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Should Jonathan Little Push on the River with a Flush on a Paired Board?

Jonathan Little
  • @JonathanLittle rivers a flush, but the board has paired. Bet big, bet small, or check and be wary?

  • How would you play this tournament hand featuring a tricky postflop spot faced by @JonathanLittle?

Today I want to share a hand I recently played in a tournament at the Borgata, one presenting a tricky river decision.

The blinds were 6,000/12,000 with a 2,000 ante, and I began the hand with 320,000. A tight-aggressive younger player sitting on my right who had about 500,000 to begin opened by raising to 35,000, and I looked down at {A-Spades}{Q-Spades} in the hijack seat.

I elected to play it cautiously and called, and a loose-aggressive player with about 500,000 also called on the button. That meant there were three of us still in when the flop came {9-Spades}{7-Clubs}{7-Diamonds}.

The original TAG raiser checked, and I decided to bet 45,000 or about a third of the pot. Only the LAG player on the button called, then the turn brought the {5-Spades} to give me a flush draw. At this point I had almost 240,000 behind which is just about the size of the pot.

After I decided to check, my opponent checked behind. Then the river brought the {8-Spades}, completing my flush but there was that pair on the board.

Should I go for full value by pushing all in? Should I bet small for marginal value? Or should I check here, fearing the worst?

Take a look at what I decided to do and the thinking that caused me to make my choice:

How would you have played this hand, particularly on the river? Let me know in a comment below.

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.

Have you ever wanted to write your own articles about poker? Maybe you've got some experiences or opinions about poker that you'd like to share. PokerNews is proud to launch The PN Blog where you can have a platform to make your voice heard. Learn more here.

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