This week's hand comes from a $1,000 side event I played recently. It's an interesting one in which I flop a set but then face leading bets on the flop and turn, and an all-in shove on the river when a straight is possible.
The hand occurred relatively early in the tournament when the blinds were 50/100. After getting dealt in middle position I raised to 300 and got two callers — a random guy on the button and a good, loose-aggressive player in the big blind.
The flop came , giving me a set of fives. With 950 in the pot, the big blind led with a bet of 500 which forced me to think about what kinds of hands LAG players might bet out with in this situation. As I discuss in the video below, I went through all of the various hands he could have — including drawing hands — and decided to call, and the button called as well.
The turn brought the , not really a card I wanted to see. With the pot nearly 2,500, the LAG player in the big blind made a big bet of 2,000. Folding seemed way too tight, so I called, the button folded, and the river was the , a blank.
My opponent thought for about four minutes, then went all in. There was 6,450 in the middle, I had 9,700 left, and he had me covered so to call would mean my risking elimination.
This player did seem like one who was capable of bluffing in this spot. Take a look at how I reason through my river decision and what happened:
Would you make the call in this situation for all your chips or would you make the conservative fold?
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.
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