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Leading With a Flush Draw in a Multi-Way Pot

Jonathan Little
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  • @JonathanLittle analyzes a five-way hand in which he chose to lead with a bet after flopping a draw.

  • Betting your draws -- especially in multi-way situations -- can build pots should you hit your hand.

Today's hand comes from a €2,000 side event I played in a tournament series in Europe not too long ago. It was early, with the blinds just 50/100. I had about 30,000 to start this hand, with my opponents all at around 25,000 and the table playing short-handed with six players seated.

A player in middle position raised to 250, and three players (hijack, button, small blind) all called behind him. I was in the big blind with {Q-Hearts}{9-Hearts} and called as well, and with five players in the hand the flop fell {7-Hearts}{6-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}, giving me a flush draw. After the small blind checked, I decided to lead with a bet.

If you've been watching these videos here on PokerNews, you've noticed I don't often lead after calling raises from the blinds (especially when it's heads-up). But in this case with a decent draw in a multi-way pot, leading should always be a consideration because you can make many hands fold that have a decent amount of equity.

Meanwhile when you have a good draw in this type of situation, building the pot so you can win a large pot when you happen to improve is an added side effect.

As shown below, two of my opponents called, and as it happened my flush did come on the turn. That led to some more interesting decisions as the button stuck around to the river — take a look:

Would you have played this hand differently? 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.

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