight Handed which I managed to final table.

This one comes from a little bit later on Day 1 and presented an interesting situation. After an early position raise I three-bet from the button with {A-Hearts}{10-Diamonds}. Tuan Le then cold-called my reraise from the big blind, and the original raiser folded.

Whenever someone cold calls your three-bet, you should be concerned that the caller has an incredibly strong range, especially if the caller is a strong player, as Tuan Le is. Even though I flopped top pair, marginal kicker, I do not think I want to put much money in the pot in such a situation.

Fortunately for me, checking both the flop and turn then calling a river bet worked out relatively well this time. Take a look:

I lost some chips, but it could have been much worse. A lot of players lose more in this spot by betting the flop and turn and perhaps even jamming the river, having failed to recognize their opponent’s range — after cold-calling a three-bet from out of position — must be very strong.

How would you have played this 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 JonathanLittlePoker.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanLittle.

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