Jonathan Little Flops Trip Aces That Turn Into a Bluff Catcher
Hello again from the 2016 World Series of Poker where I've managed a couple of decent runs so far this summer — finishing 13th in a $5K no-limit hold'em event and 20th in a $10K NLHE event (both six-handed) — in between playing matches in "The Cube" for the Las Vegas Moneymakers in the Global Poker League.
Meanwhile I wanted this week to share with you another interesting hand to analyze, this coming one from a $3,500 buy-in World Poker Tour event.
The hand took place relatively early in the tournament when the blinds were 150/300 with a 25 ante and I had roughly a starting stack of about 30,000. It folded to me in the hijack seat where I raised to 800 with , and got a call from a tight-aggressive Russian player in the big blind.
The flop came to give me trip aces, and when checked to I continued with a bet 800, and my opponent called. The turn was the putting a third diamond on the board and he checked again, and I had to decide whether or not I could extract more value based on his still relatively wide range of possible hands.
I decided to bet again, he called again, and after the river he checked once more. I then made what in retrospect might have been a too-small bet of 2,600 into a pot of 6,975. To my surprise, my opponent check-raised big to 7,000, and suddenly I found myself in a difficult spot. Take a look:
When you make a bet, you want to have a clear idea of how your opponent will react. In this hand, I have to admit I had little clue how my opponent would respond to my river bet. After you make a poor bet, though, all you can do is gather your thoughts and make the best possible decision.
Have you ever made a bet that may have induced your opponent to play back at you in a situation where you didn't want to be played back at? 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.